How to Authenticate and Buy Designer Signed Jewelry Online
Whether you’re buying for yourself or a loved one, buying a piece of designer jewelry is extremely exciting. When you add in the element of buying an older piece of designer jewelry, it’s even more exciting, as you’re essentially purchasing a beautiful piece of history. Like all large purchases, especially purchases of pieces from esteemed designers, it’s very important to make sure you are being a savvy shopper and are aware of not only what you are looking for, but also what you aren’t looking for. We want you to feel confident and excited when you wear or gift this new to you piece and so, we’ve put together a guide on how to authenticate and purchase Designer and signed jewelry online.
Determine The Designers
This is such a fun part of the process. This is where you determine what it is that you are looking for. If you are so inclined, you might even put a mood board together of images that really capture the feeling you are looking for in this piece. And from there, you can start thinking about which designers really speak to you and why.
Are you looking for French prestige and the absolute apex in quality craftsmanship of Cartier?
Or maybe you are looking for the high craft, regal elegance, and whimsical designs of Van Cleef and Arpels?
VAN CLEEF AND ARPELS PERLÉE DIAMOND 18 KARAT WHITE GOLD HOOP EARRINGS
Perhaps you’re looking for the bold and daring color and shape combinations crafted with the most luxurious metals and stones by Bvlgari?
What about the wildly elegant irreverence of Boucheron? Fun Fact: In 1879, Frederic Boucheron made headlines with his Question Mark necklace because it had no clasp - which made a unusual for the time feminist statement that allowed women to put on and take off the necklace on their own without the usual need for help!
VINTAGE BOUCHERON FRENCH 18 KARAT YELLOW GOLD TIGER EYE NECKLACE
Could it be that you are most interested in the timeless designs and exquisite quality of Tiffany and Co?
MID CENTURY TIFFANY & CO. 18 KARAT GOLD FIGURAL FERN BROOCH
These are just a few of the Design houses that you may be interested in, and the truth is that within each of these houses there are so many different potential collections and pieces that may be of interest to you. The more specific you can get about what you are looking for and the more information you can provide about why the collection or piece is of interest to you, the better. Becoming informed about what it is that you are looking for enables you to better pinpoint what you want when you see it!
Let’s take for instance - the iconic Panthere of Cartier. The Panthere has been an icon of Cartier forever, but the way it takes shape is wildly varied. There are so many different styles and eras of the Panthere in Cartier collections that it is important that you know not just that you are looking for a Panthere, but that you especially love the more modern look of the Pantheres from around 2010 or maybe the more hieroglyphic inspired look of the Pantheres from 2000.
Start the Search
Now, with a better idea of what you are looking for, we can start the search. Google is your friend here - search for what you are looking for and a reputable dealer who can help you find exactly that. Friends and family are always helpful for recommendations but finding a dealer with a lot of positive reviews can be just as great. Here at Jack Weir & Sons, we have 100+ 5-star reviews, have been in business for 40 years and are constantly buying and selling designer jewels. We are always happy to provide references as well if you’d like to speak to some of our customers prior to working with us. We’ll work with you by zoom, by email or in person, completely up to you!
One thing to consider - it’s not necessary to work with a dealer who has the piece or pieces that you are looking for in their inventory currently. It is much more important to work with a dealer who knows the right people and places to engage with to find exactly what you are looking for. A trusted partner will also be able to help you determine the value and price of the item you are looking for. The old adage is true - if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is - but on the flip side of that, a trusted partner will help ensure that you are paying the right market value for the piece and not more.
The Important Details
Your trusted partner should be able to take you through all the things they would look for in finding your perfect piece. However, knowledge is power and so at the very least, you should keep serial numbers, signatures, and hallmarks in mind.
The Serial Number
A serial number on a piece of jewelry is a unique identifier assigned to the piece by the manufacturer. It is typically a string of numbers and/or letters that is etched or engraved on the piece. The serial number can be used to identify the specific piece of jewelry, as well as to track its production, sales, and ownership history.
In some cases, the serial number may be accompanied by other identifying information, such as the manufacturer's logo or the metal content of the piece. Some high-end pieces of jewelry may also have a serial number that is registered with a third-party organization, such as the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), for added security and authenticity.
A signature on a piece of jewelry can be an important factor in its value and authenticity. For example, a piece by a well-known artist or designer may be more valuable and sought after than a similar piece without a signature. A Signature on a piece of jewelry refers to the artist or designer's mark or logo that appears on the piece. It is a way for the artist or designer to claim ownership of the piece and to distinguish their work from that of others. A signature on a piece of jewelry may appear in a variety of forms, such as a name, initials, or a symbol. It may be inscribed on the piece itself, or it may be stamped on a tag or label that is attached to the piece.
A Hallmark on a piece of jewelry is a mark or symbol that indicates the metal content of the piece. It is a way for consumers to know the purity and quality of the metal used in the jewelry, and to ensure that it meets certain standards. Hallmarks are typically stamped or inscribed on the jewelry itself, and may appear in a variety of forms, such as symbols, letters, or numbers. Different countries have their own hallmarking systems and standards, so the specific hallmarks used may vary depending on where the piece was made. In addition to indicating the metal content, a hallmark may also provide other information about the piece, such as the maker's mark or the date of manufacture.
High end designers and design houses only use very high-quality diamonds and most frequently 18k gold. Your trusted partner will be able to ensure that the diamonds are high quality, meaning D, E, F, G or H in color and VS+ in clarity. If this is not the case, something may have been replaced. This is when the serial number comes in handy - you or your trusted partner can use it to call the manufacturer to get all the details and ensure that you are truly getting the piece that you are paying for.
Sometimes the jewelry will come with the original box and papers. This is great, but certainly not a must. This is not a regular occurrence, especially if the piece has been passed down multiple generations. Your trusted partner will ensure that you get a certificate of authenticity with the piece so that when it comes time to pass it along to the next lucky owner, you’ll feel confident in its travels.
One more thing to think about - a fair return policy. Buying a piece of jewelry online is a wonderful thing to do - but we all know that there is something different about seeing the jewelry in person and making sure that it makes you feel the way you want it to. Here at Jack Weir we offer free shipping both ways and a 7 day cash back guarantee. We want you to be not just happy, but over the moon about your purchase. This is a lifelong treasure that should make your heart smile.
Here at Jack Weir & Sons we’ve spent the last 40 years traveling to Europe and all over the world, curating extraordinary estate jewels. JWS is where the old world meets the new world. Celebrate life, preserve history, discover your own priceless heirloom jewel. We are extremely grateful for our clients and the ability to help people to celebrate their special moments through one of a kind jewelry. To share that gratitude and our strong family values, we chose to partner with Baby2Baby. So far, from November 2021-October 2022 we've donated $39,018. A portion of every sale goes towards children living in poverty to provide them with diapers, clothing, and all the basic necessities that every child deserves.
We offer in-person and Virtual Appointments and are happy to answer any questions about your favorite jewel.
Reach out directly to me, Sasha, for any questions you might have or to schedule an appointment today!
Youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBS9lwDGeeQ&t=1s
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