Jewelry is not only a fashion statement but also an investment. And if you want to maintain the value of your jewelry over the years, you need to ensure that you invest only in the best one. However, most people do not know how to judge the quality of a piece of jewelry they are interested in. This can make shopping a very stressful and unpleasant affair. To help you out, we list nine important things you should look out for when purchasing jewelry.
1. Quality Stamp
The stamp of quality is a guarantee that the jewelry has been created in accordance with the rules, regulations, and standards of the country. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) mandates every piece of jewelry manufactured in the US to have a quality stamp together with a maker’s mark. The quality stamp usually indicates the fineness and the type of metal that has been used to make the piece. You can find the stamp on the back or the inside surface of a piece of jewelry.
2. Reputation Of The Maker
Always check the reputation of the maker before you deal with them. This is even more important when you are buying jewelry online. Check the internet for reviews about the jeweler; look for positive and negative reviews. Check out what the negative reviews are about. Do they complain about the quality of the metal used, excessive pricing, fraud, and so on? If so, it is better to avoid buying from such a jeweler. In contrast, if most customers are praising the jeweler and have given high ratings, then you can trust the seller and place an order with them. Generally, you can blindly trust names like Roma Designer Jewelry who have already sold jewelry to more than a million customers.
3. Quality Of The Metal
You should also look at the quality of the metal used to make a piece of jewelry. When buying gold, look for karat weight. It is recommended that you buy gold with a purity level of at least 18 karat. For silver, ensure that the jewelry mentions the value ‘925’ which indicates that it contains 92.5% pure silver. And when you get the sales receipt, check whether the words ‘sterling silver’ is mentioned on it or not. If you are buying platinum jewelry, look for a marking like ‘900’ that indicates the presence of 90% platinum in the jewelry. And for people who are allergic to precious metals like gold or silver, platinum jewelry is an excellent choice for the metal itself is hypoallergenic.
When buying diamonds, always keep in mind the four Cs – carat, color, cut, and clarity. It is recommended that you don’t go for absolute high values when buying diamonds since it can get extremely expensive. For example, a colorless diamond will cost you far more than its colored counterpart. If the color is acceptable and not easily discernible to the eyes, then it will be a wise decision to invest in the diamond rather than going for a pure colorless one that can cost you a fortune. And when judging a diamond, never hold it against a black background as this can give you a false idea of its color. Viewing a diamond under the magnification lens is the best way to judge its quality.
If you wish to buy colored gemstones, then check whether the one you are interested in is natural, imitation, or synthetic. Inspect it under a microscope to see whether its edges have been chipped in any way. Ideally, you should choose a faceted gemstone as it tends to shine more brilliantly due to better refraction. Plus, make sure that the gemstone has not been treated in any way since this can lower its value. Finally, do ask the jeweler for instructions about the best way to clean and care for the gemstone.
In case you are interested in purchasing an antique piece of jewelry, be sure to get an independent appraisal of it. The jeweler will provide their own appraisal of the item, but you should never take a buying decision solely on such reports. Instead, an independent appraiser who has no interest in the sale is far more reliable to provide an accurate assessment of the item’s value. So, look for a reputed appraiser in your area and consult them when buying antique pieces of jewelry.
7. Lab Report
Jewelry that has gemstones in them will usually come with a lab report which will state its gemological identification and grading. It will clearly state whether the stone has been treated, whether it is natural or artificial, the quality of the stone, nature of the material, and so on. Be sure to ask the jeweler for the lab report when buying any piece of jewelry. Read it thoroughly and make sure that you are getting the best quality jewelry, exactly as stated by the jeweler.
Pearls are often valued on criteria like shape, luster, blemish, and color. A very important thing to look for is the nacre or the skin of the pearl. Usually, a pearl develops a thicker skin when it is left in the oyster for a longer period of time. And ideally, you should only buy pearls with a thick skin. Those with thin skin are a risky investment since the pearls might lose their luster quickly because of constant contact with perfume or other beauty products applied to the body. And the lesser the luster of a pearl, the lower its value will be. Plus, you should also make sure that the pearls have been knotted in the strand individually.
9. Warranty And Return Policy
Finally, always check the warranty and return policy provided by the jeweler. Some jewelers do offer a limited return policy where they will take back the jewelry in case it gets damaged quickly within a specific number of days or if the quality of the jewelry is not as indicated. Some will do a free adjustment in case any gemstones become loose within the guarantee period. In addition, there are also jewelers who will provide free annual cleaning and maintenance for the initial few years. Remember to look for all such offers when buying a piece of precious jewelry.