Buying a piece of jewelry is always exciting. But it can be stressful, if you don’t know what to look for. Before you begin shopping, start by reading these tips to help you when you are buying jewelry. We want you to come home relaxed and happy, with a precious keepsake you’ll be proud to wear for a long time.
Consider choosing a jeweler who has both formal gemological education and/or jewelry manufacturing training in addition to practical experience. There are various national and state jewelers’ associations to which a jeweler can belong. These associations offer referrals.If you are looking for a jeweler who carries GIA-graded diamonds or has GIA-trained professionals on staff, you’ll find one on GIA’s Retailer Lookup, a quick, convenient way to find a jeweler in your area.
Choose a jeweler who has both formal gemological education and/or jewelry manufacturing training.
Examine the gems: If a gem is loose, that means it is not secure in the mounting and could possibly fall out. Also, check for any damaged stones. Ask to view the piece through a jeweler’s loupe and look for chips and abraded facets.
The bi-color tourmaline in this ring is surrounded by tsavorite garnets and pink sapphires with two diamond accents.
Make sure the metal is not scratched. All metal finishes, bright, textured, matte, etc., can show damage.
Notice the high-polish on the surface of this 18k yellow gold ring with 17 diamonds and a 12 mm black Tahitian cultured pearl.
Read and understand the return policy or warranty information. Many jewelry stores also offer annual cleaning and will check for loose or damaged gems. Think of it as an annual “tune up” for your jewelry.
Get an appraisal: If you are purchasing an antique piece or a particularly expensive one, get an appraisal – you’ll need one for insurance purposes. This will tell you the replacement value and that brings peace of mind.
Ask to see the lab report: If you are purchasing a piece of jewelry with significant gemstones, ask for a grading or gemological identification report from an independent lab such as GIA. The reports will state whether the stone is natural or synthetic, and if there are detectable treatments. GIA’s diamond grading reports provide an assessment of the stone’s quality while identification reports will state what the material is.
Ask questions. Don’t be shy. Asking questions is an effective way to learn about jewelry. An informed customer is an empowered one.