You are window-shopping and notice a famous brand name watch in the window of a small jewelry store. You go into the store and ask to see the watch. The sales person shows the watch to you with its price. When you hesitate to buy the watch, he offers it to you at a lower price. Would you buy it?
You are looking at diamonds in a jewelry store, and the salesperson offers you a diamond for cash, without a sales receipt and invoice or sales tax, for a price lower than the original one. Would you buy it?
All of the above are examples of precisely where you should not buy fine jewelry. In buying fine jewelry, you are buying jewelry you want to keep and treasure, not to throw away the way you may do with costume jewelry. For that reason, not to mention what you may have to pay, you want to be careful where you buy jewelry. And the more you pay, the more you want to be sure the store is reliable, with a reputation of standing behind what it sells. Those qualifications automatically rule out street peddlers, strangers, or fly-by-night stores that may be here today and gone tomorrow, and stores with continual going out of business sales. But where not to go is not much help in finding the store where you should go.
If you have a reputable jeweler with whom you have dealt in the past and with whom you have always been satisfied, you will want to continue going to him. On the other hand, perhaps you have moved or you are making your first purchase of jewelry or your jeweler does not carry the type of jewelry you want. How do you go about finding the right place to buy a piece of gold jewelry or a diamond or other gemstone? How do you know whether you are getting the best advice available? How do you know the store has the kind of business and professional ethics that will mean a fair price backed up by assurance that what you buy is genuine?
One way is to ask people you know about their jewelers, just as you would ask about their dentists or physicians. The key word is jeweler. A jeweler should be an expert in precious metals and gems, with training, experience, integrity, and a reputation in the field to protect. These qualities are important, because with the price of jewelry being what it is you can not afford an expensive mistake: you need guarantee that a piece of jewelry is what it is supposed to be, Since you can not always tell just by looking at it. In this sense, jewelry is a blind purchase.
A jeweler is a person, who makes or repairs jewelry or who deals in jewelry, precious stones, watches, and perhaps silverware and china. More important to you is the fact that jeweler should not only deal in those items but also be an expert in them and stand behind what he sells and work done.
Whether or not you have the names of several jewelers, start out to find the one for you by looking around various stores. Some jewelers may specialize in certain types of jewelry. If you are interested in diamonds, make sure the store carries a good selection of diamonds. If you are interested in colored stones, make sure it has a good selection of those, including the ones you may want to buy.
A jeweler may have a wide choice of diamonds, which is good as long as you want to buy a diamond, and only one or two rubies, sapphires, or tourmalines, which can be costly, as well as for stones that are less expensive. If you want one of the lesser-known gems like peridot or spinel, for example, you want a jeweler who does not display those gems may still have them or be able to get them, but you want assurance he is familiar with gems.
Once you have found a jeweler or jewelers who carry what you want in styles that appeal to you, you still want to know more about the store. That brings up professional ethics and sound business practices.
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Copyright 2005 Bijan Aziz.