How to spot fake jewelry

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(PIX11) — Just because a piece of jewelry is a family heirloom doesn’t mean it’s real. Fabulous fakes have been produced for centuries.

Here are a few ways to protect yourself from being scammed into buying fake jewelry:

  • Check for stamps, like “14K,” which refer to the purity of gold, or “925” stamped on a silver piece. But be warned, only an acid test or jeweler’s electronic measurement can truly tell if those chains are legit.
  • Distinguish real pearls from fake ones by using your teeth: A little bite will reveal the ultra-smooth surface of an imitation, or the grittier feel of a real pearl.
  • Identify imitation metals using a magnet. Real platinum, white and yellow gold won’t stick.

Do you think you could spot a fake? Test your jewelry knowledge using this interactive photo gallery.