13 Things Your Jeweler Isn’t Telling You—And 13 Solutions for Every Rookie Mistake

Reader’s Digest’s monthly feature exposes the secrets behind every service industry, from doctors to baristas, allowing you to make better, more informed choices no matter what service you are receiving or product you are buying. This month, Reader’s Digest turns its attention to jewelers, revealing the 13 most common mistakes that ill-informed consumers can make.
Not all jewelers are not out to deceive you! There are many wonderful jewelers who provide great information, expert guidance, and outstanding customer service. As the saying goes, “if you don’t know jewelry, know your jeweler”!
Tip: Jewelers who are members of the American Gem Society (AGS) are bound by the highest code ethics in the industry and must pass annual continuing education requirements.
Below are our simple solutions to avoid Reader’s Digest’s list of common consumer mistakes.

1. If you are getting an incredible price on a ruby, it may not be real. Several jewelers nationwide have been caught selling “composite rubies,” which can contain up to 50% glass.

Solution: Get a laboratory report! Laboratories like the GIA perform testing to accurately identify the gemstone and determine what treatments if any have been applied. Don’t buy an expensive colored stone without one. Alternatively, consider other red gemstones such as spinel, garnet, or rubelite tourmaline. When you buy engagement rings with gemstones, make sure the gemstones are durable and high-quality.
GIA Certificate

2. If the underside and corners of the ring aren’t smooth, that’s a sign of poor craftsmanship and finishing. Rough edges and visible joints between the ring parts is a sign that corners have been cut somewhere else as well.

Solution: Make sure that edges are smooth and comfortable to the touch, and areas where different components meet have transitions without visible joints or solder lines. Consider purchasing authentic brand name designer jewelry to be confident in lasting quality and to have long-term guarantee of service.
Designer Engagement Rings

3. If your favorite color is blue, you’re probably going to ask for a sapphire. But many other stones — including spinel, tanzanite, and tourmaline — also come in blue, and sapphires come in many colors besides blue. You just have to ask for it.

Solution: The best known blue gemstone is sapphire.
Blue Sapphire
But sapphires also come in other colors, while other gemstones are also blue. Fine blue sapphire can be expensive while lower cost sapphires can often be dark and lack brilliance. Some beautiful blue gems that are often less expensive are blue topaz, tanzanite, and spinel.

4. You might think never taking your ring off is a good idea because it prevents you from losing it, but it is not only unsanitary, it can cause damage to the ring and even cause you to lose the ring altogether.

Solution: Use good judgement when deciding where and when to wear your ring. Doing certain activities like working out at the gym or heavy yardwork can damage your jewelry or get it very dirty. Develop a routine and keep jewelry in a safe place when not wearing it. Clean it regularly and check it for any problems such as thinning or lifted prongs.

5. Look for jewelry stores with American Gem Society credentials, and AGS certified diamonds, which means they will have more diamond knowledge and a higher code of ethics than anywhere else.

Solution: When you choose an AGS-certified jeweler, and buy diamonds with AGS certificates, you can have full confidence in your purchase. The top diamond brands in the world have AGSL certificates. The American Gem Society is the gold standard for integrity in the jewelry industry.

6. Almost all emeralds used in jewelry are treated in some way—if your jeweler tells you otherwise, he is either being dishonest or not very well informed.

Solution: As already mentioned, any expensive gemstone should be accompanied by a laboratory report, ideally a report done by GIA. This is certainly true of emeralds. Some treatments are standard and acceptable while others are problematic. It is important to know the exact nature of the emerald you are considering.

7. If you’re buying a diamond on a budget, don’t worry too much about the clarity grade. Once the diamond is set in a ring, you will not be able to tell the difference between the clarity grades, as long as the ring looks flawless to your eye.

Solution: Compromises can be made in color and clarity grade in order to get a more sizable and affordable diamond. Especially in clarity grade, the top four or five grades are generally indistinguishable by the naked eye. It’s much more important to get a diamond with an ideal cut grade than a color or clarity grade at the top of the scale.

8. If your ring is stuck on your finger when you bring it in to the jeweler, don’t put it in your mouth or spit on it to get it off—and then hand it to the jeweler.

Solution: A small amount of soapy water or a spray of windex is a better way to remove a tight ring. It may also be helpful to put a cold compress on the hand to reduce any swelling that might be present. Rings should go on rather easily but come off with a small amount of effort. Rings that are too tight need to be professionally sized to fit comfortably and securely.

9. When you bring your engagement rings in for cleaning, all we do is wipe them with a little detergent. For shine, we use a spray that is basically Windex. And that expensive cleaner that we sell? It’s the same mild liquid detergent you can find anywhere.

Solution: Regular cleaning can be easily done at home by soaking in warm water with a mild liquid detergent and using a fine brush to clean tiny spaces where dirt collects. Once in a while have your jeweler perform a thorough professional cleaning with ultrasonic and steam. For more information on taking care of your diamond engagement ring take a look at this infographic.

10. Although some jewelry stores have them, extended warranties aren’t usually worth much. If you have a rider on your homeowners insurance for your ring and it’s lost, damaged, or stolen, your policy will often cover it without an extended warranty.

Solution: Many warranties are often limited to defects in materials and workmanship. Claims can be difficult for the consumer to prove. A comprehensive insurance policy offers better protection. A policy from a company specializing in personal jewelry, such as Jewelers Mutual, can protect against all risks.
Whiteflash Guarantee

11. In today’s diamond market, a “60 or 70 percent off” sale is literally impossible for an honest jeweler. There just isn’t enough margin in what we sell today that you can discount like that and run a business honestly.

Solution: Extreme discounts are the first sign of a deceptive jeweler. Once you learn a little about diamond quality and value, you’ll realize that what looks like an incredible price may actually be an inferior product. Choose a jeweler offering proven quality, assurance policies, excellent customer care, and fair everyday prices.

12. Look for the word laser on your diamond’s certification. If there is 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 stone.

Solution: Diamonds that have been laser drilled or clarity enhanced are much cheaper, but come with risks for durability and/or resale value. A lab report will reveal these characteristics. Decide what your budget and tastes will allow, inform yourself, and choose accordingly.

13. As the saying goes, “If you don’t know your jewels, know your jeweler.” Since you aren’t an expert gemologist, it really does come down to trust.

Solution: Check the jeweler’s credentials with trade organizations such as AGS, check their rating with the Better Business Bureau, and read online reviews. Talk to friends and family members who have purchased diamond jewelry. Take your time and get comfortable before you buy. For independent Whiteflash reviews you can visit third party review sites such as Google+, Yelp and iVouch.

Have A Question?

Give us a Call Toll Free on: 1-877-612-6770 or Outside USA: 1-832-252-6770 or email us directly on Info@Whiteflash.com to speak with one of our friendly GIA Trained Staff.

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