Clarksville jewelry store reports surge in gold scams

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Posted at 5:11 PM, Dec 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-02 20:07:05-05

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Some jewelry can be priceless, for all the wrong reasons. The owners of Clarksville Jewelry and The Gold Exchange say they've seen a surge in customers coming in, thinking they had necklaces and rings worth thousands, that were all fakes.

"People are being approached at gas stations, convenience stores, grocery stores, that kind of thing. Somebody walks up to them, says hey I’m down on my luck, I need some money to get home," said Andrew Schmidt, co-owner of Clarksville Jewelry.

Schmidt says, over the last two weeks, 31 people have walked into their stores sharing the same similar story. "If you look at the pieces, they are marked correctly. They have 18 karat stamps on there. To the untrained eye, you would think this is gold," said Schmidt. "Anything that’s nice and of value, everyone wants to clone it to try to fool the next person."

So, outside of talking to experts, how can you tell what's real and what's fake? Sometimes it's all in how it feels. Schmidt showed us the difference between a real gold necklace and a fake one. The real one was technically smaller, but weighed a lot more. "It’s a little bit smaller of a chain and doesn’t even have a pendant on there and this weighs more. Big weight difference," he explained.

Schmidt says you can also spot a fake by just looking really closely. "Some of the tooling in the chain, you just don’t see it typically in the jewelry industry," he said.

As for those responsible for this scam, Schmidt hopes their time is coming and urges anyone who encounters this group to call your local law enforcement. "It’s just not right," said Schmidt.

He says, while you can occasionally make a great purchase on jewelry for much less than what it’s worth, most of the time, you should trust the old adage “if it’s too good to be true — it usually is.”