BBB offers tips for buying jewelry


By John North

Better Business Bureau

Jewelry is a very popular gift. In fact, the global jewelry market size was valued at $353.26 billion in 2023 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.7% from 2024 to 2030. Increasing disposable income and innovative jewelry designs offered by manufacturers are expected to drive product demand.

No matter the occasion, picking out the right piece of jewelry with a multitude of options available, understanding the terms jewelers use and the types of jewelry available can be very stressful. To help you shop for jewelry without getting scammed, the Better Business Bureau offers these tips:

* Research jewelers. Look at their websites, reviews and social media.

* Ask friends and family who they have purchased from in the past.

* Understand the differences between stones, settings and cost, as it will give you an idea of how to negotiate with sellers. Also, check for appropriate markings on gold, silver and platinum jewelry and ask if the gems are natural, synthetic or imitation. Ask if any special care is needed to keep them in good condition. In addition, check that you’re buying conflict-free stones and the diamonds have been produced in line with the international Kimberley Process.

* Shop around to find the best prices, quality and most appealing styles.

* Ask about the gemological and appraisal education of the company’s salespeople.

* Select a customer-focused jeweler. A reputable jeweler is a consultant, as well as a salesperson.

* Request a GIA Diamond Grading Report if you’re buying a diamond. For colored gemstones, the go-to labs for grading include: American Gemological Laboratories, Gübelin Gem Lab, Swiss Gemological Institute and GemResearch SwissLab.

* Request a purity check. Most reputable jewelers will offer to provide this service for you before you finalize your purchase. Don’t buy anything if you cannot confirm the quality.

* Get an appraisal for insurance purposes if you purchased an antique piece or an expensive item.

* Check the jewelry for any damages before purchasing.

* Read the fine print and understand the return policy or warranty information.

* Always get a receipt and ask for a certificate of replacement cost or an appraisal listing the qualities of your gemstones or precious metals to accompany your receipt.

* Be cautious shopping online because you won’t be able to examine, touch or try on the jewelry. Be sure to get the address and phone number of the business and print out a copy of the receipt for your records.

Find out if a jeweler is a member of associations like the American Gem Society (AGS) or the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Ask if the jeweler sells jewelry graded by the GIA or AGS. These two organizations are the industry’s leading independent grading laboratories. Reputable jewelers should be stressing the importance of top-level grading or certification.

During your search, you can also reach out to the Better Business Bureau at or (937) 222-5825. BBB can provide lists of BBB Accredited jewelers and Business Profiles on the ones you’re considering.

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