How to choose a Jeweller

10 expert questions to ask when choosing a Jeweller to create custom jewellery.

Buying fine jewellery isn’t like buying anything else — even big-ticket items like a car or a house. Precious stones — gems and diamonds — and fine jewellery come with their own language. It involves quality, style, even the way they’re marketed and sold. It’s next to impossible for an untrained eye to fully grasp the quality of a particular piece.

On top of that, most of us only dip into fine jewellery purchases a few times in our lives, yet they’re the moments most filled with emotional significance. This means a critical step in finding the perfect engagement ring is to find a jeweller you trust. Don’t leave the purchase of a lifetime to chance. Ask yourself these questions when choosing a jeweller.

1)  Does the jeweller listen to you?

Respected jewellers should:

  • Focus on the client. Whether you are coming in by yourself or as a couple, your needs should be attended to and understood by the jeweller.
  • Be careful if they are focusing on one thing, like price or are pushing their own agenda.
  • Show you an array of different rings but help guide you in narrowing down your choices. You shouldn’t walk away feeling overwhelmed with decisions but educated.

2) Is the jeweller well established?

Choose someone with whom you can build a lasting relationship. Look at how long the jeweller has been in business and research the store’s reputation. An established business is more likely to have great references. You can check their Facebook/ google page for reviews.

3) Is the jeweller knowledgeable and qualified?

When working with a reputable jeweller, everyone on staff should be able to answer your questions with confidence and ease, or point you to someone else in-house who can. Ensuring there is a trained gemmologist and diamond technologist in-house, makes this more likely to happen. Don’t hesitate to walk away if a salesperson refuses to answer a question — everything you ask matters.

4) Does the jeweller offer a wide array of services?

A respected jeweller will offer an array of services including repairs on most pieces of jewellery, custom design work, remodelling of old jewellery into new, valuations and insurance quotes. Here are a few things to look for:

  • Do they have an in-house NCJV registered valuer?
  • Do they have jewellers onsite?
  • Do they have gemmologists and diamond technologists?

5) Does your jewellery stay on site or does it get sent off site?

An important question to ask. A respected jeweller should do their work on site in a secure premise to maintain control of every step of the process.

6) How does the jeweller handle the diamond certification and appraisal?

Don’t just take your jewellers word for it: ask for a third party diamond certificate from a respected independent gem lab such as GIA. The Certification proves the stone is natural and describes the characteristics of the gem such as the colour, clarity and quality of the diamond.

7) Does the jeweller teach you how to look at diamonds and show you the 4Cs first-hand?

You may not be trained to see a diamonds 4cs but a good jeweller should guide you through the process, and provide the tools to help you see the true beauty of what you’re about to purchase. When viewing stones, make sure to ask the following:

  • Can you see the cut of the diamond under gemological magnification. eg a x10 loupe?
  • Does the jeweller have a full-spectrum diamond light for colour grading?
  • Is there a set of diamonds or colour grading stones to compare the colour of the diamond?

8) How does the jeweller mark the integrity of the precious metal in their jewellery?

You’ll find a lot of jewellers focus – and rightly so – on the quality of the gems in their jewellery. However, the metal matters too. So, you should ask about the metal quality and how it is made. A reputable jeweller won’t hesitate to show you the stamps verifying the precious metal content such as 9ct (375), 18ct (750) or PT950 for platinum.

9) How will your jewellery be made?

It may not seem important for some but how your jewellery is made is a very important question to ask your jeweller. A respected jeweller should not hesitate to tell you how they will make your piece. Some good questions to ask are:

  • Will it be made on site or sent somewhere else?
  • Will it be handmade or cast?

The final question

10) Can you trust the jeweller and do you feel comfortable with them?

Before plunging into a purchase, you need to ask yourself: Do I trust this jeweller? And do I feel comfortable spending my money with them? The sense of trust can come from many places: a referral from a friend or family member, reputation in the community, or you having done your research online.

Equipped with these questions to ask both yourself and your jeweller, you’re ready to shop for your next piece with a little more ease. Better yet, you’re positioning yourself to establish a lifelong relationship with a jeweller you trust and feel comfortable with.