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Thursday, October 26 2023
How to Spot Fake vs. Authentic Jewelry: Expert Tips for Pawn Shop Shoppers


Pawn shops are one of the best places to find authentic jewelry without breaking the bank; however, you need to ensure that you can tell the difference between fake and real jewelry so that you pay the right price for the right piece. 

Luckily, there are a few tips and tricks of the trade that you can use when shopping to assess whether or not the jewelry you found is real or fake! 

1. Research Average Pricing

The price tag on a piece of jewelry can tell you a lot about the quality. Of course, cheaper pieces are usually fake or plated, whereas more expensive pieces will often be the real deal. 

Sadly, if a price seems too good to be true, that’s probably because it is, and you’re looking at a fake piece of jewelry as opposed to a real one. 

Also, if you are searching for a specific piece, such as a gold chain or a diamond ring, it’s a good idea to do a bit of research ahead of time and find out how much a quality piece costs. That will help you determine which jewelry you see at the pawn shop is real and which is fake. 

2. Look for Hallmarks

A “hallmark” is an official stamp that marks a real gold or platinum piece of jewelry. Not all pieces have them, but they are fairly common, and if you do find one, you’ve likely found an authentic piece of gold jewelry. 

The hallmark is usually visible on the inner band of the ring or on the clasp of a bracelet or necklace; it will show a number from 1 to 999 or from 0k to 24k. 

3. Feel the Weight 

Real gold and silver jewelry is much heavier than fake pieces. In fact, an expert hand can even tell which pieces are simply gold-plated and which are pure gold throughout. 

To get used to the weight of the jewelry, try holding onto a piece you know is made completely of precious metals such as gold or silver and then holding one that is simply plated. You’ll be able to tell the difference in no time!

4. Assess the Coloring

It’s important to understand that real gold never tarnishes, even over long periods of time. It may be dirty or less brilliant, but real gold will never actually be discolored, and it would certainly never turn your skin green. 

A great way to assess jewelry in a shop is to bring a soft polishing cloth with you when you go; if you can gently rub off any dust or dirt, it is far more likely to be real. 

Here at Cash Express, our knowledgeable staff knows the difference between fake and authentic jewelry, so you don’t have to be an expert! We will show you which pieces in our collection are fake and, therefore, much cheaper and which are real, authentic gold, platinum, gemstone, or silver pieces that you’re going to love!

Posted by: AT 11:51 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, October 16 2023
How to Care for Your Vintage Jewelry


Whether you plan to hold on to your vintage jewelry until you leave it behind in your will to your loved ones or you’re thinking about someday selling it, it’s absolutely essential that you take care of your antique jewelry to keep it looking beautiful. 

Luckily, there are just 5 easy steps to follow to take fantastic care of your beloved vintage jewelry. 

1. Remove Any Dust With a Soft Brush

The first step is to use a soft brush to remove any dust particles. If you don’t have a soft brush on hand, you may want to invest in one, as jewelry-cleaning brushes must be exceptionally smooth. 

Even with the perfect brush, it’s still vital to remove the dust extremely gently so as not to scratch the jewelry. 

2. Choose the Right Cleaning Product

Next, you need to select the right cleaning product, and not all jewelry cleaners are made the same. The chemical composition of different metals means they need different types of solutions, so make sure you do your research first. 

Gold Jewelry

When it comes to antique gold jewelry, you need a cleaning solution that contains plenty of water and ammonia. However, while ammonia is necessary, it can also be dangerous. Therefore, it’s important not to leave the cleaning solution on too long. 

Because ammonia is so strong, we don’t recommend making your own solution, but instead, you should purchase an ammonia cleaning product specifically made for gold or platinum. 

Silver Jewelry

All silver vintage jewelry can and should be cleaned with a diluted baking soda solution. In this case, you can make your own at home; just make sure you follow instructions to ensure you use the proper measurements. 

Once you have the solution ready, be sure to apply it gently, as silver is not nearly as strong as gold or platinum. 

Jewelry with Gemstones

Cleaning antique jewelry with gemstones is slightly more complicated than working with gold or silver jewelry. 

For example, some gemstones, such as diamonds, sapphires, and rubies, are extremely strong and can handle an ammonia solution, whereas others cannot. 

Therefore, it’s important to research how to clean the specific gem you’re working with to keep it brilliant and safe. 

Vintage Pearls

If you have a set of vintage pearls, the best way to clean them is actually to wear them. Your skin's natural oils will ensure the pearls stay vibrant and beautiful. 

You can also use a soft cloth and a few drops of olive oil, but make sure to only rub them gently and infrequently. 

3. Use a Soft Cloth to Clean

Once you have the perfect cleaning solution ready for your vintage jewelry, it’s time to actually use it with a soft cloth. 

Apply a small amount of the solution directly to the cloth and rub the jewelry delicately until it shines clean. The cloth can be damp but certainly not wet. And if there are a few hard-to-reach places, you can use a Q-tip with a bit of water and a cleaning solution as well. 

4. Dry & Polish 

After your jewelry is sparkling clean, it’s time to use another soft cloth to dry the piece thoroughly. Any residual liquid could cause serious and lasting damage, as moisture is one of the worst things for antique jewelry. 

You can also take a little extra time to polish your jewelry with a special polishing cloth to make it shine even more. 

5. Store in a Dry Location & Repeat

Finally, it’s essentially that you store your vintage jewelry in a cool, dry location without moisture. You should also continue to clean your antique jewelry every few months to ensure it remains in the perfect condition for whatever it is you want to do with it. 

Now you have all the information you need to protect your new vintage jewelry from Cash Express Pawn Shop or to make sure the jewelry you have is clean and beautiful to be enjoyed or sold! 

Posted by: AT 11:48 am   |  Permalink   |  Email

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Cash Express  • Philadelphia Pawn Shop

731 Chestnut St. Philadelphia, PA 19106 -  (215) 922-1560