Buying jewelry can be a significant expense. Regardless of your budget, knowing that you’re getting what you paid for is paramount when buying jewelry. With modern technology, it’s too easy to pass off synthetic and altered stones as the ‘real deal’ to unknowing consumers. (Image Credit: Christine VD Vyver/Pixabay)
If you plan on buying jewelry in the future, use these six pro tips to help you make the most of your investment.
Don’t get stuck on the idea that you have to run out to Tiffany’s to get a high-quality piece of jewelry. While the big brands in jewelry are guaranteed to have an incredible offering, you’ll be paying for the brand name, as much as you’re paying for the stones. In fact, you might be paying more than you would for lesser quality stones, just because it comes in a blue box.
Take some time to do research on reputable jewelry sellers in your area. They should have years of proven experience to back up their business. It’s also worth looking at their financing options as there are many benefits of financing your jewelry.
Ask if It’s Been Treated or Heated
The word “natural” is not closely regulated in the jewelry trade. A stone may very well be natural rather than synthetic, but that doesn’t mean that it hasn’t been artificially enhanced in some way.
If the jeweler says the stone is natural, ask if it’s been heated or treated. Heating the stones enhances their color. Rubies are commonly heated to create a clearer, more vibrant shade of red. It’s not to say that you shouldn’t buy a heated ruby, but they are worth far less than a GIA certified unheated ruby.
Other treatments include infusing the stone with glass to fill in any flaws. You do not want to buy a stone that’s been treated with glass. With emeralds, oiling is a common way to fill flaws on the surface and make the stone look better to the naked eye.
By asking the jeweler if it’s been heated or treated, you are putting yourself in a dominant position for negotiating and are less likely to be fooled.
Demand Recent Certificates of Authenticity
When you buy a piece of jewelry with precious stones, demand a recent certificate of authenticity, i.e., something issued in the last three years. The testing protocols and technology have evolved drastically over the past decade. Stones that were once determined to be of high quality ten years ago may not be as valuable as they seemed at the time.
GIA is the gold standard of gemstone certification. Feel free to plug the report information into their website to confirm the validity of the paperwork you’re presented with. You can do that here.
Play it Cool
The day you visit the store should not be the day you buy the product. Take a look around, ask to see some pieces, and try your hand at haggling. Be cool, calm, and collected. It’s worth your time to drop some jargon about jewelry, but don’t lie and say you have a friend in the business— they hear it all the time.
Get their information, but don’t leave yours. Revisit the store a few times and continue to push the pricing. The jeweler will be eager to close the sale— if you can keep your cool and wait a few weeks, you’ll be in a prime position to get a reasonable price for your purchase.
Buy With the User In Mind
Aside from knowing what to look for in a piece of jewelry, the pros recommend buying with the wearer in mind. Buy something that makes sense with their lifestyle, skin tone, and personal style. While buying jewelry is a big investment, it’s not an investment in the traditional sense. In other words, it’s better to buy for the individual rather than thinking of it in terms of resale value.
By using these pro tips for buying jewelry, you can get more value for less money, regardless of your budget.