Buying jewelry can be fun, exciting and confusing. Whether you're considering a gift of jewelry for someone special or as a treat for yourself, take some time to learn the terms used in the industry. Here's some information to help you get the best quality jewelry for your money, whether you're shopping in a traditional brick and mortar store or online.
Top Ten Tips
1. When you're in the market for a piece of jewelry for yourself or someone you love, shop around. Compare quality, price, and service. If you're not familiar with any jewelers in your area, ask family members, friends, and co-workers for recommendations.
2. Ask for the store's refund and return policy before you buy.
3. Check for the appropriate markings on metal jewelry.
4. Ask whether the pearls are natural. cultured, or imitation.
5. Ask whether the gemstones have been treated. Is the change permanent? Is special care required?
6. Make sure the jeweler writes on the sales receipt any information you relied on when making your purchase, such as the gem's weight or size. Some jewelers also may supply a grading report form a gemological laboratory.
In addition, these tips apply when you're shopping for jewelry online:
7. Shop with companies you know or do some homework before buying to make sure a company is legitimate before doing business with it.
8. Get the details about the product, as well as the merchant's refund and return policies, before you buy.
9. Look for an address to write to or a phone number to call if you have a question, a problem or need help.
10. If you have a problem with the jewelry you purchased, first try to resolve it with the jeweler. If you are dissatisfied with the response, contact your local Better Business Bureau or local consumer protection agency.
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