Jewelry Buying Tips for the Smart Shopper

Jewelry stores provide you with some type of paperwork at the time of purchase. They usually tell you what you bought and how much you paid. IE: 14 karat yellow gold 1.00 carat total weight brilliant cut diamond solitaire ring. Which is great, but how do you know if you got a good deal?
Ask for appraisal paperwork.
Appraisal papers will tell you color, cut, clarity, and carat weight. AKA The 4 C’s How the item(s) is graded on a scale for each group, estimated retail replacement value, and should include a diagram of internal flaws. The appraisal should contain a description of the mounting as well.
I advise all smart shoppers to ask for an independent GIA certified appraisal. This will ensure that the person grading the jewelry has no stake in what it sells for. Thus, providing you with an unbiased evaluation of the item(s).
As with any high dollar purchase, ask for a guarantee. This will give you the confidence to know that if your purchase isn’t what the seller represented it to be, you’ll have recourse.
And shop around! See what several different stores offer and at what price, and don’t be afraid to negotiate. Let the seller know you found xyz at another store for x price, can you beat that offer? If you know what you want and for what price, you can find the best bang for your buck.
Happy shopping!

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12 thoughts on “Jewelry Buying Tips for the Smart Shopper”

  1. I definitely agree with asking for the guarantee. I have been looking for a nice piece of jewelry to give my mom for her birthday so I’ll be sure to keep that in mind. Do you have any tips for buying more modern styles? It would add a lot of variety to her collection.

    1. My advice is shop around, look locally to see who will offer what you want at the best price. Happy shopping!

  2. This is some really great advice, I definitely agree that you want to get the jewelry appraised by an independent appraiser and not the person who runs the store. The article says it best by pointing out how much better it is to get the jewelry looked at by someone who doesn’t have a stake in the sale. I’m also glad that the article reminds readers to get an appraisal; I’ve seen too many people forget to do that and end up paying for it later.

  3. I have bought a few pieces of jewelry before, but I have never asked for appraisal paperwork or any GIA certified appraisal. However, I’m not sure that I understand why it’s so important to make sure that the person grading it doesn’t have a stake. How does their having a stake in it affect me? I’m just curious, because I’m not too sure how the price would differentiate even if they did have a stake.

    1. Think of it this way: You’re going to buy a used car from an individual. Are you going to take his word on the estimated value, or are you going to research market value via Kelley Blue Book? It always pays, as a consumer, to do your homework and to verify everything to ensure you are making a good buy. Hope that helps!

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  5. Thanks for your tip to ask for an independent GIA certified appraisal. Having an objective opinion sounds like a really good way to make sure that there is no ulterior motives influencing the decisions being made about the price of your jewelry. It would be cool to find a place that could do this for you online.

  6. This is great information about buying jewelry! I have been hoping to buy my new girlfriend some jewelry, but my inexperience is definitely making me nervous. I like that you mentioned to ask for appraisal papers so you can gauge the quality of the jewelry you are buying. I will definitely do this as I shop around.

  7. I appreciate that you suggested to shop around before making your choice. I have been thinking about what kind of jewelry to get my wife for our ten year anniversary. I know that she isn’t a big fan of bracelets and rings. This leaves me with either getting her a necklace or earrings. I’ll be sure to look around at a variety of stores to see what is available for the best price.

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  9. I like the idea to ask for appraisal paperwork when buying jewelry. My wife is always looking for new jewelry to accessorize with. Some of her rings seem to be in poor condition, I think that she should look into having them repaired.

  10. I do like that you emphasize the importance of getting a proper, professional appraisal before buying the jewelry. This could be vitally important if you have to get a loan in order to buy the piece. After all, you wouldn’t want to take out a loan only to find out that you now owe the bank for a fake piece of jewelry.

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