Local jeweler warns of scam after some lose hundreds, even $2,000, for fake jewelry

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LIBERTY, Missouri — A scam preying on jewelry stores and consumers across the country makes its way to the Kansas City metro.

A local jeweler says it happens outside of gas stations across the metro. She said one of her customers was approached by a man and child selling fake jewelry and a sob story.

“The only thing we can really say is I’m so sorry,” Liberty’s Gold and More Jewelers manager Brittany Olesen said.

She hates being the bearer of bad news to people who’ve bought bad jewelry outside of their shop.

Aside from being a jewelry store, they also purchase gold and silver. The store’s analyzer machine allows Olesen to break down exactly what metals are in the jewelry.

In the last month, Olesen says they’ve seen an uptick in counterfeit chains, bracelets and rings.

“All of the jewelry is a yellow gold color,” Olesen said.

But it’s not gold. Olesen found that the fake ones are made out of copper, zink, nickel and lead.

“So, shelling out money for something that isn’t real, you know, and being told or coerced by a child or anything like that it’s really disheartening and it makes a lot of people quite angry,” Olesen said.

Her customers claim they bought these pieces outside gas stations across the KC metro and paid scammers with varied descriptions anywhere from $20 to $2,000.

Olesen said she talked with the man who paid $2,000 thinking he was getting an expensive set of real gold.

“The ring was actually stamped as 18 karat, and then three chains and two bracelets.”

But it was all fake.

Olesen said real rings will always have a 10, 14 or 18 karat stamp along the shank of the ring. The knock-offs are in a different spot.

“The fake ones are actually stamped underneath the symbol,” she said. “It’s definitely out of the ordinary. Sometimes they’re crooked, which it shouldn’t be. It should follow the flow of the ring.”

Olesen said it’s smart to get your gold verified by a jeweler before you buy it.

“Please do not purchase any jewelry from a gas station. More than likely it’s not going to be real,” Olesen said.

She said they talked with jewelers in Texas, Florida and New York who are seeing the same knock-offs in their stores.

Authorities say if you bought this bogus jewelry, call your local police department and file a report.

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