Jewelry Made in China – Is It Real & Safe?


Over the years, China has been constantly accused of producing fake products. And this cuts across every sector, including the jewelry and fashion industry. The US accused popular e-commerce platforms like Tencent and Alibaba of allegedly dealing in counterfeit and pirated Chinese products.

Consider how fake jewelry pieces can be harmful to one’s health. We will explain the parameters that can be used to judge if a jewelry is fake, as well as how to find reputable jewelry manufacturers to buy from.

crafting a piece of jewelry in China jewelry factory

Is Jewelry from China Safe to Wear?

Most jewelry from China is safe to wear except the suspiciously cheap ones. Thus, it’s recommended to buy from a reliable source with a proven track record of meeting safety standards.

What Makes Metal Jewelry Toxic?

The toxicity of metal jewelry is dependent on its composition. If it contains harmful substances like lead, nickel, and cadmium, you are at risk of health issues. These metals leach into the skin after prolonged contact, causing allergic reactions, skin irritations, and various health conditions.

  • Lead: This is a highly toxic metal that commonly affects children and pregnant women. Some of its side effects are abdominal pain, nausea, headache, fatigue, and stunted growth in children.
  • Nickel: This is a widely known allergen that causes allergic reactions in individuals with sensitive skin. Extended contact with jewelry that contains nickel leads to itching, redness, and blistering of the skin.
  • Cadmium: This is a popular carcinogen that results in damage to the lungs, kidneys, and bones. In fact, it increases the risk of cancer.

Does Chinese Jewelry Contain Lead?

In the past, there have been cases where lead was found in jewelry made in China. This is not unique to only Chinese jewelry because lead contamination happens because of improper quality control, so it can be present in any country’s products if they fail to adhere to the necessary regulations.

However, China has enforced laws to regulate the manufacturing and safety standards of jewelry making, stating that every piece must be lead-free.

How to Check Jewelry for Lead?

These are some of the ways to check jewelry for lead:

  • Professional Certification & Compliance with Regulations: Look for certifications or evidence of compliance with safety standards. A sustainable jewelry manufacturer should have documentation that confirms that the jewelries produced do not contain lead or other harmful substances.
  • Lead Testing Kits: There are testing kits that detect the presence of lead in any component. These kits come with swabs that change color when they come in contact with lead.
  • XRF Testing: X-ray fluorescence (XRF) testing can be used to identify the composition of metals. It’s often used by professional jewelers and testing labs to check the presence of lead.

Is Jewelry from China Real?

a nendine worker making bracelets

Yes, jewelry pieces from China are real. Big and small brands all over the world choose to manufacture their products in China. While some people believe that China-made jewelry is fake, many legitimate brands who have done their research choose to buy from China because of their speed of production, competitive price, and overall quality.

China is the Largest Jewelry Exporter Globally

China boasts of a well-established system and robust workforce, making the country the largest global exporter of gold, silverware, and jewelry. According to the latest Statista report, China has an export value of around 20.43 billion US dollars.

Why is Jewelry from China So Cheap?

Here are some of the reasons jewelry made in China is sometimes cheaper:

  • Relatively Lower Labor Cost: China has a massive workforce ready to be committed to work. Also, their wages are lower compared to Western countries, resulting in reduced labor and overhead expenses. This allows companies to be able to produce more products with lesser costs.
  • More Workers, Better Efficiency: The massive workforce present in China is due to the large population, which presents a vast pool of skilled workers. With more capable hands, increased quantities and adherence to quality can be guaranteed.
  • Home of Many Natural Materials: China is blessed with many natural materials used in making jewelry, such as turquoise, amber, jade, pearls, cinnabar, and several gemstones. Having easy access to these materials reduces transportation and raw material sourcing costs.
  • Machines & Technologies: China has invested heavily in manufacturing machines and technologies that enable the automation of many jewelry production processes. This contributes to reducing labor costs, maximizing production efficiency, and availability of affordable products.

How to Tell if Jewelry is Good Quality?

Below are some indicators that the jewelry is of good quality:

  • Look for Material Hallmarks: Authentic jewelry should be made with original materials, including hallmarks that specify their purity. For example, good quality sterling silver jewelry should have a 925 hallmark, denoting that it’s made of 92.5% of pure silver.
sterling silver ring with s925 stamp
  • Check the Certificate for the Stones: Gemstones are often added to jewelry metals to enhance their beauty and peculiarity. There should be certificates confirming that the stones are genuine and of superior grade. For example, a cubic zirconia gemstone can have 5A (AAAAA), which is the highest quality.
  • The Jewelry is Evenly & Thoroughly Polished: Properly-made jewelry should be evenly smooth and thoroughly polished. There should be no flaws or inconsistent edges. Also, the finishing should be detailed, reflecting superior craftsmanship.
  • The Jewelry is Hypoallergenic: Good quality jewelry should be made with safe-to-wear materials that won’t cause allergic reactions even in people with sensitive skin. The best jewelry pieces are those made with nickel-free alloys.

How to Find a Reputable Jewelry Manufacturer in China

Finding a reputable source in China to buy tarnish-free jewelry can be hard, especially with the increased number of counterfeit products on the market. To assist you to make an informed choice and select a reliable jewelry manufacturer in China, consider these factors:

  • RJC Certificate: Your preferred manufacturer must have certification from the Responsible Jewelry Council (RJC). This is an assurance of the manufacturer’s commitment to ethical, social, and environmental practices throughout the production chain. It showcases transparency and accountability.
  • In-house Factory: It’s recommended you choose a manufacturer with an in-house factory, where you can go to physically confirm their manufacturing processes and quality control measures. Also, having an in-house factory allows manufacturers to meet up with delivery dates, especially for bulk orders.
  • Transparent Pricing: Choose a manufacturer that offers transparent pricing, with a clear explanation of every cost. This helps you understand the value you will receive for your money, as well as improve the trust between you and the manufacturer.
  • 24/7 Customer Support: Seek a jewelry company with easily accessible customer support. There should be clear communication and fast response to inquiries. You shouldn’t be left in the dark about how production is going.

Give it a Go: Jewelry Manufacturer in China

It’s no lie that there are some fake jewelries coming out from China. But at the same time, many high-quality jewelry pieces are made and exported around the world from China.

To get real and safe-to-wear jewelry, all you need is a professional jewelry manufacturer who prioritizes your needs and safety standards. For this, we recommend Nendine, a top-class jewelry manufacturer, offering all types of jewelry, ranging from silver, brass, and gold.

To experience one-stop custom jewelry solutions with favorable wholesale prices, quick turnaround, consistent high quality, and sampling services, contact Nendine now.


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