Jewelry Shopping 101: Nine Questions to Ask a Jeweler

“Boxes from Tiffany and colorless diamonds

Fire red gemstones mined straight from the mountains

Dazzling and gleaming and set in pave’

These are a few of my favorite things”


Fine jewelry — oh, how we love them. No matter how many times we shop for shining, shimmering, splendid accessories, the experience is always exciting. The purchasing process gives jewelry collectors, enthusiasts, and the engaged-to-be a chance to ask important questions, compare breathtaking designs, and ultimately take home a piece of jewelry (or two) that has won our hearts.

Here at Biltmore Loan and Jewelry, we always meet men, women, and couples who are looking to shop for their very first piece of fine jewelry. Listening to their queries, our GIA-certified experts put together nine questions to ask before buying jewelry. This article covers gemstones, precious metals, and how to care for jewels.

If you are a first-time buyer, keep these questions in mind for when you go shopping for a special piece of jewelry.

Question #1: “What am I looking for?” ART DECO BRACELET

Did you just google authentic jewelry in Phoenix, AZ? It is common for first-time jewelry shoppers to browse online. While the internet provides several options and information about jewelry, going to a store or exhibition is a must. Visiting a physical store is essential because it gives you a chance to see different designs up close, and you can speak with an expert about jewelry.

But before you drive to your local jewelry store, ask yourself, “what do I want?” to avoid getting sales-talked into buying something you are not 100 percent in love with. And at the same time, be open-minded and explore all styles of jewelry. Who knows, you might become fascinated by something very different, too.

Question #2: “What is this piece made of?”

Once you set your eyes on a stunning piece of jewelry, a question you should ask your jeweler is “What is it made of?” to learn whether the piece is silver, white gold, platinum, or another type of precious metal.

Question #3: “What type of gemstone is this?”

If you fall in love with a piece adorned with stunning rocks — you have exquisite taste! But before pulling out your credit card, ask your jeweler what type of stones are set. If they are green, they could be emeralds, peridots, jades, or bloodstones. Pink gemstones, on the other, could be sapphires, garnets, or rare pink diamonds.

Remember, precious stones impact the value and wearability of a piece. A reputable jeweler can explain in detail the quality and grade of a gem.

Question #4: “Does it look good on me?”

Jewels are an excellent investment, but they deserve more than 24/7 seclusion inside a safe. Thus, have your jewelry and wear it, too. The key is to invest in pieces that complement your style and personality.

A jewelry shop’s staff should be more than happy to let you try on the jewelry. This is especially important when buying necklaces, bracelets, and earrings to gauge how they look on your body, and to determine whether the style is a perfect fit for you.

Question #5: “Are the hallmarks visible?”

Hallmarks are the small letters, symbols, and logos often engraved on the precious metal of fine jewelry. These details indicate what type of metal a piece is made from and by which brand or designer.

In some countries, hallmarks are mandatory by law. They show customers that they are buying genuine silver, gold, or platinum. For example, jewelry from Cartier, Chanel, and Bvlgari usually feature hallmarks to symbolize brand and precious metal used.

Question #6: “Do you have certificates or provide valuations?”

A trustworthy jewelry establishment should be able to provide a valuation for the jewelry you want to purchase. This document allows you to wear your jewelry without concerns by having it insured. For instance, gold and platinum jewelry should always come with a valuation. Pieces with large diamonds can also have independent certificates that specify the quality and grade of a diamond.

Always ask your jeweler for GIA, IGI, or Gem-A certificates if you are buying a diamond. They are some of the world’s most well-respected organizations for grading diamonds.

Question #7: “How do I take care of my new jewelry?”

Another important question to ask your jeweler is how to care for your new piece. In general, most jewels are sensitive to perfumes, moisturizers, and even constant exposure to the body’s oil and sweat. Some gemstones may be worn every day, while others are more delicate.

When it comes to storage, high-end jewelry shops will wrap your piece in a beautiful box. Aesthetic purposes aside, the box safeguards your jewelry and prevents it from getting tangled or scratched by other pieces in your collection. It is always recommended to seek expert advice on how to clean and store your jewelry.

Question #8: “Can you provide aftercare?”

Before skipping happily out of the jewelry shop, ask the staff about professional aftercare for your new piece. Could you return to them once a year to have the piece cleaned and polished?

If the jewelry is something you wish to wear every day, like an engagement ring or necklace, professional aftercare is essential to ensure your piece remains in excellent condition for many years to come.

Question #9: “What other information should I know?”

For more helpful tips on how to choose, buy, and care for jewelry, you may read the following articles by Biltmore Loan and Jewelry:

About Us

If you are looking for GIA-certified appraisers in Scottsdale and the surrounding cities in Phoenix, AZ, choose Biltmore Loan and Jewelry. We also guarantee unmatched collateral lending and outright purchasing of fine jewelry and other luxury items. Dial 480-991-5626 (Scottsdale) or 480-705-5626 (Chandler) to get in touch with our team.