What are 4 mistakes to avoid when buying fine jewelry? In our recent blog, we chatted about how shopping changed, tracing the evolution in our shopping methods and habits. In shopping for fine jewelry, we contrasted online versus in person with a local, trusted jeweler.
Now, let’s carry this discussion one step further and talk the do’s and don’ts when buying fine jewelry.
Mistake #1 – Not Having Realistic Budget
The first of the 4 mistakes you can avoid is setting an unrealistic budget. The amount you will spend on fine jewelry, such as an engagement ring, is significant. Decide how much you can comfortably spend on this piece of jewelry. Setting a budget is actually quite liberating. Once the budget is set, you’re free to focus on the design, metals, and stones. This is the “fun” part!
Mistake #2 – Not Doing Your Homework
Do your homework. This is the second of the 4 mistakes you can make and the easiest one to avoid. Start researching with the help of the Gemological Institute of America or “GIA”. Established in 1931, GIA remains the world’s foremost authority on diamonds, colored stones, and pearls. A public benefit, nonprofit institute, GIA is the leader in setting standards and educating the public about gems and jewelry. There’s a wealth of information on their website, including explanations about their diamond certification process and standards.
Spoiler alert! Selecting fine jewelry is not a quick process. You are spending a significant amount of money, so give the process the time and attention your purchase deserves. Bring a list of questions with you or email them prior to your visit to your jeweler.
When we receive the questions in advance, we can do the necessary research and have options and answers ready to review with our customers. If you don’t understand or are confused by the responses, keep asking for clarification.
As part of this conversation, request to see any available certificates that pertain to the stones you are considering. We will even put the stones under our microscope so you can confirm the laser-engraved number on the stone matches the number on the certificate.
Mistake #3 – Not Considering Your Lifestyle
The third of the 4 mistakes is not thinking about how you wear your jewelry. Consider the nature of your work and lifestyle. If you are hard on your jewelry, meaning you never take it off or wear it as part of your active lifestyle, you certainly don’t want to select a delicate piece or design. You’ll end up paying for lots of repairs, replacing lost stones, and managing frustration. Your lifestyle is an essential consideration in the purchase and design process. Your jewelry should stand up to time and the way you live your life.
Mistake #4 – Not Getting an Independent Appraisal
The fourth of the 4 mistakes you can make is not getting tangible proof of the value of your jewelry and all its components. Get an independent appraisal and stone certificates (if available). Independent appraisals are the best way to confirm the quality of your new fine jewelry piece. Transparency with our customers is important to us.
That’s why we provide a complimentary independent appraisal for purchases and custom-designed pieces over $2500 and the certificates. Where possible, our jeweler makes sure the laser engraved identification number is always visible.
At this point, you are probably saying, “Wow! I had no idea…” We get it.
As with any significant project, just take it step-by-step. You will know that you’ve done it right when your special someone opens the box and says, “Yes!!! I absolutely love it!”