Tips that Every Shopper Should Know Before Entering a Jewelry Store

A beautiful diamond ring, necklace or bracelet is always a sight to behold. However, the value of the piece is determined by where you purchase it, for how much, the type and its authenticity. Coronado, California and its vicinity boasts a number of jewelry stores. When shopping for jewelry, buyers should keep these tips in mind:

The best-looking shop won't necessarily give you the best value

Chain stores, making large-volume sales, tend to sell their commodities at higher prices than independent stores. There’s a corporation at the top of the chain store, making profits that are typically taken out of the state to benefit some other place. And someone has to pay for the fancy displays and signage!

Independent jewelers tend to price their jewelry at a fair market value, ensuring that you won’t pay too much, and will retain more of the value of the piece over the long haul.

What you perceive isn't always what you get

A few unscrupulous jewelers in the world may take advantage of buyers and leave out details that affect value. You may come to discover later that the diamonds you purchased are fracture-filled or even worse. Unfortunately, duped customers only get to learn the truth when they take their jewelry for polishing, rearranging, or selling. Shopping with a reputable jeweler such as Leo Hamel’s gives you peace of mind that no one is trying to pull the wool over your eyes.

Ask for confirmation

When considering buying expensive jewelry, you’ll want to confirm its authenticity. When buying diamonds, ask to see a grading certificate. It should include the 4 Cs – color, cut, clarity, and carat weight – as well as exact measurements. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA), an independent diamond-grading laboratory headquartered in Carlsbad, California, is an esteemed institute for issuing certificates on precious stones. Therefore, larger, better-quality diamonds should only be purchased when accompanied by this certificate.

Birthstones come in a different colors 

Although particular gemstones are assigned to each month as its birthstone, there are still color variations available within that gemstone’s range. The fire opal, for example, can be yellow, orange or orange-red. Sapphires come in all colors of the rainbow except red – because red corundum is called “ruby.” Tanzanites can have a lot of purple coloring, or be so blue as to look like sapphires.

All diamonds look the same at first

Until you’ve spent time education yourself on the 4 Cs, it can be difficult to discern the differences in qualities of diamonds. Although some flaws and imperfections are visible to the naked eye, many more are only visible under magnification, and very slight flaws are difficult for all but experts to spot. One of the biggest visible differences is that of a poorly cut diamond compared to a well cut diamond. A poor cut robs the diamond of its sparkle and brilliance. An ideal cut diamond refracts and reflects maximum light, giving the diamond scintillation and liveliness.

Look at a number of diamonds with a reliable expert and you will begin to detect some of the differences between stones.

Is everyone selling diamonds an expert?

Most reputable independent jewelers know their stuff when it comes to jewelry and diamonds. But that doesn’t mean that every jeweler is the same caliber of expert as the next. Look for jewelers who hire trained professionals to work in their stores, and who have been in the industry for a number of years. Some jewelers like Leo Hamel’s employ Graduate Gemologists who’ve completed extensive training at the Gemological Institute of America, and are very knowledgeable about the relative quality of gemstones and diamonds.

When jewelry shopping in Coronado, it comes down to two things, do your homework and take your time. There are some fine jewelry stores in and around Coronado and the surrounding San Diego area, so pay them a visit.