Tried searching for antique jewellery to purchase on eBay lately? Have you been more than a little suspicious over the sheer number of items available at rock bottom prices? Don’t some of these bargains look just too good to be true? OF COURSE they do!

Just a few clicks into eBay’s jewellery category and you are met with an increasing, bewildering array of ‘rare’ ‘estate’ jewellery propping up the ‘genuine antiques’ section which have in all probability fallen off the back of a Chinese factory assembly line to be there.

But how do you separate the nice from the bad; the brand new from the old; the actual from the fake; the bling from the bong, etc..? Here are some top tips from one antique jewellery seller trying hard in order to avoid being tarred with exactly the same phony brush:

Read the wording meticulously: Common phrases to watch out for are ‘vintage inspired’ and ‘antique style’ which usually mean they’re about as old as Hugh Hefner’s latest acquisition. lakshmi hara Currently you can find at the very least two successful UK based eBay sellers which advertise their jewellery internationally in the ‘genuine antiques’ category under titles such as ‘Rare estate’ or ‘English estate’ jewellery. It takes plenty of meticulous reading to spot the ‘antique/Victorian style’ giveaway clue that, regardless of the attractiveness of the pieces, nevertheless means they’re totally new. A fast email to each seller confirmed this. ‘Gold filled’, ‘GF’, ‘GP’ or ‘rolled gold’ also mean that them is not made of solid gold, though it could nevertheless be an antique. ‘Simulated’ is another term employed for fake gems, such as diamonds, which are unlikely to b found in authentic antique jewellery.

Have a consider the seller’s other things: If they’re selling a lot of uncannily similar items then a one you’ve taken a sparkle to is unlikely to function as one-off piece that a genuine antique should be.

Check the location of the item: If it’s Thailand then a chances are it’s not going to be always a priceless Lalique. Remember if them is found overseas, you run a larger threat of it being lost or damaged in the post. Plus, depending on the country it’s coming from, you may not manage to get a reimbursement if you’re unhappy with it.

Does owner offer returns? If an item works out to be not as described, you should be entitled to go back it for a reimbursement anyway. But when they give you a cooling off period then not just are they obviously keen to maintain good customer relations, but they’re probably quite certain that you’ll be happy with the purchase

Most importantly, check the seller’s legitimacy: Look at the details of their feedback comments – are they mainly buyer or seller comments? If there aren’t many comments it might be because owner hasn’t been established on eBay for very long. That might either mean they have had to begin over with a fresh eBay account for dubious reasons or it might simply mean that this is a new venture – where case they will be keen to earn an excellent feedback rating. Should they display links to their website then, even if they’re not even an established business, they at the very least have nothing to hide.

Email owner if you still aren’t sure: They’re required by eBay to provide a precise description of their items for sale. So ask owner how old the piece is; if you can find any scratches or flaws; if the stones or gems are real or simulated; whether you can find any hallmarks (although many genuine antiques aren’t hallmarked) and, if not, how they can tell that them is the age they say it is.