Complicated Vintage - Fake Czech Jewelry
These pieces are made in both Eastern Europe and China. As they are usually large and striking in appearance, one may overlook the back of the brooch or necklace, which shows an unplated back of visible solder marks. One more reason to always look for pictures of the back of items. If a seller is not showing you the back of a piece, there's usually a reason.
This is a large flower brooch that I picked up 5 or 6 years ago, in the very beginning of the whole "fake" craze. At the time, I believed it to be a genuine unplated item. These pieces actually come from a warehouse/s of new jewelry pieces made to look old. Some of these pieces may be signed, so don't let that fool you either.
The bottom line, if an item isn't plated or coated, don't take the chance. It was a valuable learning lesson for me years ago and my first introduction into the "fakes" market.
Really quite a shame, as the brooch was very striking but I have to admit that from the beginning I did feel that even on the front of the brooch, there was "a little too much going on"...too many different kinds of stones and shapes.
There's a flip side to this, as some sellers will take original vintage jewelry items and silver or gold "paint" them to make the finish/plating appear to be in better, like new condition. Again, be sure to look at picture of the back. If the finish looks a little bright and thickly done, it's been retouched. Usually this done on top of a badly damaged finish and there is really no prep work involved, so your odds of having this thick coating chip or peel off, are very high.
Remember that almost every vintage piece will show some kind of small wear. Simple things like hand lotion and perfume can add wear to the finish of an item. If a piece looks too good to be true, it usually is.
Once again, good luck out there and happy hunting!
Thanks so much for reading!