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8 Things Your Jeweler Doesn't Want You To Know About Buying Jewelry

If you don't know what a treated emerald is, the color of a Tanzanite stone, or what it means when a diamond certification has the word "laser path" written in the comments section, than you need to learn a few things before buying your next piece of jewelry! Jewelers are in the business to simply make a buck, or in most cases a lot of bucks! Knowing the "8 things only an honest jeweler will tell you" can keep you from making a BIG Jewelry mistake. The old adage goes something like this:

"If you don't know your jewels, than you better know your jeweler!"

Find an Honest Jeweler

Find an Honest Jeweler

Please don't miss understand my cause here, I am not saying that jewelers are dishonest, the majority of jewelry salespeople are going to do the right thing. But as a consumer, you are ultimately responsible for the fiduciary well being of your own jewelry transactions. It is better to ask a few worthy questions than to end up buying a cow that won't give milk.

When you set out to purchase a diamond, ruby, or an emerald you need to have a few facts in place and some know-how in mind. Blindly buying any gemstone no matter how fancy or expensive, is just what the dishonest jeweler is hoping you will do. The 8 things that an honest jeweler will tell you may not bring world peace, but they will certainly provide you with a more fulfilling jewelry buying experience; and better quality jewelry for the price.


  • Asscher Cut Diamonds - What Makes Them So Special
    No better fashion statement exists than the Asscher cut diamond. Square cut with the ability to bring you deep into the diamond seeing its clarity fully. Buy the dramatic Asscher cut diamond for your special someone and say "I Do" with style.

Unique Wall Safe

#1. If you Don't Have Jewelry Know-how, Than You Better Get to Know Your Jeweler.

  • If you are a first time jewelry buyer, I suggest you go shopping with a jewelry-savvy friend. Let this friend know what it is you are looking for and how much you can responsibly spend. Then, just sit back and learn. Remember the questions your friend is asking, the request your friend makes, and above all the manner in which an experienced jewelry consumer operates. You may even note that the jeweler and the individual seem to have a relationship of sorts; which is not to be underestimated by any means. Knowing your jeweler can be a significant tactic when buying or investing in good quality jewelry. He is more likely to protect your interest than that of someone he knows he won't bump into down the road or at a community mixer.
  • Ask your jeweler if you can have a few of his business cards. This is telling him you may be referring customers to his jewelry shop. You're building the relationship one step deeper, making him feel an obligation to you as more than just an individual jewelry purchaser. Inviting him to your monthly poker game can't hurt either; you might just win a few of your jewelry dollars back in the long run!
American Gem Society Logo

American Gem Society Logo

#2. Only Work With Jewelers That Are Credentialed

  • Jewelry is a business that requires great skill, talent, and knowledge. However, on occasion, it only takes a little thing called nepotism. Not that nepotism is a bad thing, but it can be what takes you down a fourth generation jeweled back-alley. The only way to know your jeweler is on the up-and-up is to make sure he is credentialed by the American Gem Society. This is a group of high level jewelers that demand a much higher code of ethics and operate by a significantly higher group of standards. Go ahead and ask to see your jewelers credentials next time you are shopping for nice jewelry; he should be proud to show you just how much he cares about keeping your jewelry business relationship. If he appears offended, you need to find another jeweler!

Emerald Bracelets

Ruby and Diamond Rings

Your Jeweler

#3. Do Not Buy Expensive Jewelry Cleaner From Your Jeweler

  • When your jeweler takes your dirty ring to that secret backroom to clean it for you (complimentary of course) he is using a top quality jewelry cleaner, right? Not really. What he is most likely using is warm water, gentle detergent, and a soft toothbrush. When he wants to put a supper shine on that diamond ring of yours, he is spritzing a little Windex over it and wiping it dry. So save yourself those extra bucks for jewelry polish and clean your jewelry with these very affective methods.

(Do Not use Windex on any fracture filled diamonds or stones, it will damage the repaired area.)

The Cut of A Fine Stone Makes or Breaks the Brilliance

Light reflects brilliantly whe a diamond is cut properly. The cut is as important as the stone when it comes to quality fine jewelry.

Light reflects brilliantly whe a diamond is cut properly. The cut is as important as the stone when it comes to quality fine jewelry.

#4. Jewelers May Accidentally Lie About Emeralds

  • Just about every emerald today has some form of treatment. What this means is that an oil has been applied to the emerald to enhance the stones clarity. Cedar oil is an acceptable oil as it has no "color revising" qualities about it, it simply dresses up the already good-quality of the emerald. Other oils will apply a green-tinted color to the stone's and are not acceptable, as per the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. These colored-oils are masking flaws and improving the limited enhancements of the emerald, thus masking a low quality stones' bad points, while the minimal good points appear to be a higher grade of gemstone. So, when a jeweler tells you his emeralds are not treated in any way, he is either accidentally lying to you, or he is a very dishonest jeweler.

