Blog, Education & Editorials

9 Tips to buy gem and jewellery

One of the best ways to ensure that you are getting great value when collecting jewellery is to always purchase from LusterBlue! Here are our top nine tips to help you judge the value of you potential purchase.

1. Make sure it is the real thing

“There is no fraud or deceit in the world which yields greater gain and profit more than the counterfeiting gems.” The fraudulent selling of fake gems and fake gold is unfortunately as widespread today, as it was in the 1st century AD. Compounding the problem is the introduction of lap generated gems that are very difficult to distinguish from the real thing. There are many books written on the subject and the Internet is becoming a very useful tool in providing more information on indentifying the real thing from the impostors.

2. Color

Study the color of the gems and if possible make comparisons to others while vivid, saturated, deeper colors are generally more highly prized, color preferences are ultimately up to personal taste. The best color for any gemstone should be obvious from several meters away.

3. Carat & Clarity

Larger gems are more highly prized than the small ones and gems with fewer and smaller inclusions are generally more highly prized than those with more numerous and larger inclusions.

However, please remember that sometimes inclusions increase the value of a gemstone or are a common natural characteristic.

4. Cuts

Well cut gems of good symmetry, attractive design and fine polish are more prized than poorly cut gems. Regrettably, some gemstones, such as Ruby and Emerald, are often poorly cut in order to maximize weight at the expense of their appearance.

5. Rarity

Rare gems are more highly prized than more varieties. However, if the gem is so rare that it is essentially unknown to the general public, its value suffers and it is relegated to the status of a ‘Collectors’ Gem’.

Gems such as Bracite, Cildrenite, and Simpsonite are extremely rare, attractive and durable, but don’t command prices appropriate to their rarity, because there are currently few people who are aware of them.

6. Historical connotations and origin

While there are exceptions, gemstones that are rich in history and folklore are generally more prized than those lacking historical connotations. When specifying an origin, gemstone origin is considered a matter of opinion.

7. Is it real gold?

Plated gold is sometimes sold as real gold. If a street vendor offers you gold jewellery at a price that you feel is unbelievable, then it probably is. Remember that seeing 9K or 18K engraved on jewellery does not guarantee that it is real gold. If you are in a country where there is an official government stamp, such as the United Kingdom or Switzerland, then ensure that the correct stamp had been applied.

8. Guaranteeing weight

Check with the jeweller whether the weight of gold and the carat weight of the gems are an average or are guaranteed. If they are only an average, you should ask the salesperson ‘what is range’. In most countries, respectable jewelers will be aware of the range of tolerances used by their suppliers. If you are unsure about your gram and carat weight, ask the retailer to put into writing what they will guarantee.

9. Insurance

Don’t assume that your jewellery collection is automatically insured by your household policy. It is always wise to take photos and catalogue all of your jewellery. Try and keep all your receipts and get as much written details as possible from the retailer. If your catalogue is a hard copy, make sure you take a photocopy and keep the second copy at a friend’s house or as some collectors do, leave a copy with your family lawyer or solicitor. If your catalogue is a soft copy on your PC, make a copy of the data and keep it in a different location.