Jewelry delights the eye and, often, the emotions. It’s easy to fall in love with gems and be caught up in the occasion for the purchase. It’s much harder to have the expertise for making a sound purchasing decision.
You’ve come to the right place for that expertise. Regardless of how much you spend, knowing how jewelry is valued enables you to get the best quality for your money.
- explains what determines quality in various gems and why,
- suggests questions to ask the seller (and how to understand and evaluate the answers!),
- cautions you about unfavorable details that might be glossed over by the retailer — whether in a store, by mail, or on the Web,
- warns about some common scams and passes on a few stories of situations when even the experts were taken in!
- JCRS does not sell jewelry or recommend jewelry retailers. The aim of this site is to give information you can use to get the best quality jewelry for the money you spend.
Some of the jewelry buyer information topics we cover and questions we answer:
Is size (carat weight) the most important thing about a diamond? What are the “4Cs” of diamonds? What is a Diamond Certificate? Is a “certified diamond” the best kind to get? learn about diamonds
What should I look for when shopping for colored gems, such as emeralds, sapphires and rubies? What questions should I ask the jeweler? learn about colored stones
What are the most common gem treatments, or enhancements, and why are they done? Do treatments make a gem more valuable or less? learn about diamond treatments
Synthetic and Simulant Gems
Aren’t these both just imitation gems? What is moissanite? What is cubic zirconium? Can any jeweler spot a gem simulant? learn about synthetics and simulants
Isn’t pure gold jewelry the best? What do “14 karat” and “18 karat” mean? How do I know what the karatage of the jewelry is? Isn’t gold always a good investment? What does “sterling silver” mean? How important is trademark? learn about precious metals
Isn’t it easy to shop for a watch? What about warrantees? How can I tell a real watch from a fake or knock-off? Do watches have much of a resale or trade-in value? learn about watches
How do I know I’m getting a good price? Is comparison shopping for jewelry possible? Isn’t every piece of jewelry unique? What questions should I ask the seller? How do I know the jeweler is telling the truth about the quality of the jewelry? learn how to shop for jewelry
Why do I need an appraisal? Can anyone who sells jewelry also appraise it? What should be on an appraisal? What does “disclosure” mean? learn about jewelry appraisal
What will the insurer want to know? Do I always need an appraisal to get jewelry insurance? What is a Certified Insurance Appraiser? learn about jewelry insurance
What is a “jeweler”? What credentils does a jeweler have? Is
every jeweler an appraiser? Is every jeweler a gemologist? learn
about jewler/appraiser credentials