Important considerations when choosing a jeweller

When it comes to buying precious jewellery, where to shop is just as important a consideration as what type of jewels to buy. The right kind of jeweller can present you with a variety of options to suit your budget, whilst imparting their knowledge and expertise to help you make that all-important decision. But, what exactly should you think about when choosing a jeweller? Here are some of the most important things to consider.

A good reputation

Choosing a jeweller with a good reputation is vital for many reasons. This can ensure that your purchase is genuine and appropriately priced, but it can give you peace of mind that the jeweller you choose is trustworthy, and has your best interests at heart. But, how do you know if a jeweller has a good reputation? Ask around. See if friends or family can offer any recommendations. Research the jeweller online and read any reviews or testimonials written about them. What credentials does the jeweller have, and are they members of any professional jewellery association that could indicate a sign of quality assurance?

Only when you feel satisfied with these answers should you focus your decision on which jeweller to choose for your special purchase. This is especially crucial, should you decide to buy your jewellery online.

An established business

Find out how long a jeweller has been in business before you make your mind up where to go shopping. As a general rule, the longer the business has been in operation, the more you can feel reassured about its credible reputation. It also bodes well for its chances of being around in the long-term future, ensuring you can build up a rapport with the establishment. A family-run jewellery store is also a good bet, as this often signals dedication and commitment to the business, which can reflect in the quality of the service you receive.

Customer service

When visiting a jewellery store, assess how you feel as soon as you walk through the door. Are you made to feel welcomed? Is the store inviting? Importantly, how do staff come across when you talk to them? A jeweller should be able to listen to your requirements and answer any questions you have. Even if they're not able to answer everything fully there and then, they should endeavour to find out for you, and won't be afraid of going that extra mile to help. A good jeweller will want to build up a rapport with customers, and provide you with relevant guidance and advice, without pushing you into making a decision. Even if other customers need serving, you should never feel rushed, and you should always feel that your custom is important to the jeweller.

Of course, if you decide to use an online jewellery store, you won't have direct face-to-face interaction, but you can still get a feel for the customer service experience by asking questions over the phone or by email before making a purchase. If staff are slow to respond to emails, or they don't properly answer your questions, this lack of interest may not bode well.

Weighing up your options

A good jeweller will present you with as many options as possible for your available budget. They'll explain about the item of jewellery, giving you information about its individual characteristics, or its 4Cs. As well as giving details about the jewellery stone, they should be able to tell you about its metal and settings, and how best to care for it.

If you have a specific item of jewellery in mind or a particular brand name, it can be worthwhile choosing a jeweller who specialises in the kind that you're looking for. This can often mean staff have a wide range of knowledge in that specialist area.

Some jewellers also specialise in selling pre-owned items of fine jewellery. If you're looking for something really special, but can't afford the price tag of buying it new, a really well-kept, pre-loved item of jewellery could be a viable option to own your dream bit of bling.

Additional services

Choose a jeweller that is more than just a retailer, but also provides repairs, adjustments or servicing of items, as well as offers essential accessories, such as jewellery boxes and cases. This can demonstrate professionalism and expertise, but is also useful if you need to come back in the future for any further shopping or services.

Diamond certification

If you're buying diamonds, ask your jeweller to provide you with third-party certification, from a recognised gemmological institute. This is the proof you need to show that the diamond is genuine and of the stated quality. If a jeweller can't offer you this certification, they self-certify diamonds or they say you don't need certification, choose another jeweller who can. When you're spending a lot of money, you want to be assured of the authenticity of the jewellery you're buying.

A fair returns policy

When buying fine jewellery, especially as a gift for someone else, there's always the risk they might not like it or that it doesn't fit. Often, this means you'll need to take it back to the store. It's important to ask the jeweller about their returns policy and what it entails, so that you're fully aware of the implications, should you need to bring the jewellery back. Look at aspects such as length of time you have to return the jewellery, and whether you can get a full refund or if you only get a credit note. Bear in mind, if you get jewellery personalised with engraving, you're not likely to be able to return it, unless it was faulty. And, if the jewellery is faulty in any way, find out what kind of security you have in terms of warranties or guarantees.

It is especially important to bear all of these points in mind if you buy jewellery online, where you're in a position of not being able to see or try before you buy.