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How to tell if your watch or jewellery is genuine

You’ve fallen in love with a certain watch or piece of jewellery, and it’s everything you’ve dreamt of. But with fake jewellery on the rise, it’s important to make sure you’ve got something authentic, especially online. So how do you tell if a piece is genuine in brand, metal and stone? To help keep you in the know about what you’re buying, we’ve put together a guide on the certificate of authenticity of jewellery and watches and what to look out for.     Get documentation  First and foremost, when purchasing a watch or jewellery piece, it’s important that it comes with certification or documentation. Documentation covering manufacturer details, cleaning instructions and/or care tips, is a sign that a piece is genuine. Top tip: as illegitimate pieces may have false replicated documents, take a closer look at the documents spelling and grammar, as well as the quality of the printing. This should give you a feel as to whether it’s genuine or not. At Browns, we make sure all our diamond jewellery has a certificate of authenticity, every time.    Can you return it? Buying a piece of jewellery with the confidence that you can return it is vital. If there’s no option to return, this can be an instant giveaway that it’s a fake. Most watches and jewellery bought online come with a 14 days returns policy.  Here at Browns, on the rare occasion where your item might not be quite right for you, we make the return process as simple as possible. If your purchase is returned to us within 30 days of placing the order, we’ll offer you a full refund or exchange. Though this must be in its original condition with all its documentation with it. Returns with us are free of charge using our quick and easy returns pack.    Look for a hallmark  Another tell-tell sign is whether a piece has a hallmark. In the UK, for all jewellery that is made from a precious metal such as gold, silver, palladium or platinum, it’s mandatory to provide a hallmark by the Hallmarking Act of 1973. It’s important to be able to identify one of these trusty marks as it proves the purity of the metal, guaranteeing the standard of the piece you’re purchasing.    Check the branding  If your watch or piece of jewellery is from a high-end brand, it’ll come with its own branded hallmark.  A way to tell if your a piece is fake is to look for errors in the design, which is easily done with watches. For example, incorrect font or spacing between letters and numbers are a definite sign of a fake watch. It’s a good idea to find an image of what the watch is supposed to look like and examine the difference. A fake watch will not be made with the same care and craftsmanship of a genuine luxury watch.  If you’re buying a brand that you know well, you’ll recognise the kind of price range to expect; if not, it’s worth researching. A Rolex or Breitling watch, for example, is going to require a bigger budget, so if the price looks too good to be true, it’s likely that it is. At Browns, all of our pre-owned watches have been checked and authenticated for your own peace of mind.    Consider the quality The quality of material used to craft a luxury watch is impeccable, with only the highest quality steel, gold and platinum. These kinds of metal will add weight, so if your watch feels lighter than you’d have thought, it’s advisable to weigh it or compare the weight to that of another luxury watch.  If you’re wondering if your bracelet or necklace is genuine, check the links - they should be smooth and solid looking. If they’re pinched together tightly it’s a sure sign it’s not real. If you have a ring with a stone, it’s worth checking the setting and the mounting. A way to spot a fake stone is to understand that a real gemstone isn’t perfect, and has natural flecks in it that can be spotted with a magnifying glass. Fakes, however, can sometimes look too pristine as they're often made from glass and plastic.    At Browns, we make sure that all necessary pieces have a certificate of authentication. If you have any questions then get in touch or visit one of our stores to speak to one of our highly experienced experts.