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TrueFacet's Fine Jewelry and Watch Guide

Insider Tips for Shopping Used Designer Jewelry and Watches Online

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We run down the biggest red flags on the most commonly counterfeited luxury items: used designer jewelry, namely Cartier watches, Rolex watches, and Tiffany & Co. silver jewelry. Protect yourself from forged items by paying attention to these warning signs.

Cartier Watches


1. Weight. Cartier watches are produced with high-quality materials and, in turn, are noticeably heavier than a knock-off manufactured with sub-par, lightweight materials.

2. Glass. The face of a Cartier watch is made of scratch-resistant glass to protect it from everyday scrapes and nicks. Therefore, gently-worn, authentic Cartier watches should have virtually no scratches or imperfections on the face. If you’re able to, pour a droplet of water onto the glass; if the water beads instead of smears, the watch is likely authentic.

3. Logo. As you scrutinize the details looking for signs of a forgery, it can be easy to overlook something as obvious as a misspelled logo. Carefully read the logo on the watch face and compare its script typeface to an authentic Cartier logo.

4. Adhesive. Cartier does not use adhesive to affix its parts together. Inspect the edges of your watch to see if there are any traces of glue residue that may indicate this is a fake.

5. Gemstone. A Cartier watch’s crown is set with a gemstone which should be securely placed and not glued into its position.

6. Serial Number. Every Cartier watch has a serial number engraved on the side. To verify the piece’s authenticity, call the manufacturer and cross-reference the listed serial number with Cartier’s official records which should match your watch model.

Rolex Watches


1. Magnification of Date. If you have a Rolex watch with a date on the front, carefully inspect the date’s magnification. Rolex adds a magnifying glass that enlarges the extremely small date window by about two and a half times. Forged Rolex watches often have fakes with no or a smaller magnification.

2. Ticking Sounds. Rolex watches do not make loud ticking noises. If you hear a standard ticking, the watch is definitely fake.

3. The Case Back. A Rolex with a clear case back is most likely a fake—unless it’s a rare vintage model from the 1930s. There is also no engraving on the exterior of a Rolex, but there is engraving on the interior’s side.

Tiffany & Co. Jewelry

tiffany real v fake

1. Weight. Tiffany & Co. jewelry is heavier than counterfeit pieces which rely on inexpensive (and lighter) materials to recreate Tiffany & Co.’s designs.

2. Soldered Links. If you’re handling a Tiffany & Co. chain bracelet or necklace, study the links which should be soldered and never pinched together. Gaps or unsealed links are a good indication the piece is a fake.

3. Stamps and Engravings. Look for a stamp of “T & Co. 925” or “Tiffany & Co. 925.” The 925 indicates that the piece is sterling silver. Each silver piece should have its own stamp. So, if you have a bracelet with a pendant, the clasp of the bracelet and the pendant should each have the stamp. If not, then your item may be a fake. And double-check for misspellings and that the engraved letters are clear, aligned and evenly spaced.

4. Tiffany Blue Packaging. Tiffany & Co.’s signature “Tiffany Blue” is actually a trademarked color (Pantone PMS Number 1837) and counterfeiters may try to replicate the color without success. Also Tiffany & Co. jewelry comes in a suede cloth bag inside its box. Forged jewelry may be in an inexpensive velvet bag, stamped to look like an authentic bag.

If you have more questions about the authenticity of your watch or fine jewelry, contact a TrueFacet Concierge representative.

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