Jewelry is one of the most popular items you can purchase on Etsy.com. There are hundreds of different sellers on the site who promote their gorgeous, handmade jewelry, gemstones, bracelets, rings, and necklaces.
Many of those pieces of artistic jewelry are advertised to have gold, silver, and even diamonds in them! However, there is a lot of debate and discussion about listing these materials on Etsy products, and whether or not those products are legitimated in their design.
Does Etsy sell REAL gold, diamonds, and silver jewelry?
Etsy.com allows sellers to sell items with materials like gold, diamond, silver, and other precious gemstones on their site. Whether these are handmade or refurbished vintage pieces of jewelry, Etsy does allow sellers to post and earn money from them.
However, Etsy also requires that these pieces of jewelry be legitimate, just like every other product on Etsy must be properly labeled and disclosed to the public for purchase.
Some sellers do not follow those rules, and there are consequences for it.
Does Etsy Check if Products are Legit?
Unfortunately, an Etsy shop’s products are not reviewed before a seller is able t list them to their shop.
In fact, sellers will usually write whatever materials they want into their product description in order for it to be optimized in searches on Etsy.
This has become a point of contention in the Etsy community for many buyers and sellers who believe that Esty shops should not be allowed to post whatever they like.
It is only AFTER someone flags down the shop that Etsy moderators will review and determine that the shop is in violation of Etsy rules and agreements. It is then that they will take appropriate action, sometimes removing the shop entirely from the site.
Although Etsy does punish those sites that break the rules, customers don’t like to be misled.
Therefore, if you do accidentally get swindled by a shop, tell Etsy immediately and then begin the refund process!
How Do I Know if the Gold & Jewelry is Real on Etsy?
The truth of the matter is that many customers and sellers don’t know their jewels and gold are fake until its too late, or even never!
Unless you know how to appraise jewelry or take it to an appraiser to be looked at, most likely, you won’t know if your item is legitimate – this is why Etsy reviews and customer comments are essential!
Customers will try to warn other customers about the dangers of certain products, or about the lies that sellers have told them. If you see many bad reviews, shop somewhere else.
However, keep in mind that some buyers don’t know that they received a false item, and will be very grateful to sellers for selling them a “real” golden ring for cheap.
Furthermore, there are items like silver, gold, diamonds, and other gemstones that have significant characteristics when it comes to recognizing their legitimacy that many people CAN check for themselves:
Many sites will tell you their products are made from pure silver – that is not always the case.
Silver products can also be outfitted with other metals or alloys that can hurt your skin or tarnish more quickly over time if paired.
Here are a few things to note:
- Pure silver will not turn your finger green over time where you wear it, while rings that are “silver” with many other metals within will oxidize and change your skin color over time.
- Other rings that are listed as “silver” can be made from materials like nickel, which can cause rashes or dermatitis on the skin where it is worn for too long.
- Legitimate silver will tarnish and start to look black on the ring, which can rub off on your finger.
If you find you do have a legitimate silver ring, taking it to get polished will remove that tarnish from the ring and prevent it from getting onto your hand.
If you don’t have a legitimate ring, consider leaving a truthful review on the Etsy shop and even try to get a refund for it.
Golden bands are classic for weddings or shows of wealth. Many people own a golden object from a family member for their wedding or something they’ve bought for themselves.
But how do you tell if it is real gold?
- Measure the Size & Weight –
Gold is dense and heavy. If it is heavy and also a small size, it is most likely the real deal.
- Calculate Density –
If you buy a 14 karat gold ring from Etsy, the density should be 13.1 grams per cubic cm (other calculations are online).
- Check for Tarnish or Rust –
Gold does NOT tarnish or rust, as it is a precious metal. If it tarnishes or changes the color of your finger, it is not pure gold.
Gemstones are easy to remake, synthesize in labs, or create out of glass. This makes it very difficult to shop for them, especially on websites like Etsy.
While customers would rather shop at legitimate retailers, their prices are sometimes too incredibly high for them to stick to the real thing. Instead, customers begin to stop caring whether or not their ruby, emerald, or topaz ring is a real one.
Instead, they will search for cheaper options online and be happy with their purchase no matter what.
But what if you want to know if it is a real gemstone?
