Jewelers tend to be one of the most looked to, and trusted professionals by individuals. This trust comes often comes from the public’s view of what it takes to be this type of professional; years of experience, training, education, and knowledge about a specific industry. Other professionals that often obtain this level of trust would include lawyers, doctors and accountants.
The question at hand
Should you always be so trusting when someone is trying to sell you something? Can you trust your jeweler?
I cannot help but think of the way most people feel about car dealers. So what makes a jeweler different? After all they too are there to sell you something.
Disclosure and Misrepresentation
Just this week I have had multiple customers share their stories in regards to some jewelers unethical practices and the way they seem to abuse the public trust – jewelers not fully disclosing certain information to clients, or misrepresenting a diamond to a client.
Jewelers tend to be given such a high level of regard due to:
- The high value of the merchandise they sell
- The level of knowledge required to understand gemstones and diamonds
However sometimes this trust is taken advantage of, and the only people who suffer are the consumers.
The two most common remarks our clients have mentioned are:
- My jeweler wouldn’t sell me something that wasn’t worth a lot
- My jeweler told me it was a good buy
Sometimes these statements are true, but more often than not they are only half true, and the jeweler may be conveniently leaving out some details.
Keep in mind, a jeweler is there to sell you a piece of jewelry – and trust me when I say they are not doing it for free. They are there to run a business and make a profit, no different than any other company.
The real issue
The problem is this: as unfortunate as it may be, it’s in the jewelers best interest to tell the consumer only enough to make the sale.
Remember that jewelers are professionals and frequently they phrase their language in such a way to help make the sale rather than discourage it. Think retail sales or cars, you will get the picture.
Our view on jeweler ethics
It strikes me as being unethical for jewelers to appraise the very same pieces they sell to clients, yet it happens all of the time.
From the jewelers perspective it’s better to appraise a piece of jewelry, (especially if it is diamond ring, bracelet or necklace,) for a higher value, or for higher characteristics than what the piece truly is.
This gives the appearance to the customer, who just purchased the piece from them, that they received a great deal on their diamond purchase.
The best approach
When you buy a piece of diamond jewelry, we always recommend to clients to have it independently appraised. Utilizing a completely different company or certified appraiser will help clarify and confirm the actual value of your diamond jewelry.
Using this method you will know that the one writing the appraisal does not have a vested interest in altering the information on your appraisal.
I would advise consumers to once again do your research!
- Educate yourself on the basics in diamonds
- Ask your jeweler to show you how to loupe the diamond so you can see for yourself the presence or absence of inclusions
- Compare diamonds; have your jeweler show you the difference in clarity grades and color grades so you can visually see what you purchasing
- Compare the diamond you’re looking at to other diamonds
- Don’t just take the word of your jeweler, because it may not always be golden