The right jeweler should be one you can rely on for all your jewelry purchases, year after year. From gifts for loved ones to treasures for yourself, the jeweler with whom you do business should educate and inform you when you’re making a purchase.
Has the store just recently opened or is it well established? If the store is new, be sure to visit it and talk to the sales staff and, if possible, the manager or owner. This is a great way of assessing the professionalism of the store and it helps you establish a personal relationship with the jeweler. Ask yourself a series of questions. How does the sales staff treat you when you enter the door? Do they answer all of your questions? How is the store designed? Does it look like time and effort went into making the store look inviting? How is the jewelry displayed? Do you feel comfortable in the store and would you be comfortable shopping there on a regular basis?
Many jewelry stores in your area are probably not new but have been in business for many years – some for several generations. If you are shopping at one of these retailers ask how long the store has been in business. Find out if the jeweler has a history of community involvement. Some jewelers regularly sponsor or host beauty pageants, art exhibits and other community events. Chances are, the longer the store has been involved in the community, the more solid its reputation. If it is a family-owned store, ask if the family actively manages the store.
Whether you are shopping at an established or a newly opened retailer, you should ask the same questions. What types of merchandise does the store offer? What services are available? Is a manager or owner available if you need to talk to them? More importantly, what are the credentials of the staff and management? Do they have experience of formal training in jewelry, retailing or management?
Asking friends, neighbors, or business associates about their personal experiences with various retailers can be an excellent way of selecting an outstanding jeweler. This can also help you avoid choosing the wrong jeweler.
Maintaining the fine jewelry you have purchased will be important to you as time passes. Ask if the jeweler is able to clean, size, engrave, restring or remount your jewelry.
Does the store have a trained gemologist and a bench jeweler on the premises? Gemologists have studied the unique properties of diamonds and colored stones. They are familiar with the various types of precious and semi-precious stones used in fine jewelry and can explain how to care for and clean your gemstone jewelry. If you are interested in purchasing diamond or gemstone jewelry, a gemologist can guide you to an appropriate purchase with matches your taste, budget and lifestyle.
A bench jeweler is trained in the fabrication and repair of jewelry. This individual can repair your jewelry, resize your ring and reset a stone. Highly experienced bench jewelers can often custom design a piece for you.
In some stores the bench jeweler and gemologist can be the same person. In larger stores, several people may be employed as gemologists and bench jewelers. Sometime the owner wears all of there hats. In all cases, having trained gemologists and bench jewelers on site is an important component of the professional jewelry store.
As in any retail store where you enjoy shopping, selection is an important factor in your choice. Look at the selection a jewelry store has to offer and determine if it reflects your taste and meets your needs. Remember, a professional jeweler will help you develop a jewelry wardrobe that meets your budget, tastes ad lifestyle. Jewelers can almost always special order jewelry for you and some may even be able to custom design a piece. Simply ask if these services are available.