There are a few at-home tests you can do:
- If you can mold or reshape the stone with heat or pressure, it is not a legit gemstone (don’t hit it with a hammer! Real stones break, too)
- Check the coloring against gemstone comparison charts to see if it correctly matches the gem you thought you bought
- Stones that don’t weigh much or are easy to see-through in bright lighting are most likely glass or replications of that stone
- If there are gas bubbles inside the stone, it is most likely an imitation
- Rough or sandy-feeling stones are not considered to be legitimate gemstones
There are many other identifiers, but these are just a few to help you out. If you don’t think your methods are working at home, take it somewhere to be appraised.
Are They Really “Diamonds”?
Many couples like to purchase completely unique rings for hundreds of dollars less than big-brand diamond rings for their weddings or renewed vows.
For these situations, they will often turn to Etsy.com and buy rings that are completely handmade and like no other ring in the world.
While this is a beautiful way to surprise your significant other, many buyers on Etsy don’t know how to watch out for fake gemstones – especially diamonds!
How to tell if it is a diamond at home:
- Breathing on the diamond will create a fog – if the fog doesn’t lift very quickly it is probably a fake
- Real diamonds have “inclusions” or imperfections, while fakes look perfect. Use a magnifying glass to find those inclusions.
- Black lights shining on a diamond will make the diamond glow blue in the dark. If you see a green or yellow-like color, it may not be real.
Legitimate sellers of diamonds on Etsy do not like that scam-sellers are able to list diamonds as part of their products, especially since it is so easy to try and trick people before their ring arrives weeks later in the mail.
This is where trusted reviews come in!
If you have any doubt AT ALL in the legitimacy of a seller’s product, shop elsewhere!
Can I Trust the Reviews and Information on Etsy for Jewelry?
This is a complicated question.
As we mentioned before, trusting reviews may be the only way you can know for sure if you are getting a legitimate gold, silver, or gemstone purchase on Etsy.com. However, there are buyers out there who believe their fake gold or silver product is a real one.
This means that you will see countless good reviews from buyers who love their “discounted” gold or silver item. Not only will they sing the praises of the seller, but they will mislead other customers into buying from that seller because of their good reviews.
This is such a difficult thing for Etsy and the Etsy Community to puzzle out – how do you catch scammers when their customers leave five-star reviews?
Marking Materials on Products
Well, a lot of it comes down to being savvy about materials and the parts that go into these products. For example, if an item is listed as a “Gold Ring” on Etsy, but the “materials” are checked off as, “gold, silver, copper, nickel,” etc. all at once, then most likely the seller is just trying to get page views.
The more their product “matches” searches, the more likely they are going to be found.
This is already a red flag.
You should only buy from sellers who have five-star reviews and properly mark their products for what the description states.
Read Product Descriptions
If you read “gold ring” and don’t look any further into the product description, you are more likely to end up with an illegitimate piece of jewelry.
Product descriptions will be filled with either true or false search-words that cater to getting found among hundreds of other Etsy products.
If a product description is ONLY filled with search-words and no specific descriptions on how the item is made or where the materials are sourced, then most likely, the product is not legitimate.
Furthermore, product descriptions tend to be contradictory when they aren’t a legitimate purchase.
For example, if you search for a “Gold Ring” and the product description even mentions a different product, metal or alloy – such as “this silver ring” or “this golden bracelet” – then you are definitely not working with a professional.
Read, read, read those product descriptions!
What Can I do if I Purchased Fake Gold or Diamonds on Etsy?
The only thing to do at this point – once you’ve figured out that it is a fake – is to request a refund and leave a review.
You have a responsibility as a buyer to warn other buyers about the fake merchandise of an Etsy shop – otherwise, they will continue to scam other customers.
While you are going through the refund process, if you have appraisal papers stating that your piece of jewelry is a fake, submit it to Esty as proof to make sure they not only get you your refund but also take down the shop – or give the seller another chance to fix their store.
Other than that, there really isn’t much more you can do. It is always a risk when you buy on Etsy that your gold or diamonds may not be legitimate.
If you really want the real deal, you may have to pay higher prices at retail stores instead.
If, however, you’d like a beautiful, handmade piece for cheaper, you can still most likely find really great, legitimate works of jewelry art on Esty.com!
What is the Refund Policy on Etsy for Fake Gold, Diamonds & Jewelry?
Etsy will always receive your refund request and reach out to the seller to investigate the situation.
Any proof or information you have to show that your item is a fake is very helpful – such as photos or scanned documents.
If the company decides that there has indeed been a violation of Etsy’s policies, your money will be returned, and the shop may even be taken down.
Make sure to be patient, honest, and don’t harass the seller. Leave it to Etsy to fix the problem and get your money back.