Top 5 things to do before buying jewelry

Posted at 5:05 PM, Mar 31, 2016

Making a rushed decision when buying jewelry can cost you big time.

If you slow down and pay attention to detail, you could save yourself a big hassle.

Cutler Altier of Altier Jewelers in Boca Raton said, "Doing your research is certainly important because you just definitely want to know what you're getting."

Altier identified the top 5 things you should know before buying jewelry.

No. 1 GIA certificate

When buying any type of gemstone, it's important to have a Gemological Institute of America certificate. It tells you exactly where the gem falls on the color scale, clarity scale, cut scale and carat weight.

It even shows where the blemishes are located.

Where your gem falls on those scales, known as the four Cs, can drastically alter the price.

No. 2 Insurance and Appraisals

Some homeowners insurance might not cover the cost of expensive jewelry, so get extra insurance for your pieces.

Also, if you lose you jewelry, have an up-to-date appraisal to show your insurance company how much it's worth when it’s time to get a replacement.

No. 3 Know how to spot a fake

Most name brands have a stamp, identifying the brand name somewhere on the piece of jewelry. If you're really suspicious, do the magnet check with gold. 

Gold won't stick to a magnet, but fake gold will. Always look for jewelers who offer a return policy and get the jewelry appraised independently.

No. 4 View gems with a white background 

Use a pure white light under a jeweler’s loupe, which is basically a magnifying glass. That helps gives it its purest viewpoint and makes it easier to spot the blemishes.

You might not get the same result when putting the gem against a black background.

Altier said, "You just don't want to have something that's visible to the naked eye on the inclusions."

No. 5 Negotiate

Yes, believe it or not, you can talk down the price on jewelry.  Just like negotiating the price of a home, car or boat, you just have to take the first step and ask when buying jewelry.

"Everything's negotiable these days, they have to be because we compete with the internet so yes they're certainly negotiable," said Altier.