Choosing a Jeweler: A Beginner’s Guide

Jewelry Closeup

Unlike shopping for clothing, buying new jewelry often requires a bit more planning and consideration. After all, if you're going to a high-end jeweler, you're probably looking to make a sizable investment. Whether you're purchasing fine jewelry like a wedding band or are considering a gift for a significant other, it's a good idea to do some research before shopping at a jewelry store.

Between finding someone with years of experience to excellent customer service and appraisal skills, here's what you need to know when you're trying to choose a jeweler.

Avoid the chain shops.

If you're ready to buy some jewelry, your first instinct may be to visit a Kay Jewelers or another popular vendor. Chances are you've seen plenty of advertisements and it seems like a fairly safe bet, right? While there's nothing inherently wrong with a Kay Jewelers or Gold N Diamonds shop, larger chains don't always attract dedicated jewelers with years of experience. Especially if you're looking for an appraisal of some estate jewelry or accessories, you're going to want to choose local brands with lengthy histories. Often, family-owned shops are a great bet.

Say you live in Ellicott City, Timonium, Towson, Pikesville, Baltimore, or Annapolis. One quick search for "Baltimore jewelers" brings up brands like Nelson Coleman that have been serving the metro area for over a century. It's a great way to find vendors that are well-liked and can offer more personalized service. If you do have to visit a chain like Kay Jewelers, make sure to read up on the reviews well ahead of time.

Ask for recommendations.

Perhaps the easiest way to find the right vendor is simply by asking your friends, family, and coworkers. Know someone who just bought a beautiful platinum engagement ring for their spouse-to-be? Find out where they shopped and how they felt about the experience. Do you have a friend that always buys his wife jewelry from the same shop? Ask him a few questions so you can see what keeps bringing him back to that business. Word-of-mouth is a great way to sift through the competition and find the perfect jeweler. It can really make a difference in your overall experience.

Seek out the pros.

If you're not sure where to start, you may want to narrow your options down to certified jewelers. If a business has staff members that have been trained by either the American Gem Society or Gemological Institute of America, this shows that they've put a good amount of time and effort into their ongoing education. Educated staff members are ideal when it comes to your questions as a buyer. On top of this, they're more likely to be able to help with repairs, future appraisals, and even custom work.

Go beyond the sale.

Some businesses simply want to push products and call it a day. When it comes time for repairs and cleanings, they don't seem to be much help at all. As you've likely guessed, this is a major red flag. Any quality jewelry store will do their best to aid you with post-sale services. Not only does this benefit them but it's simply an example of excellent customer service. What you're looking for at the end of the day is lifelong customer service, routine cleanings, and stores that handle repairs in-house as opposed to shipping them off to third-party companies. It makes for a better experience all around.

It might seem like a lot of work goes into choosing the right jewelry store. However, once you know what you're looking for, it's that much easier to narrow down your options. At the end of the day, it's a personal decision and only you can make the right one.

Content Provided by Scholarship Media

UTA Radio on Facebook

Twitter Feed

UTA News