Columbia's Emerald Mines

#5. Forget About Jewelry Extended Warranties

  • If throwing away good money is your thing, than by all means buy an extended jewelry warranty. The truth is that this type of warranty is simply a waste of your good money. If you have a rider on your homeowner policy for your jewelry, anything that gets stolen, lost, or damaged will generally be covered by your home policy. Checking with your insurance broker is always best, but don't think for a minute that you need that jewelry shop extended warranty to keep your investment safe. This low-cost method is probably already in place for you to utilize.
Preciouse Blue Stones, High Quality Blue Jewelry

Preciouse Blue Stones, High Quality Blue Jewelry

#6. Looking For a Blue Stone? A Sapphire is Not Your Only Choice

  • When you begin your quest to find a beautiful blue stone, you are most likely thinking of buying a Sapphire. After all, not too many nice stones of quality sport such cobalt colored style. But, the honest jeweler will let you in on a little secret, a few other stones come in your favorite shade of blue! Tanzanite, Tourmaline, and Spinel are all blue stones, and might just be a little less expensive than a sapphire; surely just as brilliant.
  • The advice here is this, if blue is your beloved's request, be sure you ask your jeweler to show you all of the "blue stones" he carries, not just the priciest sapphire in the shop. Even as these other blue gem stones are brilliantly beautiful, and will dazzle your loved one, they have not received the same grand reviews of the sapphire. Many heavy hitting celebrities have been seen stepping out onto the red-carpet wearing blue stones that are anything but sapphire, yet are truly spectacular! When it's all said-and-done, You may find you have enough left in your budget to buy a matching bracelet for your sweetie; the bonus romance points would seem to be a big motivation for this!

#7. When Buying a Diamond on a Budget, Don't Get Too Freaked out Over The Clarity Grading

  • When people speak of diamonds, clarity grading always comes up. However, when you want to buy your sweetie a nice diamond ring or earrings while on a budget, grading is something you can relax about. Go ahead and come down a couple of clarity grades, no one can see any difference when viewing your diamond with their naked eye. Once you have the diamond mounted into a setting, no one will ever know the difference at all.
  • When diamonds are being graded for clarity they are placed under a special 10x magnification gem scope. The diamond is then viewed by a certified gemologist who really knows what to look for and generally grades every tiny flaw. After all, this is his craft and he is a master of it. Trust me, De Beers—the family of companies that dominate the diamond, diamond mining, diamond trading and industrial diamond manufacturing sectors— wants to know what every fine flaw within a diamond is and in which diamond it was found. The balance of the worldwide diamond market depends on this knowledge.
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However; when away from magnification, only your gemologist knows for sure.

Every Month Has its Own Birthstone (Click to see chart full size)

Birthstone Chart

Birthstone Chart

Laser Beam Sign

Laser Beam Sign

#8. Why Don't You Want to See the Word 'Laser' or 'laser path' on Your Diamond Certificate?

  • The most important investment concern when buying a diamond has to do with the certification. A diamond certification is like fingerprinting, it details the stones identity and value. It doesn't assign a monetary value like an appraisal, and is only applied to loose diamonds, but it does provide a mapping so you know what quality of diamond you have on your hands. Knowing how to interpret this certification can keep you from paying far too much for an 'altered' diamond grade.
  • When you read your diamond certification, if you see in the comment section the word "laser" or "laser path" this is telling you that you have an altered diamond. A laser has been applied to the stone. In other words; the diamond has undergone a laser procedure to remove a flaw. This single application can reduce a diamonds true value as much as 40%.
  • Now that you know what the term "laser" is indicating to a diamond buyer, you gain the advantage of knowing how to make a good investment on an altered stone, instead of over paying by 40% like the guy who has no clue about laser diamond procedures.

How to Protect Your Jewelry from Jewelers

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  • How to Prevent Your Diamond From Being Switched
    Would You know if your diamond gemstone had been switched during a routine cleaning at the jewelers?

Comments for "Only an Honest Jeweler Will Tell You These 8 Things About Jewelry"

Kendric The Jeweler on July 24, 2015:

I agree with all except for two of your rules. Now I am a firm believer that jeweler clients don't care about how much you know until they know how much you care, which is why I can't help but disagree with you on your rule # 5. A warranty is actually great because it covers repairs that will most likely need to be done within a four years time. Don't confuse a warranty with insurance, that will just confuse a client that has no idea on what they are doing. A warranty covers damage to the piece as most insurance companies covers lost or stolen. It would be more wise to advise people to read up on what the warranty covers and make their decision accordingly.

I also disagree with your rule # 6. Yes you are right about there being other blue stones out there that are not Sapphires. However, you should let your clients know how each stone wears compared to a Sapphire. With the engagement ring being exposed to eveything that is done though out the day, you should always consider recommending a stone that can withstand the tests of time. Diamond being number 10/10 on the hardness scale is always a great stone to consider which would last a lot longer than all other stones. Sapphires and Rubies are actually 9/10 on the hardness scale. Right now you might pay a little more for a Ruby or a Sapphire, but it will stand the tests of time more than a Tanzanite will which is 6 to 7 on the hardness scale which is fair to poor. What this means is that if you go with anything other than a Ruby, Sapphire, or Diamond you will have to worry more about keeping you stone from being scratched and the lower the hardness scale number the easier the scratches will occur.

