Monday, July 9, 2012

That Is So Fake!

Have you ever wondered why, sometimes, a cashier will hold a piece of paper money up to a light to check it? He or she is checking to see if the bill is a counterfeit, or fake. Here is what they look for:

The paper of a real bill will have red and blue fibers embedded into the paper. Counterfeits sometimes have some red and blue printed on top.

If you hold the bill up to the light and look to the right of the person's picture, you will see a watermark-a same color image-imprinted into the paper. Fakes usually do not have one.

If you hold a $5, $20, or $100 bill up to the light and look to the left of the person's picture, you should see a thread. On a $10 or $50 bill it will be on the right of the person's picture. No thread, it's not real money.

If you keep it up to the light and look for tiny print on that security thread, it will say "USA Five" on a five-dollar bill, "USA Ten" on a ten-dollar bill, and the higher denominations will say the amount in a number, such as "USA 20". If it doesn't match the bill or is not there, it is a fake.

If you look closely at any bill $10 and higher, in the lower right corner there are numbers. Move the bill up and down or back and forth. The ink should change from copper to green or black. If the color stays the same, it is fake.

Check the serial number on the bill. The digits should be spaced evenly and printed in the same color as the U.S. Treasury seal.

Sometimes, stores are provided with special markers which, when used to write on a real bill, will remain transparent. If the bill is a fake, the ink turns black.

How do you know if you have a pair of real Nike shoes?

Be sure the 'swoosh' symbol is right and that it is the same size on both shoes. Check the stitching on the shoes; fake Nikes have uneven stitching.

Check the soles: If they are plastic and slippery, they are not Nikes. Nikes use only rubber soles.

Check that the SKU number (the numbers under the bar code) printed on the label inside the shoes are the same as the one on the box. If they don't match, the shoes are not real Nikes.

Nike shoes come in sturdy shoe boxes. If there is no box, or if it is flimsy, thin cardboard, they are not true Nikes.

Be careful of buying Nikes from an online retailer who doesn't provide the original shoebox. Also be suspicious if the seller tells you to order a size bigger than usual and are unavailable over a size 9. Nikes run true to size and, with custom orders, can make shoes in virtually any size. They also come with arch supports; fakes do not.

If the shoes are coming from China, Hong Kong, or Philippines, be wary: Asian markets are the primary producers of fake 'brand name' goods.

How do you know if it's a real diamond??

You need to have a stone checked by a professional jeweler to tell for sure. Meanwhile, here are some tests you can try:

Shine a small flashlight on the stone. If it is a real diamond, it should create a halo like aura around the stone. Any shadows around it will look gray and not rainbow-like.

Breathe on the stone. If it fogs up, it is not a real diamond but is likely quartz, glass, or cubic zirconia.

A cheaper stone will probably have a cheaper setting. Check to see that the type of metal is stamped into the inside of the ring, such as "24k" or "Sterling." If not, it is likely the stone is not real, either.

Just a few tidbits today. Keep It Real!!

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