GIA, eBay Guarantee Jewelry Authenticity


Online marketplace eBay now includes fine jewelry in the recent expansion of its authenticity guarantee, and is collaborating with the GIA to verify the condition, quality, and accuracy of an eBay fine jewelry listing for potential buyers.

Fine jewelry authenticated through this multi-point inspection process is marked on eBay’s marketplace with an authenticity-guarantee badge. Verified jewelry also receives an authentication card with a QR code, which allows the buyer to view its documentation and learn more about how it was verified.

“The launch of authenticity guarantee for jewelry is an incredible milestone, and we’re thrilled by the immediate positive response we have seen from our communities of buyers and sellers,” says Tirath Kamdar, general manager of luxury at eBay.

EBay says fine jewelry is the fifth category that receives the brand’s authentication service; other categories include sneakers, watches, handbags, and trading cards. EBay said it has authenticated more than two million items since introducing its guarantee in 2020. It expects the program to exceed five million items in the next two years.

eBay GIA authentication
GIA experts will inspect fine jewelry items eligible for authentication within two business days of receiving the item, eBay says, checking for everything from metal type to its logo to see if it matches its description.

Kamdar says this was a “crucial next step” for eBay’s luxury business, noting the double-digit growth of fine jewelry on its platform that brought about this authenticity-guarantee expansion.

EBay announced this new GIA collaboration on Wednesday, but officials had talked about the offering at the JCK Las Vegas show.

GIA senior vice president and chief operating officer Pritesh Patel says the GIA is committed to “meeting the expectations of jewelry buyers and sellers on eBay” in terms of timing and expert verification.

“We bring decades of experience, talented and skilled staff, and unparalleled knowledge of gems and jewelry, and independence and commitment to ensuring the public trust in gems and jewelry to this important effort,” Patel says.

New and pre-owned fine jewelry sold for more than $500 is eligible for this service. Auction items are also included if the item sells for more than $500, eBay said on its site. Only items from U.S. sellers going to U.S. buyers also are eligible. If an item does not match the listing or if its authenticity cannot be verified, the item is sent back to the seller and the buyer receives a refund.

eBay GIA packaging
Buyers will receive their authenticated item in luxury packaging, eBay says, along with a QR code on an authentication card that explains its journey to this point.

To receive an authenticity guarantee, GIA experts perform a multi-point inspection within two business days of receiving the item and use its standard establishing guidelines to examine each piece. For example, GIA officials will verify that the metal type, purity, and gemstone quality match the seller’s description. They will also look at logos, tags, and hardware as necessary, eBay said on its site.

On its website, eBay says the fine jewelry authenticity guarantee comes at “no cost to you” as a buyer or seller; “eBay covers all costs of the authentication process,” according to the company.

For sellers, eBay states in its terms and conditions, “By listing an eligible item for sale on the eBay platform, you authorize its inspection by an authenticator subsequent to its purchase. Upon purchase, you are required to ship the eligible item, with appropriate insurance coverage, to a facility located within the United States, as directed by eBay; the cost of shipping to the authentication facility is not covered by eBay.”

Here’s how it works: A buyer on the site sees the blue authenticity-guarantee badge on an item. Once purchased, the seller ships the item to the authentication facility. GIA verifies the item and creates the QR code and authentication card. Finally, the item is delivered in “luxury” eBay packaging via secure, expedited shipping with signature confirmation.

EBay says by the end of 2022 it will include designer brands such as Bulgari, Van Cleef & Arpels, David Yurman, Cartier, and Tiffany & Co. under its fine jewelry authenticity guarantee. Jewelry is one of eBay’s most popular categories, it said in a statement, with an average of 7.8 million fine jewelry listings on the marketplace daily. In 2021, it sold eight fine jewelry items every minute and sold 4.2 million fine jewelry items for the year.

Patel says the GIA wanted to collaborate with eBay because it is key to the GIA’s overall mission.

“This is our mission: To protect consumers and ensure their trust in gems and jewelry,” Patel says. “Working with eBay on their authenticity guarantee for fine jewelry is an important opportunity to extend our mission to buyers and sellers on eBay. Potentially millions of consumers will have greater assurance about the jewelry they purchase on eBay.”

Top: GIA and eBay are collaborating to offer a fine jewelry authentication process, something eBay wanted to add as a category because of continued high sales of jewelry on the marketplace (photos courtesy of eBay). 

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Karen Dybis

By: Karen Dybis

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