This is a blog that many jewellers may be afraid to do, because it is a sensitive issue for both parties involved. We hope you see a jeweler’s point of view through this.
The first time I or any of the staff at our boutique heard this question, we were stunned and at a loss for words. On one hand, we understand where the client is coming from, and their mindset, but on the other hand, it always leaves us at a loss for words. The question is: “How do I know if I leave my jewellery for an appraisal or repairs that you won’t switch out my diamond for something fake or low quality?” In blatant terms, if we rephrase this question, it’s asking if we will scam you. Think about it this way, would you ever withdraw money from a bank and ask the associate in front of you if they switched it out for fake currency. The answer is no. There’s a high level trust in our banking system, and we know that it is illegal. We are citizens of a great country which has laws and systems in place to protect each member of society. So why do we not hesitate from asking jewellers this question? Are jewellers exempt from laws?
Think about this:
- Businesses are expensive to run. There is a lot of financial and intellectual investment. The value of high end inventory and diamonds in a jewellery store is high. It also takes us years to build a good reputation and trust within the community. This about this: Will a business owner risk millions of dollars of his/her investment, and his/her goodwill for a diamond that is worth a few thousand? Quite simply, no.
- Diamonds are not a new thing for jewellery stores. We understand your jewellery and diamonds are special. We see diamonds every day and work with them constantly. We appreciate their beauty, but never their monetary value.
- All of our staff are properly vetted and go through background checks to be able to work in high end sales. There are safety measures in store to prevent any type of loss.
- Our goldsmiths have worked with many types of stones throughout their career. They are artists in their own right, and have seen the most exquisite pieces of jewellery. They have no interest in your stones.
If you are still weary, we suggest the following:
- Get your jewellery appraised. A gemologist will sign off on legally binding documents that specify exactly what your stone is. Each time, you get work done on your jewellery, get it re-appraised for peace of mind. It’s an expensive way, but if it helps ease your mind, the cost of an appraisal shouldn’t be a worry.
- Ask for an on-site goldsmith. Fair warning: on site goldsmiths are rare to find at jewellery stores. In most cases, even if they are on-site, there will be a wait before they get to your repair work. Nonetheless, check to see what your options are at different jewellery stores.
- Ask for an on-site appraisal. Remember to specify that you are weary of leaving your jewellery, and most jewellery stores will schedule a meeting between you and the gemologist on site.
- The best way: find a jewellery store that has good reviews, or through referrals. Start by leaving smaller, less valuable pieces of jewellery for repairs. Test the waters, and build a relationship with the manager. Once you are comfortable, and happy with the work, then leave your higher end pieces with them.
- Shop local. There are many benefits to supporting local businesses. Many locally owned jewellers can provide a level of care that is not possible at larger chains. For example, our jewellery never goes in the mail to unknown goldsmiths. It exchanges hands between a trusted group of people. Your business matters to local businesses, so many will always go the extra mile.
We understand that leaving your jewellery can be a worrisome task. Regardless of the monetary value, almost all jewellery has a high sentimental value. You may have heard of horror stories through friends and family. However, please think twice before you blatantly ask a jeweller if they’re going to scam you. There are laws to protect both parties involved. In any case, if you like jewellery or own jewellery, at some point, it will need repairs. Our best advice is to find a jeweller and start to build a relationship with them.