Are you thinking about buying an expensive piece of jewelry? Maybe an engagement ring or an anniversary present?
Buying jewelry for a loved one is fun, exciting and at times also overwhelming. Before you take a trek down to your local jeweller, there are a few things you should be aware of.
We’ve put together a list of 5 things that no one tells you about shopping at jewelry stores that’ll give you a bit more confidence when saying “I do” to that ring.
Getting the Right Lighting
When you go into a jewelry store its difficult to not be distracted by how shiny and sparkly the items in the display case may appear. But did you know that this shimmer and sparkle aren’t always 100% accurate?
Jewelry stores often use special bulbs called “Sunlight bulbs” that create bright and direct light without coming off as artificial.
The display cases also have certain bulbs that enhance, emphasize and sometimes over exaggerate the amount of clarity and shine an item has.
Sales Aren’t Always Sales
Those big “markdown sales” that jewelry stores boast are usually inaccurate. Jewelry isn’t something most people buy on an average basis and jewelry stores only turn their inventory once a year.
Because of this lack of foot-traffic, most jewelry is marked up 100%.
So what do stores do when they have inventory and not enough sales-traffic? They advertise a sale, hoping customers will come running in and purchase an item that isn’t discounted.
Talk About Treatment
It’s easy to get caught up in the environment of a jewelry store. You have stunning jewelry staring up at you from their display case, a charming salesperson offering advice and a goal to buy the perfect gift for that perfect person.
Don’t let all of these stimulants deter you from your mission of staying focused and finding the right piece of jewelry.
When buying a piece of jewelry, ask if it’s synthetic or natural.
A synthetic piece of jewelry was created in a lab. A natural stone is one that was mined directly from the earth and cut and polished.
Stay far away from synthetic jewelry unless you’re okay with purchasing a ‘fake’ gem that was created in a lab.
If the salesperson says the item is natural, ask if it has been treated. While ‘treatment’ might sound like a negative thing, it isn’t always.
A common treatment, especially in coloured gems, is heat-treatment. After the gem was mined, cut and polished it was brought to a certain heat to bring out more of the gems clarity and sheen.
A few treatments to be wary of are irradiating and injecting the gem with silicon or glass. It’s rare that a jewelry salesperson would admit to these types of treatment which is why it is important to have your item appraised.
You Can’t Always Count on Certificates
Often when you go to purchase a piece of jewelry, you’ll be offered a certificate as a way to legitimize the item’s authenticity.
Just like any other document these certificates can be forged and photocopied. The two official agencies that certify gems are the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or the American Gem Society (AGS).
If a salesperson offers you a certificate from any other institute, don’t trust it. These two agencies are the industry standard, and any item should be able to be confirmed through them.
Warranties Aren’t Necessary
When you’ve selected a piece of jewelry and are in the final stages of closing the deal, the salesperson will often try to up-sell you with some type of warranty.
Don’t take it.
Go to your insurance agent and request to add a ‘rider’ to your policy for your jewelry. This is a longer and more cost-efficient way to protect your ring if it ends up damaged, stolen or lost.
You’re Ready to Take On the Jewelry Stores
With these tips and tricks in your back pocket, you’re prepared to head out to the jewelry stores!
Buying something of this luxurious nature can be intimidating and overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to. Half of the battle is having confidence in your knowledge of what you’re looking for.
But if you still have questions and concerns about being strategic in the jewelry-buying process, let us know! We’d love to answer your questions and help make this process more comfortable for you.