Friday, June 10, 2016

Complicated Vintage - Austrian Jewelry Fakes

As we tredge through these times of Fakes, Reproductions and Re-Issues, it's important to remember that there is a geographical component in some cases.
You may find different faked items in your part of the country or outside the US.
I will be discussing the ones that I personally come across in the NY Metropolitan area.

Today's topic is jewelry, specifically Austrian Jewelry.
I recently came upon this set at the end of a long day of hunting.
The color and condition caught my eye and the price was right, so I grabbed it.
Once home, I gave it the once over and grew suspicious.  The color of the setting was a little too "goldtone" and the metal seemed a little light by comparison to other Austrian pieces that I had found.  Notice the tab like setting closures, they're not your standard prong set, they're a cheaper and newer version.
How do we tell?
The newer versions have a more "punched from a pattern" look to them.
So in this front facing picture the red flags are...
1) The color of the gold
2) The weight of the pieces
3) The "punched from a pattern" look to the prongs, they're a little too big and too long
4) The crystals look more like glass than crystal and since Austria is home to crystals, it really wouldn't make sense for them to use glass:)

Now for the back
At first glance, one would think, "Wow, open back settings".
That's one of the tricks to making it look old.
Look at the pin bar, it's hard to see in the pic but it reads "Made Austria".
The only two things that I've ever seen on Austrian pieces is "Made in Austria" or just plain "Austria", never "Made Austria", which has more of a Eastern European sound to it and many of these pieces are coming from the Czech Republic.

It's a beautiful set, but it's not vintage and it took a combination of factors to lead me to that conclusion, which is usually the case.  The better the fakers get, the more you have to look at different areas of the piece.

I felt that this was a good example to start us off with, as true Vintage Austrian jewelry, especially sets, can command decent prices.

So you are now armed with at least a little information before you head out on your weekend hunt!

Good Luck Out There!

If you have more questions, visit me at The Vintage & Antiques Community on G+

Thanks so much for reading!



  1. Good info and tips to look for. Always glad to have it in writing somewhere to refer back to. Otherwise my old brain can get to wondering what it was I read somewhere. :)
    Pinning this to my blogs board.

    1. Thank you Margaret! I was going to do a few pieces per post but what to look for varies with the pieces, so I think it's more effective to do it this way. Thanks so much for pinning and I'm glad you liked the post:)

  2. I like this exact sort of post and always learn something that it seems good to know. I love jewelry of all kinds and as much as I love old and vintage jewelry, I decided long ago never to buy anything because of its age, but for its beauty and my love of it only. Which means I'm certain to have lots of fakes:-)

    1. Thank you Ann! I can get a little long winded sometimes:) but with these fake/repro posts, I think short and to the point is the better way to go.
      I'm actually the same way when it comes to my own jewelry but when it comes reselling/selling whether it's new, old, fake, etc. the buyer should at least be given the appropriate info...which is becoming increasingly more uncommon.