Cartier has a reputation for producing iconic, highly coveted pieces that have cornered the market in luxury jewelry. Unfortunately, they’ve also developed a reputation for spawning a huge market in fakes. Keen to capitalize on the brand’s success, countless counterfeiters have made a mint from selling knock-off bracelets, necklaces, and rings. Some of the fakes wouldn’t fool a baby. Others are almost identical to the real thing. If you want to shop with confidence, learning how to spot the difference between an authentic Cartier piece and an imposter is crucial. If you’re in the market for some finger bling, here’s how to tell the difference between a fake Cartier ring and a real one.
Check For Any Minor Imperfections
Real Cartier rings are exquisite. They’re crafted from the finest materials and made with a flawless attention to detail. Fake Cartier rings aren’t. Even the finest copy-cat rings are likely to bear some tiny imperfection that gives the game away. Put the ring under a microscope and inspect every square inch. If you notice any flaws in the design – anything that seems slightly off, any tiny defects – then there’s a very good chance you’re looking at a fake.
Study the Stamping
A genuine Cartier ring will be stamped on the back with Cartier’s logo, the jewelry’s metal type (Au 750 or 750 for 18k gold or Pt 950 or 950 for platinum), the ring size in mm, and a unique serial number. The stamp should be evenly spaced and, of course, free of any spelling mistakes. It will always be printed in Cartier’s signature script – a different font is an obvious, but remarkably common, giveaway. If it’s an engagement ring, the stamp should also include the diamond carat weight, along with the usual two-digit ring size, serial number and Cartier logo.
Inspect the Metal
Cartier uses only 18k gold and platinum in its jewelry. The type of metal used should be indicated on the stamp on the back of the ring. Check for any telltale signs such as discoloration, chips, or even signs of another metal hiding beneath the top patina, all of which are giveaways of a fake.
Weigh It Up
High-quality materials have a certain weight to them that lower-grade materials lack. If the ring doesn’t feel substantial, it’s an indicator that it’s not genuine.
Check the Box
One of the giveaway signs of a fake Cartier ring has less to do with the ring itself and more to do with the package it comes in. As wpdiamonds.com writes, unless you’re dealing with a very clever fraudster, counterfeit jewelry typically comes in fake Cartier boxes. Inspecting the box is an easy way to tell if your ring is real or not. A genuine inner box will feature the Cartier logo printed in gold on the inside of the lid. If the inner box displays the logo on the top, take it as read that whatever’s lurking inside the box is a fake. The outer presentation box, on the other hand, should feature the Cartier logo on the top. The inside of the boxes should be either lined in black satin or white fabric. If it’s a modern ring, the box should feature a push release button on the front.
Check the Certificate
As brandsblogger.com notes, when you buy a Cartier ring, you should also receive a certificate of authenticity. If you’re buying new, this should be provided as a matter of course. If you’re buying second-hand, the seller should be able to provide you with their original version. Check that the serial number on the certificate matches the serial number on the ring. Although it doesn’t take too much work to print a fake certificate with the relevant serial number, it’s a surprisingly common mistake that forgers often neglect to check.
Verify the Seller
If someone approaches you on the street asking for $40 for a ‘genuine’ Cartier ring, then it doesn’t take a genius to work out what’s happening. Unfortunately, most counterfeiters are more subtle in their techniques and can be surprisingly convincing. Take the advice of truefacet.com and verify the sellers reputation before committing to a deal. Check out their website and research any customer reviews. As it’s very easy for sellers to post their own reviews on their website, be sure to check as many different sources as possible. While you’re scrutinizing the website, pay attention to the little details: if, for example, all contact is driven through a contact form and there’s no mention of address details, direct contact numbers or email addresses, it’s a sign that something may be afoot. Also take a moment to check the details of where the product will be shipped from – if there’s no information, take it as a warning sign. If you’re buying directly from a website without first seeing the ring in person, always ask the seller to send high-definition photographs of the ring. Once you receive them, study them against pictures of an authentic ring of the same model. Any difference, no matter how slight, should set off alarm bells.
Check the Price
Whether you’re buying new or pre-owned, a Cartier ring isn’t going to come cheap. Or at least, it shouldn’t. Although it’s tempting to go with the cheapest piece you find, be wary. If the price seems too good to be true, it very probably is. Check the market value of the ring you’re interested in: if you’re offered a price that’s way below this, it’s highly unlikely you’ll be bringing home an authentic ring at the end of the day.
Get it Appraised
Forgers are getting cleverer by the day. While there’s still plenty of very obvious fakes doing the rounds, there’s also an ever-growing number of counterfeits that are so deceptively close to the real thing, an armchair expert has little chance of spotting them. If you’re in any doubt as to whether you’re dealing with a fake Cartier ring or an authentic piece, the only way to guarantee full peace of mind is by getting it independently appraised by an expert. It may cost you in the short term, but it’s worth it when you consider the risk of spending a small fortune on something that’s not worth the box it comes in.