Finding unique jewelry pieces in the thrift stores of New Mexico - from antique turquoise to modern designs from major retailers is easier than you think. One of the most consistently trendy metals to sport is gold. This timeless metal never goes out of style and is versatile enough to wear everyday, so it is no surprise that it is one of the most exciting things to discover in the jewelry case of your local thrift store. Goodwill Industries of New Mexico receives donated treasures from around the state (country and even world!); with a constantly circulating selection of jewelry pieces. So finding a piece of gold jewelry that you absolutely love is always possible, but how can you tell that a piece of gold jewelry is real? Here’s some pro tips that will help you get the most bang for your buck as you thrift around town.
Check for a stamp Lots of items made of genuine gold will sport a stamp on the inner portion of the band in the case of a ring or bracelet, or on the back of the pendant in a necklace. These numbers indicate the carat quality of the piece. If you see the number “416,” you're holding a ten carat piece. “585” indicates a 14 carat piece of jewelry, while “750” is 18 carats.
Look for the tell tale signs of gold plating and filling Gold jewelry pieces that have been constructed with gold filling or plating can be just as beautiful as the real deal- but how to tell the difference? Often these items will showcase a stamp similar to the kind mentioned above, but in this case, you'll see a fraction that tells the purchaser the ratio of gold to other metals. For example, you may see a stamp that reads “1/20 14K,” which means that about five percent of the piece is 14 carat gold. Other indicators include stamps such as “GP” for gold plated or “HGE” for heavy gold electroplate.
Test with a jewelry cleaning cloth or magnet Vintage pieces of gold may be lacking the markings that often indicate its quality. In this case, you can simply apply a jewelry cleaning cloth and see if some of the coloring comes off indicating a fake. Don't have a jewelry cleaning cloth handy? Grab a magnet. Real gold won't be attracted to it.
No matter the treasure you're searching for, the wealth of items circulating through New Mexico's Goodwill locations means that you're bound to find something priceless - from vintage clothing to genuine gold. Getting lost in the aisles of your neighborhood thrift store isn't just a good time, but the opportunity to find real value for a small amount of dough. Happy shopping!
About The Author
Maggie Grimason is a blog writer living in Albuquerque, NM. She grew up in a family of social servants and teachers in northern Indiana and finds that blogging for Goodwill Industries of New Mexico satisfies creative energies as well as her commitment to ethical living and community service.