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Consumer Tips for Buying Jewelry

Service is more than what we do, it's at the core of who we are. Our concern for your satisfaction drives our actions. That's why we take time to understand what jewelry you like to wear and what you are looking to buy. This is what ensures that you have a great experience. So, we want to provide some helpful guidelines that you can use as you shop for jewelry, whether you buy it from us or somewhere else.

Shopping for Fine Jewelry

With the proliferation of jewelry outlets, including catalogs and online shopping, selecting where and what to buy can be a daunting experience. Jewelers of America, a non-profit trade association headquartered in New York City, provides the following tips on finding the right jeweler and what to look for when buying fine jewelry. 

  • Buy from a trusted jeweler or one who has been recommended. Choosing the right jeweler is like choosing a doctor: ask friends or colleagues to recommend someone they know and trust. Otherwise, find out how long the jeweler has been in business by checking with The Better Business Bureau or the Chamber of Commerce. The right jeweler is a trained professional who can knowledgeably guide his customer through the selection process. And he will be there later if the piece needs to be cleaned, restrung, or remounted. Find out what other services the jeweler provides that might be important in the future. Ask what the return or trade-up policy is. And finally, is the jeweler affiliated with one of the jewelry trade organizations that require a code of conduct for its members? 
  • Don't be dazzled by discounts. If a store is offering unbelievable discounts of 50% or more, the sale is probably just that, unbelievable. Consumers should play it safe by shopping around first and comparing actual value. They may find that a regular price at other stores matches or is less than the "discounted" sale price. 
  • Look for the trademark. On karat-marked jewelry sold in the U.S., always look for the manufacturer's hallmark. By U.S. law it must be there. When there's a hallmark, it means the manufacturer stands behind the accuracy of the karat mark. You may also find the country of origin marked.
  • Get it in writing. When buying fine jewelry, ask the jeweler to write a complete description on your receipt. For gold jewelry, ask for the karatage; for diamonds, the cut, color, clarity, and carat weight (the weight of the center stone and total carat weight if there are side stones); for colored stones, ask for a description of overall color and carat weight and if the stone is of natural origin or has been treated in any way. That information should be included on the bill of sale. 

No other object known to man gives as much lasting pleasure as a piece of fine jewelry, made from precious metals and ancient stones found deep beneath the earth's surface. The shopping experience can be equally enjoyable when you keep in mind the above tips and look for a knowledgeable, established jeweler to assist you in finding the right piece for your budget and personal style.