Murano Jewellery - Spotting the Fakes

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The superb quality of glass from the Venetian island of Murano has been prized since before the Renaissance. In the fingers, it is so smooth, it's rather like silk, and has the same 'warm' quality, which you don't really expect from glass!

If you're buying Murano glass jewellery online, your primary and easiest guide is the price - type 'Murano' into any auction site and you'll get heaps of results. We all love to get high-quality at a good price, but you're not going to get a pair of genuine Murano glass earrings for a fiver ($10 ish), or a genuine Murano glass heart pendant for less than £20 ($40ish)!

The online market is flooded with lower-quality glass from the Far East, India and South America, which <i>looks</i> like Murano in the pictures ... but how close up are they? Real Murano has a quality which allows the light to pass right through with a pure, water-like clarity, and a jeweller using it will make sure you can see it, even with the limited graphics of the web.

So your second guide is the seller or designer themselves - look around their site or online shop - if they have clear, extensive descriptions and good pictures, along with a good background like guarantees and reviews, you can be pretty sure you're getting the genuine article!

The most popular Murano is foiled - a glass core, encased with gold, silver or aventurina (gold with copper flakes to give an old gold appearance) foil, and then overlaid with coloured glass. This can be quite convincingly reproduced by the fakers with aluminium foil, and amalgams of precious metals, but the end result is evident - once overlaid with glass, these imitations, although attractive, lack the lustre and sparkle provided by the clear glass overlay of the real thing.

The television shopping channel QVC has contributed enormously in helping people spot the rubbish by featuring real Murano glass from jewellery designers who source their glass direct from Murano, and their prices should be used as your own base price guideline. Obviously QVC are a huge company, with enormous buying power, so different pieces by individual designers will plane upwards in price.

Cruel Lady at Red Scorpion Design always uses Murano from reputable suppliers in Britain who buy direct from the craftsmen of the island. To see a sample of designs available, visit Cru's ME Page !
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