1. Think you got a great deal on that beautiful ruby? It may not be real. A number of jewelers nationwide have been caught selling "composite rubies," which are as much as 40 to 50 percent glass, for the price of the real thing.
2. A sure sign of poor craftsmanship: rough edges on the back of the piece.
If itâs not finished underneath, theyâve probably cut corners somewhere
3. If your favorite color is blue, Iâm going to try to sell you the most
expensive stone in that color, probably a sapphire. But many other
stones â including spinel, tanzanite, and tourmaline â also come in
blue. You just have to know to ask.
4. Seek out jewelers who are credentialed by the American Gem Society,
which holds them to a high standard of knowledge and a code of ethics.
5. When you tell me, âI never take it off,â I canât help but think,
Thatâs disgusting. To leave it on when you clean the house, lotion up
your hands â¦ yuck. You should take it off.
6. If youâre buying a diamond on a budget, donât get stuck on the
clarity grade. You can come down several clarity grades and in most
cases will see absolutely no difference with the naked eye, especially
once itâs set in a piece of jewelry.
7. If your jeweler tells you that none of his emeralds are treated in any
way, heâs probably either ill informed or dishonest. Almost all emeralds
today are treated.
8. Please donât lick or spit on your finger to get your ring off, and then hand it to me.
9. Clean your gems in warm water with a mild liquid detergent and a
toothbrush. For some extra shine on your diamonds (as long as theyâre
not fracture filled), spray a little Windex on them, then wipe it off.
Thatâs actually what a lot of jewelers use, even the ones who sell
10. Extended warranties from jewelry stores typically arenât worth the
money. If you have a rider on your homeowners insurance for your ring
and itâs lost, damaged, or stolen, or if a stone falls out, your policy
will usually cover it.
11. The â60 or 70 percent offâ sales you sometimes see? Not possible. There
just isnât enough margin in what we sell today that you can discount
like that and run a business and pay your bills.
12. Hereâs a word to watch for on that diamondâs certification report:
laser. If your diamond has a high clarity grade, but under Comments it
says laser path or laser, that means a laser beam was used to get rid of
a flaw, and it should cost 15 to 40 percent less than an untreated
diamond of the same grade.
13. We like to say, âIf you donât know your jewels, know your jeweler.â It really does come down to trust.
14. Want your ring to look better than rings that are far more valuable? Thereâs a simple formula: Keep it clean. A clean imperfect diamond is much more attractive than a dirty flawless one.
15. People tend to think that stores that do a lot of volume can give you the best price, but the reality is that the markups at national chains are often a lot higher than the markups at independent jewelry stores. Always check and compare.
16. If youâre paying big bucks for a diamond, always get a certification report from a major lab such as the GIA or AGS.
17. To cope in this economy, a lot of jewelers have transformed themselves into buyers of scrap gold because itâs a way to make quick money. But many have let their merchandise selection slip as a result.
18. Sure, there may be some jewelers who donât tell their customers the diamond theyâre buying is fracture filled. But there are also a lot of husbands and boyfriends out there who donât tell their loved one that the diamond theyâre getting is fracture filled. The woman brings it to me to clean or alter it, all the filling comes outâand Iâm the one left in the lurch.
19. If youâre buying something expensive, ask your jeweler to put the details of your piece in writing on the sales receipt. Then take it to a gemologist appraiser who holds a respected credential (MGA, CGA, or CMA). Never deal with a jeweler who doesnât have a generous return policy.
20. If I tell you your diamond has been âclarity enhanced,â it basically means it had fractures that we filled with glass.
21. Donât buy a piece of jewelry, then return it with the smell of perfume all over it and say, âMy wife didnât like it.â At least clean it first.
22. If you have a ring that was passed on, but itâs not to your taste, bring it in and have me take the stones out, rearrange it, put it in a new setting. Donât let it just sit in your jewelry box.
23. Before you complain about your birthstone, find out whether it comes in other colors. Most do. Novemberâs topaz, for example, can be blue, yellow, green, purple, or pink.
24. Just because a stone is a genuine diamond, ruby, sapphire, or emerald doesnât mean itâs valuable. I can show you some that arenât worth 50 cents a carat because theyâre cloudy or dull, but I can still sell them to you for a big profit
25. The biggest trend in jewelry right now? Sterling silver jewelry mixed with gold accents. Because gold and platinum prices are so high, weâre selling a lot more silver. Get a polishing cloth to keep it from tarnishing.