Hello again! Today's segment will focus on a classic and very versatile Tiffany & Co piece - The Return to Tiffany Heart Padlock charm and chain.
Tiffany & Co padlock charms are not only unique and beautiful; they are also pieces that can be used in many different ways. Since these padlock charms can be opened and closed, you can use them on a necklace, as a bracelet charm, bag charm or even attach them to your key rings. Perfect ways to add a Tiffany touch to anything you own! :)
For these same reasons, fake versions of this piece are also quite prolific. Let's now examine and compare an authentic piece from a fake one. Below are a few qualities you should take note of when inspecting this piece:
1. SIZE OF THE PADLOCK CHARM
The authentic Return to Tiffany Heart padlock charm measures approx 1 inch long (including the U shape section). The picture below shows the fake charm (on the left) and the real charm (on the right). Note that, at least for this particular fake piece, the fake charm is much larger than the real item. In this case, bigger is not necessarily better. Also note that the width of the fake char is much thinner than that of the authentic version.
Below is the link so you can take a closer look at the authentic piece:
2. QUALITY OF THE ITEM
Tiffany & Co. maintains very strict and high quality standards on all of its items. This applies not only to the style of the item, but also the materials / metals used. The company ONLY uses 925 Sterling silver to manufacture its silver pieces. Let's take a look at the picture below:
From here, we can clearly see the rust on the fake heart charm. Sterling silver does tarnish / turn darker over time. And there are certain rare instances where rust can form on a sterling item, but this is quite rare and only happens when the item is exposed to very harsh conditions for extended periods of time.
The fake charm shows rusting on the spring area as well as in the U shape area. I have not seen this happen with any authentic padlock charms.
As I was taking pictures of the charms, the spring section of the fake version also just broke apart after I pulled on it carefully! The picture shows the broken charm which clearly shows the low quality of the item.
3. LOGO ON CHARM
Let's now take a look at how the logos look for the Real vs. Fake Heart charm:
Immediately, you will notice that on the fake item, the logo is slightly larger in size and is significantly more shallow in the print. The font used (especially on the logo on the back) is also different from the authentic piece. This difference is quite subtle though and is hard to tell if the charms are not side by side.
Take a look at the pictures below:
In the picture above, you can see that the "Return to Tiffany New York" etching is quite shallow on the fake one (Fake on the left side).
Back section of Return to Tiffany Heart Padlock charms (Left: Fake; Right: Real)
Since this set came with the padlock charm and Tiffany & Co. chain, let's also take a closer look at the Tiffany & Co necklace chain and compare:
4. LOGO AND QUALITY OF CHAIN CLASP
The authentic version of the Tiffany & Co chain clasp that comes with this padlock charm should be more of a rectangular lozenge shape, not oval. Although there are Tiffany & Co chain clasps that have this distinct oval shape, these are the ones that are also marked with Elsa Peretti's signature on the other clasp. Let's take a look at the difference below:
Aside from the shape of the clasp, also watch out for the quality of the chain. The fake version is the one on top. The logo imprinted on the clasp is an immediate giveaway that this particular chain is a fake. The Tiffany & Co logo barely fits and is squished / touching the finding that attaches the clasp to the next piece. This will never happen with an authentic chain clasp.
The details pointed out in this article are just some of the indications that can help you determine whether a piece is a real or fake Tiffany & Co item. It does take a lot of time and research to be able to distinguish the difference, but hopefully, this article helps in your search for another authentic and wonderful Tiffany & Co pieces! Have a wonderful day!
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