What is a Reputable Jeweler?

By: Denny Reinke

Shopping for a diamond or expensive jewelry item has always been a daunting task. However, shoppers now have a wealth of shopping advice available online. While not all online shopping guides are accurate or necessarily agree, one common recommendation is to find a reputable jewelry retailer.

So how does the typical diamond or jewelry shopper determine which retailer is reputable and trustworthy?

You cannot assume that longevity means a jeweler is reputable. Just because the same family has owned their jewelry store for over fifty years does not equate to trustworthy. Bad advice, inflated prices, low quality diamonds and switching diamonds have made many jewelers wealthy for many years so years in business is not a reliable measure.

A big expensive store or recognized business name does not mean the person you are dealing with is giving you advice that is best for you. Likewise, a GIA Graduate Gemologist or an AGS Certified Gemologist diploma on the wall means the person knows about diamonds and gemstones, but does not guarantee they are giving you the best advice, the best diamonds or the best value.

There is no single sure way to identify a trustworthy and reputable jewelry retailer but there are some excellent indicators.

1) Does the retailer truly listen to you and work to find what you want, which might be different from what they have in their display case? A reputable jeweler is more of a consultant than a sales person. Diamonds and jewelry are not an exact science but you should be able to verify the advice you receive with other expert opinions you find online. Be wary of 'tag readers' who know little more about the product they sell than what they read on the tag attached to the jewelry item.

2) Does the jeweler sell diamonds graded by the GIA or AGS, which are the industry leading independent grading laboratories? A reputable jeweler should be stressing the importance of a top level grading report, often called a certification. While very small diamonds typically do not have certifications, any significant diamonds you consider should have a grading report from one of the top laboratories. While reputable jewelers do sell diamonds without certifications, their first recommendations should be diamonds that have grading reports. Not all grading reports are equal in accuracy and consistency so insist on the industry leading certifications for your diamond.

3) Appraisals should not be something used as a selling tactic. Appraised value is usually for establishing estimated retail replacement values for insurance purposes and often bares little relevance to the low retail price you deserve. An appraisal is not the same as a certification, which has no dollar value and is prepared by an independent laboratory.

4) Beware of the 'lifetime guarantee' sales scheme. Most of the services promised are already available to you or are of little value to begin with. Insurance is a smart investment for expensive jewelry because it protects your investment from loss, theft and damage. The store guarantees are typically tactics to get you back in the store on a regular basis and tend to draw attention away from the quality of the diamond or the price you are paying.

Buying a diamond is an expensive purchase that warrants doing your homework and research so you can make the best decisions possible. If you enter the diamond buying process with some diamond knowledge and a strategy for determining a reputable, low price retailer, your reward will be years of enjoyment and satisfaction.

Top Searches on
Jewelry
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Jewelry