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How To Spot Fraudulent Practices in Jewelry

Dec 16, 2007
External factors affect the value and the quality of jewelry, especially diamonds. For an average person, a gem looks like just any other gem. But to the experienced eye, he knows the differences between a rare stone to one that is not-so-rare.

Therefore, we strongly recommend jewelry enthusiasts to have a keen eye on what is authentic to what is fraud. They should also be on their toes when it comes to the fraudulent practices involving jewelry. They should know the facts of the stones and verify it with the experts.

Jewelry enthusiasts do not have to be gemologists. Neither do they have to be fearful when buying jewelry. They just have to be aware of the fraud exchanges and gem misrepresentation in jewelry markets.

Switching the Stones - Stone switching often occurs and this is very disturbing for the buyer because the jewelry loses its value. It is also hard to make accusations because the jeweler can deny easily deny the allegations if the buyer does not have proof.

There are jewelers who take advantage of naive customers who do not pay close attention to the gems they are buying. The normal customer purchases the highest quality regardless of the need for it to be repaired or appraised. Sometimes, it may be the highest-valued gem there but it is in need of these two procedures. Therefore its value degenerates but the buyer does not notice this because she is enamored by its sparkle.

Mounting is important because this can make or break the deal. An unethical jeweler merely switches the stones and replaces them with something similar for the untrained eye. This is usually a stone with lesser quality. This tactic generates the jeweler thousands of dollars and its tax free. Just imagine the gold earrings and the watch batteries they must sell in order to come up with the same price. No wonder they do it with jewelry.

In order for you to prevent this from happening, take note of these suggestions:
1. You have to know your gems. Note their colors, girdles and clarity (if they have chips or scratches, their natural appearance, etc.) You have to remember the locations of the following as if they were their birth marks. You can observe these by using loupes. You can also document these for future reference.

2. It is best to write these down. Record the characteristics of the stone on the receipt the jeweler gives you in the store. Do this before you leave. Sometimes, stores do not have enough time to give the accurate clarity and color grades but they should still note the visible characteristics. This documentation serves as evidence, just in case switching takes place. It also prevents it from happening.

3. If the buyer has a diagram or the photograph of the gemstone, he must ask the jeweler if this can serve as a good enough representation of the product.

4. Clean the gem before it is repaired or appraised. By examining the stone and remembering the condition that it is in, you will be able to recognize it after it is given back to you.

5. Be very wary of jewelers whose repair services are of low prices. If its too good to be true, it probably is. Maybe this jeweler has no experience. Then again, give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he is just honest.

6. If possible, establish an ethical relationship with your jeweler so that he will be more trustworthy. This can also lessen the chances of switching.

A Gem with Laser Inscriptions - If you are lucky to get gem stones that have laser inscription, then this can be a feature which will help you be aware whether the stone has been switched. Whenever you take the stone to any repair shop or store, tell the person there that the gem has a laser inscription. You can also ask them to examine it under the microscope so that you and the person both agree.

Therefore, when the stone is returned to you, you can examine the stone and check whether the inscription is still there. In that case, you will know that the stone is yours. You have to do these things right away to ensure that you are not cheated.
About the Author
Allen Jesson writes for several sites that specialize in Vintage Engagement Rings. and Antique Engagement Rings, Providing you with product reviews, information and guides that are essential when purchasing any type of Engagement Ring. .
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