Being an experienced gemologist and jewelry designer, I hear discouraging stories about buying jewelry. With this article, I would like to help you make informed decisions when buying nice jewelry so that you pay a fair price and get to enjoy your new jewelry for the years to come. To do this, I will outline a basic consumer guide to make your purchase safe and pleasant. 

Pitfalls While Buying Jewelry

In their search for buying jewelry at a low cost, many people come across unscrupulous sellers or fraudsters and end up losing money. Here are some of the most common mistakes made while buying jewelry:

  • Buying low-quality jewelry;
  • Buying jewelry at a too high price;
  • Buying counterfeit jewelry;
  • Buying fake jewelry.

Of course, the most secure way is to buy jewelry at a well-known store, like Tiffany or Cartier. However, very few of us can afford to buy such jewelry. If you want to buy a unique jewelry piece there, the price would be sky high.

On the other hand, numerous independent jewelry designers create amazingly beautiful, unique pieces that cost much less.

Today, there are so many places where we can buy jewelry! Jewelry boutiques in the malls, jewelry chains, big brand boutiques, independent jewelers…

There are also other ways to buy jewelry.

Buying Jewelry at a Tourist Destination

We are fond of buying jewelry when we travel. Some countries are famous for their jewelry. For example, if you travel to Florence, Italy, you might go to the Golden Bridge to visit the well-known jewelry boutiques and look for a jewelry souvenir. In many countries, the tourist guides will gladly bring you to jewelry stores or you will come across a few while walking around.

Jewelry makes for a wonderful memory and souvenir. However, don’t be mistaken to think that buying jewelry at tourist destinations will be cheaper. In fact, while abroad, many people end up overpaying or buying jewelry of low quality.

And think about customer service. If you have a problem with a piece you bought abroad, what are you going to do? Where will you go to fix it? Most probably, you will not go back to the same destination again, and will be stuck with your purchase.

Buying Jewelry Online 

Years ago, I was warning people to be very cautious when buying jewelry online. Then the situation drastically changed; particularly since the pandemic started. At present, everyone is buying everything online.

But if you decide to purchase jewelry online, you still should be very cautious. First, check the website itself. How long has it been running for? Are there customer comments and reviews? Read the policies about returns and exchanges and ask questions. Do your homework to make sure you do not fall for a scam.

Tips for Buying Jewelry

Tip #1: Beware of Bargains

Always remember that nice jewelry is never cheap. In general, in the jewelry business, if the deal seems to be too good, avoid it. This will save you money and give you peace of mind.

Tip #2: Buy Jewelry from a Knowledgeable and Reputable Jeweler

A reputable jeweler is one who has been in business for many years and who values their reputation. From my own experience, I know that it takes a lot of time to build trust and reputation. And a jeweler will never put his good name at risk.

He will offer you only high-quality, valuable products at good prices. If he is a serious and honest businessman, he will be interested to keep you as customer. At the same time, if he has been in business for many years, he should be able to provide detailed information about the product he is offering.

Tip #3: Educate Yourself

If you’re interested in buying good quality jewelry, make sure to educate yourself. Learning about jewelry will give you a chance to become a “smart buyer” so you can enjoy and wear your jewelry with pleasure.

For example, the earrings below look like diamonds, but are actually cubic zirconia. They are still beautiful, but cost much less than diamonds.

Tip #4: As the Right Questions

Make sure that the jeweler provides knowledgeable responses regarding the jewelry that you are thinking to buy. As the following questions:

  • What metal it is made of?
  • If this is gold, how many carats is it?
  • If the piece of jewelry has gemstones:
    • What are the gemstones?
    • What is their weight?
    • Are they natural or synthetic?
    • Are the gemstones treated?
    • If treated, which treatment is used?
  • Is the piece custom-made, machine-made, or a combination of both?
  • What are the return, exchange, guarantee and repair policies of the jewelry boutique?

Of course, your questions will vary depending on the gemstone.

Tip #5: Keep Receipt

Finally, don’t forget to ask for a receipt with a detailed description of the jewelry that you have purchased.

Whether you’re buying jewelry for yourself or as a gift, if you follow the above tips, your experience will be safe, interesting, and truly exciting.

What kind of jewelry do you usually wear? Have you bought or received a piece of high-quality jewelry? Where was it purchased from? What can you share about the buying experience? Have you ever been the victim of a jewelry fraud? Please share your experiences with the community!

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