Buying preowned Chanel makes for extremely savvy shopping because you can save a bundle, and many shoppers search for their long-coveted pieces online. However, if you are searching for, say, a pair of preowned Chanel earrings online, you have to be very careful not to get scammed. The wisest thing to do is visit a reputable jewelry store selling vintage Chanel jewelry and browse through their selection.
To help you out in your search, we have created a guide to Chanel earrings with practical tips on how to spot counterfeit items. Read on to find out more.
Genuine Chanel costume earrings are made of base metals
Earrings from the universally loved Chanel costume line are made of base metals almost by definition. These include rhodium, stainless steel, and rhodium over steel. Precious metals such as gold, platinum and sterling are never used for this costume line.
Precious metals and jewels are used in boutique lines
Chanel has used precious metals and jewels in their boutique lines such as the high-end “Comète,” “Camélia,” “Baroque,” “Ultra,” “Bridal” and “1932.” These lines boast outstanding custom earrings and if you happen to find a vintage pair, purchasing them will be an invaluable investment. Other lines from this category that you should definitely be on the lookout for are “Designer,” “Mademoiselle,” and “Coco.”
Chanel signature stamps by eras
Chanel has varied its signature stamps throughout different time periods. To be able to tell a fake piece from genuine, you should look at both the type and placement of the signature marks displayed on the piece. More specifically, inspect the font, depth and location of the insignias.
Costume jewelry made before 1939 wasn’t marked, so it’s particularly difficult to determine its authenticity unless you are an expert. The stamps only started to appear between the 1950s and the early 1960s, so authentic Chanel jewelry from that period will have a simple Chanel logo in all capital characters, sometimes accompanied by a line of three stars underneath. Since the stamping technique was at its onset back in the day, the hallmarks most often look uneven.
Chanel jewelry started featuring the stamped brand name and the copyright symbol in the 1970s, which changed again a decade later. In the 1980s, Chanel jewelry had a trademark logo, along with the insignia, copyright symbol and the year of manufacturing. From 1986 to 1990, the jewelry had two numbers on either side of the Chanel insignia in the center of the logo placard. The way the year of manufacturing was displayed changed again in the early 1990s, and it was in the form of a two-digit number and a season code.
Laser etching on jewelry made since the early 2000s
Since the early 2000s, Chanel incorporated laser etching in the jewelry production process. Genuine Chanel costume earrings produced since then should be laser-engraved. You can recognize laser etching by how crisp the logo and font are.
Indications of genuine Chanel quality
There are tell-tale signs for spotting fake Chanel jewelry other than stamping and laser etching. For example, Chanel earrings should have a double-forged back, whereas the stones shouldn’t show even so much of a possibility of falling out. What’s more, the metal shouldn’t bend but instead feel solid to the touch.
Coco Chanel’s collaboration with Robert Goossens is reflected in the early baroque and Byzantine influences on Chanel jewelry. A great many vintage Chanel pieces from that period (the 1950/60s) feature Gripoix glass elements – a jewel-toned stone made from molten glass, which is what was used to create the signature Chanel faux pearl luster.
Additionally, costume earrings manufactured between the 1970s and 1990s should feel heavy since a great majority was made from a heavy base metal.
Know your jeweler
Your best guarantee that the vintage Chanel earrings you are buying are genuine is to buy them from a reputable jewelry store that knows vintage jewelry well. At Leo Hamel Fine Jewelry & Engagement Ring Store, we’ve been selling genuine vintage jewelry since 1980. Our Graduate Gemologists and seasoned jewelry buyers carefully assess the authenticity of every piece of vintage jewelry before we buy it, so you can be sure that you’re getting the real deal from us. If vintage Chanel jewelry or other exquisite vintage jewelry brands are what your heart desires, stop by our San Diego Avenue store and check out our memorable selection!