Since it’s Halloween we thought we’d talk about some of the more scary things we see in our industry. It’s unfortunate there are unscrupulous buyers and sellers of gold and jewellery. In the interest of keeping you informed, here are some common jewellery scams you want to avoid.
A common scam opportunity is when a ring has to be sent away for repairs. Sometimes people don’t get their own diamonds back. This is known as a diamond switchout. In some cases a slightly smaller stone is used to replace the original. Or, a diamond of the same size and cut but of lesser quality is substituted.
It’s also possible your diamond jewellery could come back with stones that are not diamonds. Moissanite and even cubic zirconia are used as diamond simulants. They look enough like diamonds to the untrained eye.
What’s the difference between a 3/4 carat weight diamond and a 0.68 carat weight diamond? You could be looking at a price difference of around $1000. Diamonds and other gems have their carat weight expressed in decimal points. If you see a gem being represented as 3/4 carat then it should have a carat weight of 0.75 on its certification papers. In addition, many jewellery retailers will express the carat weight of all the gemstones in a ring. What you want to know is the carat weight of each gemstone in the ring, and particularly the carat weight of the centre stone. A single 1 carat diamond could be worth $5000 where 10 stones with a total weight of 1 carat could be worth $2000.
Know what you’re buying!
Work with an independent jewellery repair shop that does all its work on site. Independent shops live and die by their reputation so they’re far less likely to scam their customers. Large jewellery chains and online stores typically send their repair and re-sizing work to large repair shops where it can be more likely that mistakes and scams can occur.
It’s also very helpful to get information about the gems used in your ring in writing. Diamond certifications from independent labs like the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) or AGS (American Gem Society) are one way to have all the characteristics of your diamond measured and certified. If you have to send your ring away, you can have the diamonds checked at an independent jeweller to see if it matches what’s on the certificate.
Your jewellery is a very personal object so you want to take care of it. When it needs maintenance and repair, work with a trusted independent jewellery repair shop like us. We will give you the peace of mind you deserve.