Smart Jewelry Shopper

How to Buy Jewelry & Gemstones With Confidence


Introduction to Buying Jewelry Online

Purchasing jewelry is a major investment which should be done with care and caution. You can save quite a bit of money shopping online since online retailers can charge less as they don’t have the overhead. It is a great way to make jewelry purchases but you should know what you are doing first.

This introduction to buying jewelry online will help you make the right decisions and avoid getting burned by cons or scams.


When buying jewelry online, you should always look into the reputation of the e-tailer you are working with. It is helpful to go with a well known company or organization but you can also do a basic search for reviews and complaints first. The goal is to make purchases from a company which has rave reviews and is not in the business of scamming people.

Refund Policy

For your own security it is best to be sure you ask for the company’s refund policy. There should always be a money back guarantee on items which are being purchased. This protects you from receiving pieces which aren’t what you expected or damaged items.

You can make a decision based on the refund policy which should be listed on their site and in writing. You should also be aware that some refunds are granted within a grace period so make sure you know the time frame for returns in case you need to send something back.

Markings and Ratings

Any fine jewelry will come with a way to determine its value. Generally with metal items such as gold, platinum or silver jewelry there will be markings available on the piece itself to indicate the amount of metal within the item. For example, gold will have a karat rating from 14k to 24k.

Near the karat marking there should be a name or the U.S. registered trademark of the company that will stand behind the mark. Although it is not required by law, most fine jewelry will have this mark. Platinum will be marked to indicate how much platinum is within the piece such as 850Plat which means it is 85% platinum. There is no such thing as 100% platinum as it is always mixed with other metals. The highest ratio is 95%.

Many gemstones and diamonds will come with a certificate from a gemologist who will indicate the clarity, cut, carat and color of the stone. This is very important, especially for major purchases.

Shopper’s Checklist

It’s good to shop around if you’re in the market to pick up a piece of precious jewelry. Of course, brick-and-mortar stores are better than online places (except for the significantly higher prices) but wherever you method that you choose, ensure that you clarify whatever that you don’t understand.

If you’re at a store, check for the following:

• Ask about return and refund policy if any

• Check for suitable markings on the piece of jewelry

• Find out the type of stones or pearls – imitation, natural, or cultured, and whether treated or not. Are there any special care needs?

• Ensure that any information you relied on to make a decision is included on your sales receipt. Also, get a grading report (by 3rd parties) for certain types of jewelry, such as the diamond.

If shopping online:

• Do your research about a company before buying from them

• Get as much details as you can about the product, and any return and refund policies if any

• Look for contact details and call in to test that this is a valid business. You may also want to find out whether the seller is based abroad.

Independent Appraisals

If you are concerned about the true value of the piece of jewelry you wish to purchase you may consider requesting an independent appraisal. Any reputable company should be open to this examination.

By following the advice on this introduction to buying jewelry online you should be better prepared to make good decisions when shopping. Always make sure you are working within a secure network when making payments. Another terrific piece of advice is to print out the online item and price and bring this to a local jeweler to compare prices and see if you can get the same price nearby. This could help you save the same amount of money while being able to handle the item yourself for closer examination.