Marlene Bertrand from USA on April 19, 2013:

I use to sell jewelry, so I can firmly attest that you have provided excellent tips and advice here. Like you mentioned, if at all possible, get to know the jeweler. I found that a jeweler who knows you personally will take better care of you.

lulu hewitt on April 17, 2013:

Great advice. I've read before that you should insist on buying the piece that's on display because jewelers always put the best version on display and ones in the back might have slight flaws.

Celeste Wilson on April 13, 2013:

Very sound advice thank you. I would never have imagined some of these scenarios. Always boils down to knowledge is power.

Coriander on April 08, 2013:

Never Never buy a diamond in a setting. Before I educated myself on diamonds, my husband bought a diamond that had a chip in it, and it was covered under the prong. The dishonest jeweler said it was a minor inclusion. Another jeweler said one hit, and the diamond would of shattered to pieced. Also a lot of jewelers put their inferior diamonds already set up front for you to take the hit. Ask to see what's in their vault. That is where the good stuff is kept.

carrierichard from California, USA on March 02, 2013:

well i would say most do not know about what they are buying in jewelry.. e.g. natural vs synthetic type of stones both are very close.. it would be hard for a normal person to figure out this.

Marco Piazzalunga from Presezzo, Italy on January 18, 2013:

Hello K9keystrokes,

Another thing to remember, especially when you buy precious metal, is to check the carat for gold or platinum, but also for silver.

In Italy, the more usual carat for gold is 18k, for silver is the 925.

In the U.S. for gold is often used 14k, in eastern countries such as Turkey, India, Indonesia, for gold is often used 24k. and so on.

The carat is stamped on the jewel with special marks whose shape and size are determined by the appropriate national organizations.

marshacanada from Vancouver BC on December 19, 2011:

Excellent informative hub. I have been facinated with jewels for a long time.I never knew about laser uses or cedar oil for emeralds.

Teresa on September 23, 2011:

Amazing in formation, thanks for your advise. I come from the old school, and thanks to my mom I learned to use hand soap or dis detergent to roll the jewelry in my hands gently and then pat dry. I amazed many people on how shiney their jewlrey looked after them mentioning they need to get it cleaned. So now they can read you advice, today's kids no matter how old think they know it all. Thanks again

Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on June 01, 2011:

An amazing subject. Having been the step-mother-in-law for some 30-something years of a woman who rose in a very exclusive jewel store to become its senior Vice-president, I have heard a lot about jewels (they never refer to them as jewelry). But frankly, the rarified air of it escapes me where I "live". I like gathering raw stones in Arizona and getting polished minerals to make amateur jewelry - and that's what call it. hehe I love the study of mineralogy and crystallography. But my personal wardrobe of jewelry is limited to my wedding ring, a pearl ring, a wondrous antique cameo or two, various good sterling, platinum and gold pieces (which suit my wardrobe of clothes), some of my amethyst birthstone, and, more recently, a lovely amber pendant my step-son (former husband of the jewel lady).

Now that you know both ends of my experience with precious stones, let me congratulate YOU on an excellent probing peek into the world of jewels and jewelers! Well done. I might even become knowledgeable!

GoingOnline on May 30, 2011:

Really nice hub. Not that I can really afford visits to expensive jewelers right now, but it's always interesting to know the tricks of the trade :)

India Arnold (author) from Northern, California on May 29, 2011:

Stacie~ Thanks for your comments. After years of being around those who sell jewelry, I learned to keep my eyes open when buying fine jewelry from any jeweler! Glad you approve of the hub!


Stacie L on May 29, 2011:

i studied gems at home and was amazed by what I learned. Honest jewelers are rare in my opinion. good advice..

India Arnold (author) from Northern, California on May 29, 2011:

Earth Angel~ So happy you were able to find something useful to take away with you. Thanks for the comments, it means the world!

Pam~ Thank you for your remarks. I am flattered you found the jewelry tips excellent! Stay well.

Cheeky Girl~The subject is close to my heart as well, kind of a traditional career within my bloodline. Thank you for your kind comments and for swinging by to check-out pointers from honest jewelers!



Cassandra Mantis from UK and Nerujenia on May 28, 2011:

Some nice Information on a great subject that is close to my heart. Thanks!

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on May 27, 2011:

Thanks for the very important information in not getting ripped off on a jewelry buy. Your tips are excellent.

Earth Angel on May 27, 2011:

GREAT Hub K9Keystrokes!

I'm pretty aware of gems and jewelry and yet I had never heard of laser or laser path as a treatment for diamonds! Thank you so much for sharing!

Bright gem blessings always, Earth Angel!

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