Buying jewelry can be a stressful process. You may know what you like, but not everything is what it seems. A beautiful gold necklace may not actually be gold. The diamond ring you want to buy for your spouse may be way overpriced.
The problem is that if you’re not a jeweler, you probably have no idea what jewelry should cost. Even if the item is what the seller claims it is, it is hard to tell whether their price is reasonable. Can you buy jewelry without getting ripped off?
Fortunately, there are ways to buy jewelry at the right price. When you do start building your collection, make sure your jewelry is covered by your renters insurance policy. The one thing worse than getting ripped off is losing your precious jewels to theft.
Here is what you need to know to buy jewelry without being ripped off.
Buy from a reputed jeweler
If you want to find a bargain, you will need to look to unexpected sources. Maybe you can find someone on Craigslist selling a diamond ring in desperate need of the cash. Alternatively, you could go to your nearest pawn shop to see what they have available.
However, when you shop this way, you increase your likelihood of getting ripped off. While there are certainly people selling incredible jewelry at cut prices, it will be difficult to certify whether the item is real before you buy it. Once you’ve bought it, it will be very difficult to return if an assessor tells you that it’s fake.
Rather pay full price at a reputed jeweler. In doing so, you know that you are almost certainly getting what you are promised. If you do get it assessed and find it wanting, you can make use of the jeweler’s return policy.
Ask about GIA grading
When looking into the way precious gems are valued, you will hear a lot about ‘GIA certification’. GIA refers to the Gemological Institute of America. They do not really provide certification that gems are real. Rather, they grade the gems according to various criteria, essentially verifying that what the jeweler claims to be selling is accurate.
GIA grading is especially important when buying diamond jewelry. Diamonds labeled as GIA certified will have been assessed by the GIA and you can trust that they’re the real deal.
Of course, this does not mean that you are necessarily getting the best price. The reality is that financial value is based on subjective factors, including supply and demand. For this reason, you don’t need to simply accept the price given to you by the jeweler, even if they have GIA certification.
There are a number of factors that go into the pricing of a piece of jewelry, including the craftsmanship. However, the biggest factor is the rarity of the gem itself. It is their rarity that makes gems such prized possessions. In a world in which you could buy diamonds at every corner store, you would never pay thousands of dollars for one.
Because there is limited supply, jewelers can attach any price they want in the hope that someone will want the item enough to pay it. They generally go for what they think they can get in the best case scenario. Ultimately, though, they want to make the sale even if they are not going to get that price.
For this reason, you should always negotiate. In many cases, you can get 40% or more off the marked retail price. This is not because the piece of jewelry is not worth it, but because the seller will sell it for whatever price makes a tidy profit. In many cases, even if you get a big discount on the item, you will be able to insure it for its marked value.
Buying jewelry can be stressful, especially if it is your first time. While you can get huge bargains if you look further afield, you can also get ripped off. Choose a reputable jeweler and see if they’re willing to negotiate on price.