How To Shop for Authentic Georgian Jewelry

How To Shop for Authentic Georgian Jewelry
by: Ben Tseytlin - on Antiques & Jewelry

Jewelry from the nation of Georgia is beautiful, distinct and highly sought after, so much so that the market has become filled with fakes. Below are some tips that will help you identify the real from the fakes whether you’re shopping online or in a physical store.

Characteristics of Georgian Jewels

Georgian jewelers are known for stone settings which incorporate a crimped collet which is cut between crimping to produce protrusions which are prong like. The collets will usually be constructed from a thin piece of sheet metal which is tightly burnished to prevent both air and moisture from creating tarnish or foils within the areas that are closed back.

When inspecting jewelry online or in a store, if you see a bunch of gaps between the stones and collet edges this is a sign that the jewelry could be faked. A genuine jewel which is high in quality will always have a collet which is finely made. Georgians are also known for setting clear stones inside silver while colored stones were usually set inside gold. These stones will usually have settings that are closed back and foiled. For the clear stones this meant greater reflectivity.  Colored foils are popular because they can be utilized to produce color within stones that are otherwise clear, while enhancing the vibrancy of colored stones. If an opaque stone was used, such as agate, the back would often be left open.

Rose Cuts

The rose cut is very popular in Georgia, but the difference between real and fake jewels is that the fakes will always be crudely designed, with low quality diamonds and silver settings which are crimped or lumpy. In authentic Georgian jewelry, the older wheels which were utilized to cut the gemstones were much slower than their modern counterpart, which means this will not be as precise. As a result, the facets should not be perfectly uniform. Besides, classical Georgia jewels were made prior to the discovery of diamonds in South Africa so the supply was greatly restricted. Therefore, the diamond quality in authentic Georgian jewelry is not as high as modern diamonds, especially those mined in Southern Africa.


Paste jewelry makes heavy use of glass stones, and was considered an art form in classical Georgia. Much of this jewelry has survived to the modern era because these jewels have a lower likelihood of being scrapped or broken up when compared to traditional jewels that use fine gemstones. Authentic Georgian paste will almost always have a single black colored dot which is painted on the culet. This was done to give it depth, and some enthusiasts have dubbed it black dots, which are very difficult to duplicate in fake jewels since the inclusion of the black dot required a significant amount of labor. Some fake Georgian earrings do have a hole, but it is near the rear of the closed back, which gives the illusion of the black dot in front, but a true Georgian jewel would never have it.