Fine jewelry is precious, sentimental… but also (unfortunately), highly counterfeited.
Aside from the likeness of many of our favorite handbags, shoes, and accessories, many styles from our favorite fine jewelry brands (as well as luxury timepieces) are falsely replicated to deceive shoppers.
But fear not! Our authentication team is on top of it. In fact, we sat down with Rebecca Boyajian-Pecnik, our Fine Jewelry Manager here at FASHIONPHILE, to discuss what every shopper needs to know about fine jewelry authentication. From education to all of the technology we use (among other reputable tools and resources available to us) to ensure that every ultra-luxury item we carry on our site is 100% authentic.
Tell us about you, your background in the fine jewelry industry, and your role with FASHIONPHILE.
I am a Graduate Gemologist & Accredited Jewelry Professional, with the Gemological Institute of America and a Certified Gemologist, with the American Gem Society. Working for companies ranging from the beloved Italian jeweler, Roberto Coin, to Bloomingdales, I have spent the majority of my career in the Gem & Jewelry Industry. Last year, I had the wonderful opportunity to join FASHIONPHILE directly from our luxury retail partner, Neiman Marcus. My role with FASHIONPHILE is focused on growing and strengthening our Fine Jewelry department through its people and our beautiful products. I have an incredibly knowledgeable team of Buyers & Authenticators who support our business and loyal customers.
Walk us through the various tools and resources that your team utilizes daily.
The microscope is just the beginning of our authentication process. At FASHIONPHILE, we use gemological equipment created by world-renowned Scientific & Gemological Labs to access the metals, stones, engravings, and construction of each piece. After an item is received, it goes through a rigorous brand-specific in-house authentication process. Our team of Gemologists and Fine Jewelry experts extensively and meticulously analyze all facets of each jewelry piece.
From your experience, how has the authentication process (and technology associated with it) changed and/or advanced over the years?
With each passing decade, there are significant advancements in gemological testing. The science of Gemology has evolved and with those learnings, more attention is paid to key factors which affect the value of Gemstones and Fine Jewelry.
As an example, the cut of a diamond traditionally referred to as the shape of the stone has become one of the most important factors of beauty, for buyers. The cut of a diamond determines light return, called dispersion and scintillation, but known to many as its captivating “sparkle”! As technology has improved, the most ideal facet arrangements on a diamond have advanced as well. With better polish and symmetry, the more brilliant a diamond of any shape will be.
For Fine Jewelry, various equipment and devices have arrived on the market which assist in authentication calls. The need for these tools, combined with the skill of their creators, pushes the possibilities of what we can measure and the level of assurance we have. This all leads to greater trust and transparency for our customers.
From your experience working with fine jewelry, are there certain brands or particular styles that are frequently counterfeited?
The most commonly counterfeited items we see are of Maisons such as Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels. There is a significant demand for these jewels, and counterfeiters work hard to make “like” items. The secondhand market is a place where buyers must be cautious and observant. This highlights today, more than ever, the importance of buying from a trusted, reliable source.
With the market constantly changing, what are the steps that you and your team take to stay up-to-date?
As FASHIONPHILE has grown, so has our knowledge and talent! Today we can confidently say we have the best team in place than we ever have before, and I only see that growing. Our team is made up of highly educated Gemologists, Geologists, and Fine Jewelry experts. We have several people on our team who have worked in the secondhand market as a career and came to us with a vast amount of knowledge in the Fine Jewelry Authenticity space. Working hands-on with products from our Sellers, there are constant learnings. As Fine Jewelry brands evolve and as science advances, so does our authentication process. Our commitment remains in featuring beautiful pieces and instilling confidence in our buyers.