How the Jewellery Industry is Tackling the Growing Problem of Fakes
In the expanding online jewellery market, where the consumers trust in brand names is crucial, the prevalence of counterfeit jewellery is gradually increasing. Therefore, brands are struggling to address the problem, harming both the high and low-end sectors of the jewellery market.
However, passing off the inexpensive glass as valuable diamonds has been going on for quite some time. Faience, a ceramic glass formed from the mineral feldspar that had been chemically coloured, was found inlaid in ancient Egyptian tombs. Moreover, paste gemstones, created initially of leaded glass with a foil backing, were first used in the 1720s.
Consumers often pay actual gemstone pricing for inexpensive replicas since many counterfeit gemstones are difficult to differentiate from genuine ones. Jewellery markets ranging from Dubai to South Africa have reported the arrest of bogus jewellery vendors.
As a result of this lawsuit, the diamond industry in Oman has been widely affected. Moreover, travellers to Sri Lanka have reported being the target of a similar scam.
The fake coloured glass looks pretty much like the real thing; only an expert can detect the difference. It weakens consumer faith in the sector and frustrates sincere retailers.
In the gem trade, some frequent tactics include improving lower-quality genuine gemstones, increasing their value, and making fake stones out of glass. To lighten the stone's colour or eliminate undesired secondary colours, heating and irradiating are two methods. While purists shun these practices, everyone else in the business uses them, and they pose little to no threat to the integrity of the work.
Yet, bleaching, colouring, fracture filling with plastic or polymer resins, and cavity filling to plug holes and increase weight—typically with materials like glass—are other procedures that are arguably less safe.
Knowing when to say enough with these kinds of treatments is challenging. Which are suitable and which are not? Another problem is that it's not always apparent to the buyer whether or not the stone was already treated.
Due to the complexity of the supply chain, the jewellery industry may not always be aware of the precise stones they are purchasing. However, a skilled jeweller can typically spot procedures like filling.
Therefore, respectable suppliers use their experience and strong relationships to avoid buying low-quality stones.
The jewellery industry is experiencing growth in well-known brands, which has increased the prevalence of counterfeiting and imitations. Scammers frequently attempt to replicate prominent businesses by recreating their designs in a less-than-stellar fashion. The more popular a product is, the more likely scammers will sell counterfeit versions under the same name.
Some of the counterfeitings are eerily exact. For example, just after the official debut of the brand's new website, a nearly identical one began selling knockoffs. For instance, the popular Links of London charm bracelet was frequently copied and sold illegally online and in physical stores.
Therefore, companies should use keyword research, domain registration, and irrelevant search results to protect consumers from counterfeiters. Brand counterfeits not only detract from sales but can also harm the value of the legitimate brand. Online shoppers who receive a low-quality knockoff or nothing for their money often develop a negative impression of the company.
In a nutshell, it hurts the company's reputation and is frustrating for the merchants who suffer a loss in revenue.
Is Authenticity Required?
Can you tell when something is false and when it's not? The demand for synthetic alternatives to natural diamonds has remained steady for decades. Swarovski crystals, which to the untrained eye look just like diamonds, were developed in Austria in the 1890s.
Due to Swarovski's creative design studio and stellar branding, their lead-glass crystals command prices much above what they're worth. Although Swarovski may have pioneered the most affordable costume jewellery, even fake diamonds and rubies have had their work copied. Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba filed a lawsuit against two Taobao sellers last month for selling counterfeit Swarovski crystals.
Since 1989, the genuine item has been registered with the brand's trademark, making it easier to distinguish between the two. It's one of the ways to know if something is fake or the real deal. Moreover, informational sources on jewellery sometimes include tips on identifying a genuine, high-quality lead glass crystal from a well-known brand.
Experts recommend looking for bubbles inside the stone and comparing the gem's lustre to a recognised genuine Swarovski stone; an authentic gemstone will always outshine a fake. However, it is still difficult to stop the spread of fake crystals, many of which are offered online under the guise of the real thing.
Unethical Sales Dealings
In addition, to checking for fraud, jewellery stores can easily fall victim to credit card fraud or other forms of transaction fraud. Furthermore, online jewellers are a common target for fraudsters who purchase items to resell them at a profit.
According to a survey by 2Checkout, Inc., online fraudsters target the jewellery business in particular due to the high value and little difficulty in reselling small jewellery goods. In addition, foreign transactions and larger purchases, such as those costing more than $400, had a 35% higher likelihood of fraud. Therefore, these fraudulent purchases, especially those made online, require extensive effort from retailers.
Installing the newest security software and employing strong passwords are only two ways to stay ahead of fraud trends. Moreover, secure payment integration is essential for online merchants. However, staying one step ahead of would-be scammers is no simple feat. Therefore, retailers must be on their toes at all times.
Fake and Counterfeit Jewellery's Drawbacks for Buyers
You may want to buy a replica of an expensive piece of jewellery you like. The counterfeit looks and costs may be almost identical to the real thing. However, temporary joy from fake jewellery is likely to be replaced by growing dissatisfaction over time. Moreover, there are many drawbacks associated with buying fake or counterfeit jewellery.
