Purchasing a piece of jewelry requires important decisions. Just as you consult with other professionals for important advice, such as a family doctor or lawyer, you should turn to a professional jeweler to make a jewelry purchase a pleasurable event.
Here are some guidelines for selecting a professional jewelry.
First, a professional jeweler should have the knowledge and training to help you make an informed purchase. Look for credentials that indicate professional experience. For example, the initials GG (Graduate Gemologist) after a jeweler’s name indicate that the jeweler has had a high level of gemological training. A GG should be up to date on the industry’s most relevant developments through GIA’s continuing education programs such as the Continuing Education Recognition Program.
In addition to product knowledge, a jeweler’s reputation is one of his or her most valuable assets. Ask friends for recommendations, or ask a jeweler to provide references. Find out how long the jeweler has been in business, check for affiliations with industry associations and ask whether he or she is an active member of the GIA Alumni Association.
If you are buying a diamond or colored gemstone, consider getting a report from an independent laboratory with your purchase. For example, professional jewelers worldwide provide independent diamond grading reports with their fine diamonds. The most widely used and respected are those issued by the GIA Laboratory, which created the diamond grading system. A jeweler can even arrange to have a diamond’s unique GIA Diamond Grading Report number, or even a personal message, laser inscribed onto its girdle (outside edge) for easy identification.
Be sure to ask jewelers about the types of services they provide – such as repairs, appraisals, and inscriptions – the range of products offered and the store’s return policy and credit terms.