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How to spot fake Weiss Jewelry


If you're looking for Authentic Vintage Weiss Jewelry CLICK HERE

For New Collectors
How to spot fake Weiss Jewelry
and other Fakes news for vintage jewelry collectors

Weiss closed its doors in 1971. So when you buy real Weiss jewelry, you know you are adding to your vintage costume jewelry collection--right? Beware of contemporary fakes that have been flooding the market for the past few years. You can find fakes very easily on eBay. Just type "Weiss" in the search engine. You will find thousands of listings, too many listings for the fairly scarce, signed vintage jewels. Remember, Weiss produced a great deal of unsigned jewelry.

Many dealers selling items on eBay out of their homes are essentially honest and just can't tell the difference.

Other dealers know they're selling contemporary fakes. They sell them in auction after auction with the same pieces listed over and over. Some even sell multiple pieces in large lots. Most do not show images of the backs of the jewelry, but that doesn't always protect new collectors. When they first came onto the market, I saw these jewels sell for $60 to $100. I accidentally ended up buying one in a larger assortment of jewelry. Not knowing what else to do with it, I sold it on eBay as "Fake Weiss." Hope it educated a few prospective Weiss buyers!

After investigation, I found that there are several dealers on eBay routinely selling the fakes. These folks have been reported to eBay to no avail, mainly because those who moniter eBay auctions often can't tell a fake from a real piece. It might not even be illegal to sell it, as long as the dealer does not list in the vintage and antique categories. But listing any new jewelry as "Weiss" is misleading.

The counterfeit jewelry is manufactured by a Rhode Island plant. They have now branched off into making earrings to go with the "Weiss" jewels, and are making fake Eisenberg and Lisner as well.

This contemporary "Weiss" jewelry is generally pretty and colorful, but cheaply made. Its okay to buy a fake Weiss as long as you know what it is and pay accordingly--about $10. It's too bad the manufacturers don't just leave their jewels unsigned or sign their own names.

In fact, some buyers are catching on to the deception, due to the fact that the market is now flooded with fakes. This is gradually driving the prices down; but still, these sellers make the bank on holiday & other gift-giving times. There are even buyers who know it's fake and collect it. The jewelry is pretty! But it just is not vintage.

1. There are several ways to spot fakes, but the easiest is to look at the backs. Most of them have the textured backs of inexpensive contemporary jewelry. Click on pictures to open larger, more detailed images:

Real Weiss

Back View

I've never seen a fake diamante Weiss, although Weiss made lots of gorgeous diamante.

Fake Weiss

Back View

Notice the difference between the general construction and the backs of each piece. The vintage designer jewel has a smooth rhodium plated back, which is actually pretty. The fake has a contemporary finish--highly textured with an attempt at an "antique" or oxidized look which actually look like plops of badly mixed paint allowed to dry on the back of the setting.

Compare these next few items:


Real Weiss

Back View


Fake Weiss

Back View

Real Weiss Candle Tree

Back View

2 Fake Weiss candle Trees
When I asked the seller to see images of the backs, she admitted the backs were textured.

Real Weiss Strawberry

Back View

Another Real Weiss Strawberry

Fake Weiss Strawberry

Back View


Real Weiss


Thank you to Sande at Kattslair, Ruby Lane

Back View

Fake Weiss

Back View


With some fake Weiss jewelry, the styles and backs are a different type. The metal backs are textured, but in a different way, more along the line of costume jewelry made in the 1960s & 1970s. Here is an example:


Later Genuine Weiss pieces with textured backs

In the late 1960's and until Weiss closed in 1971, the company did produce some jewelry with textured backs, but the textures and overall quality are much different that those pieces shown above. Some of these pieces are enameled, for instance, the rare Weiss Easter Egg pieces. On these, you can expect a texture like this one:


There may be other kinds. Anyone who purchased Weiss enameled or other jewelry circa 1970, please write and share your photos/knowledge.


2. If you are still unsure, check out the dealer. First, ask the dealer if the jewel is vintage or contemporary. Many with misleading ads will be honest if asked. Also, check out the number of Weiss items the seller is offering. If almost all their stock is "Weiss," all the "Weiss" is colorful and in pristine condition, or if they list more than one identical piece or list large lots of only Weiss jewelry, go elsewhere.

One of many auctions of fake Weiss Christmas tree collections:


3. Go to reputable dealers and antique jewelry fairs to look at and handle real Weiss jewelry. That will give you knowledge beyond the scope of this article, and be much more helpful in teaching you to not only spot fakes, but to date jewelry and learn jewelry construction as well.

If you wish to buy authentic Weiss jewelry, you can start right here at Enchantment:

Buy Authentic Weiss Jewelry

For more information, see Curio: A Vintage Blog for a jewelry collector's experience with buying Weiss counterfeits along with other good pictures of your basic fake Weiss.

Good luck with your collection!

Rebecca Fransway
12-05-2005

P.S. NEWS See Jan. 28 New York Times Article about Counterfeit Weiss

There are more fakes than ever on eBay! See Alert page:

More Fakes: Vintage Jewelry Fakes Alert

Learn More About Weiss Jewelry!

The books just below have large sections about Weiss Jewelry with wonderful photos! We have these books in our own vintage jewelry library.


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This page discusses vintage costume jewelry, antique costume jewelry, rhinestone jewelry, vintage signed unsigned designer jewelry fake Weiss jewelry costume jewelry collectors counterfeit Weiss, with a link to other fake designer jewelry.

Antique and Vintage jewelry