Making a Fine Gemstone Jewelry Purchase

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The world of fine gemstone jewelry is exciting and glamorous to be sure. However, do you know enough about it to make a wise purchase? Most jewelers are honest enough, but there are some out there would love nothing more than to take your money and run. Knowing how to protect yourself from these unscrupulous people is very important.

Here, we will provide you with useful information on how to select a retailer as well as how to obtain a good appraisal. We will also provide you with helpful tips on how to keep your treasures looking beautiful once you get them home.

A Word on Jewelry Stores

When it comes to retail establishments, size and years in business don’t always paint a clear picture of whether you’ll get a good deal or not. The best way to make a wise fine gemstone jewelry selection is by shopping around. Ask questions about why one price is higher than another. Another important thing to take note of is how knowledgeable the salespeople seem. If they don’t have their facts straight, how are they going to help you make a wise purchase? Other important things to keep in mind might be:

  • The gemological credentials of the people employed there.
  • The helpfulness of the staff and general atmosphere of the establishment.
  • The return policy.

Another important point is that handcrafted and designer fine gemstone jewelry will generally be more expensive than items purchased in large retail establishments. Many large chains mass-produce their items and can, therefore, offer them at lower prices. Conversely, a one-person store is usually selling limited production or one-of-a-kind items. Not to mention what you’ll pay for a designer label!

Making a Fine Gemstone Jewelry Purchase

Getting a Good Appraisal

Getting a valid appraisal for your fine gemstone jewelry is important because it will help you obtain adequate insurance if your item is lost or stolen. Not only that, but it’s a good way to verify the facts about your purchase and make sure you got what you paid for. Here are a few organizations that can help point you in the right direction:

National Association of Jewelry Appraisers


American Society of Appraisers


International Society of Appraisers


American Gem Society


When selecting an appraiser for your fine gemstone jewelry, you should always:

  • Look at their credentials.
  • Check their length of experience.
  • Make sure the appraisal will be conducted in your presence. (This will ensure that your purchase will not be switched out for an item of lesser value.)

Caring for Your Jewelry

You’ve done your due diligence, selected carefully and finally made that purchase…now what? Here are some tips that will help you keep your treasures looking beautiful for years to come

  • Make sure that you store your items carefully. Try to avoid storing them in areas where there are extreme temperatures or humidity.
  • Keep gold and silver in separate containers. Silver is much harder than gold and can scratch it.
  • Avoid storing items in safe deposit boxes for long periods of time. Some gemstones will be adversely affected by this.

Wearing Your Jewelry

  • Remove items before showering or bathing.
  • Remove items before doing any kind of rough work. Also, some chemicals commonly used in cleaning supplies can damage your stones. It’s best to remove items before doing housework.
  • Avoid exposure to extreme temperatures. Hot steam and flames can damage many gems. A hot pan handle can cause the enamel on a ring to melt.


In general, soap and water is enough to clean most of your items. A toothbrush may be used to clean some of the harder minerals like diamonds and sapphires. However, gems like amber are very soft and should be cleaned with great care. Ultrasonic cleaners should not be used with most gemstones. Make sure you know the specifics about how to care for your particular stone before using one of these devices.