The low quality of imitation and counterfeit jewellery is a significant drawback. Cheaper materials and shoddy craftsmanship characterise the vast majority of fake gemstones. In reality, the manufacturing process and the materials are low quality and subpar because of the need to keep costs down.
In most cases, the value of gemstones and jewellery that is well-made and artistically designed will rise with time. On the other hand, low-quality jewellery and gemstones lose their worth rapidly. It usually takes less than a year for fake and inexpensive jewellery and gemstones to show signs of wear and tear.
Allergic Reactions and Other Health Problems
A common practice in the industry is using low-quality base metals plated with precious metals like gold or silver to make counterfeit and fake jewellery. Many people also have allergic reactions to the inexpensive metals used in jewellery. Hence, rash, painful joints, itching, and acne are only a few symptoms of an allergic response or other health problems.
Poor Style and Manufacturing
If you compare the quality of authentic jewellery to that of fakes, it's easy to see that counterfeit jewellery and fake gemstones are poor in quality. Many styles are pretty old-fashioned and removed from innovative fashion. However, some replicas are nearly indistinguishable from the real thing. Nevertheless, a specialised jeweller or repair business can spot the difference thanks to their skilled eye.
Copyright and Legal Issues
While you may be pleased with your new piece of counterfeit jewellery, it may violate copyright laws and regulations. Infringing copyright rules by merely possessing a duplicate might happen frequently depending on the work in question. Trademark and copyright rules, for instance, safeguard Tiffany & Co. jewellery and several popular Swiss watch brands. Hence, if you buy a fake, you can't comply with those rules.
Moreover, buying a replica is a crime in various jurisdictions due to local laws and restrictions. Therefore, you may face significant legal consequences, including fines and jail time. Therefore, when in doubt, it's best to get expert advice before making a purchase.
Providing Financial Assistance to Criminals
It is a well-known fact that criminal groups are the primary backers of the jewellery counterfeiting industry. If you buy a knockoff, you're effectively funding the illegal enterprise that made it. Moreover, purchasing such products facilitates the laundering of criminals' money.
Avoiding the Trap of Fake Gemstones and Counterfeit Jewellery
Here are some precautions you may take to avoid being duped by fake jewellery:
- Consider starting a jewellery fund if you find yourself constantly replacing your jewellery. Affordable jewellery is available, so you won't have to go into debt to treat yourself.
- Investigate the metals used in your jewellery. Try not to expose yourself to cadmium at all. Zinc leaves a permanent mark. Also, check for a nickel allergy.
- Please choose one or two lines of jewellery you like and stick with them. However, if you want to wear understated yet important jewellery, it's a good idea to choose a label that reflects your character and use it as a consistent resource.
- Find out what kind of procedures they have in place. Brands with a higher price point but not too much market share often talk about their social responsibility and the materials they use on their websites. You can learn if others have had problems by reading reviews.
- Has your jewellery been evaluated? Luxury Brand Jewellery provides forensic services that can examine your jewellery and keep you safe from fraud! Consider your motivations for purchasing before you make one. Put that credit card down for a second while you consider your purchase. Is it going to improve your life in any way? Do you find yourself becoming sick of buying jewellery? Is it making you green with jealous that other people have better furniture than you do?
Whether you wear your jewellery every day or only on special occasions, it's worth investing in high-quality items to avoid the pang of guilt that comes with poorly made costume jewellery.
Fake jewellery isn't good enough. Therefore, ethical jewellery brands exist. They not only sell fine jewellery but also make it with care, adhere to strict ethical standards, and often allow customers to customise their pieces. Moreover, you may rest assured that your jewellery will hold up for many years, if not a lifetime.
1. Is wearing fake jewellery harmful?
Lead, cadmium (a zinc component), chromium, nickel, brominated flame retardants, chlorine, and mercury are some of the skin-irritant compounds that may be present in counterfeit jewellery. Therefore, these fake gemstones and jewellery can affect your health.
2. From where can I get my jewellery inspected?
3. How can you tell if the jewellery is fake?
The presence of a carat mark on the gold and trademarks of authentic jewellers is the first and most obvious indicator of the item's authenticity.
4. How do you know if a gemstone is natural, synthetic, or fake?
A fake gemstone won't be able to break glass, but a real one will. Regarding the hardness of diamonds, sapphires are second only to diamonds. Due to its nature as a hard stone, it should be scratch-proof.
On the other hand, synthetic gemstones have more intense colours and are nearly always flawless, with no visible inclusions or blemishes. Of course, gems will have imperfections and colour variations, as with everything made from nature. Therefore, it's crucial to have a firm grasp of the product you're buying.
5. Does fake jewellery have a stamp?
It should have a stamp with the maker's mark and the carat marking, such as 14K or 24K if it is genuine gold. Although some fake gold may have a karat stamp, it will not have a maker's mark.