How to identify a trustworthy jeweler to help you celebrate life's precious moments
When you buy a dazzling piece of fine jewelry, you’re making an important purchase. While you can find fine jewelry in many types of stores, to ensure you love the jewelry you purchase for years to come, follow a simple rule: buy from a professional jeweler, someone you can trust. Choose a jeweler or jewelry store who has demonstrated a commitment to professionalism and has an established reputation. Use this guide as a checklist to choose a jewelry store you can trust.
Start by finding jewelry stores near you that are members of Jewelers of America, one of the oldest jewelry associations in the U.S. You can use our Find a JA Jeweler directory or look for the “J” logo on the company’s door or website. Jewelers of America provides jewelers with ongoing education and our members commit annually to a Code of Professional Practices, which reflects their high social, ethical, and environmental standards. You can be assured that they are among the most knowledgeable and trustworthy jewelers in the industry.
When choosing a jeweler, you are beginning a relationship. Many times a jeweler plays a significant role in the most important and special moments of your life. Ask a friend for a recommendation for a jewelry store just as you would for a doctor. Also, see how long the jeweler has served its community and clients. Many Jewelers of America members are independent, multi-generational family businesses that support their communities and are passionate about the friendships they establish with their clients.
Never trust repairs or custom work from untrained jewelers. Some credentials to look for include: certifications from Jewelers of America, or jewelers trained at leading institutions like the Gemological Institute of America or the American Gem Society.
Jewelers of America’s renowned professional certification designates that the certified bench jeweler, store manager, or sales associate is highly skilled. Look for these JA Certified personnel in the jewelry store you visit:
- JA Certified Sales Professionals have been tested in their customer service and product knowledge abilities.
- JA Certified Management Professionals have passed the requirements to manage a jewelry store.
- JA Certified Bench Professionals are qualified to create and repair your fine jewelry.
Search for stores with JA Certified Professionals on staff in our Find a JA Jeweler directory.
Look for jewelers who have reasonable return policies and offer warranties. Jewelry stores that are members of Jewelers of America have a sincere commitment to customer service ensuring that they will be there for your future purchases, repairs, or custom design needs. JA Member Jewelers have signed and abide by a Code of Professional Practices, so you can shop for jewelry with confidence at their jewelry stores.
Be cautious if a jewelry store is routinely offering unbelievable discounts, like 50% or more. Savvy shoppers may find that the discount price is actually the average retail price elsewhere. Trustworthy jewelers practice fair pricing all year round.
We recommend only purchasing fine jewelry from a business you know and trust and when you can see the jewelry in person before investing in fine jewelry pieces. If you do purchase jewelry online, use these shopping tips to ensure the jewelry you purchase is high quality and as described:
- First, only shop on websites you know to be secure.
- Always use a credit card rather than a debit card. This way, if anything does go wrong, no money has actually left your account, and you will have recourse.
- Look for a liberal return policy with a full refund.
- Be sure to note the window of time in which the jewelry may be returned.
- Ask for the original packaging and an itemized receipt.
- When buying diamonds or colored gemstones, ask for a grading report from an independent gemological laboratory.
- When buying watches online, be aware that some manufacturers’ warranties won’t be considered valid if the watch was not purchased at an authorized dealer.