Buying Jewelry for Valentine’s Day?

by Cristina Miranda
Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

Nothing says “Be My Valentine” more than a box of chocolates, flowers, and a poetic love note.

Unless it’s a heart-thumping piece of jewelry!

If you’re thinking about buying jewelry for your sweetheart, there are a few things to know about platinum, gold and silver, and gemstones, diamonds and pearls. A little knowledge can help you avoid buyers’ remorse.

1. Set expectations. Decide on your budget and the type of jewelry you want to buy before you shop. Avoid impulse purchases. Learn more with our Jewelry Buying Guide.

2. Research jewelry sites and stores before purchasing from them, or shop from those you’ve had experience with. You can check a site or store’s reputation online by entering “complaints” and its name in a search engine to find any red flags.

3. Understand the terms manufacturers use to describe the jewelry. If you know the terms that jewelers use to describe markings or what the jewelry is made of, you’ll be better able to evaluate it and decide if it is truly worth the price.

4. Know the refund and return policies before you buy. Make sure the phone number is visible on the sales receipt in case you need to call with a question or a problem. Sales receipts also should have details about the item, which might include a gemological report from a laboratory.

Most concerns about buying jewelry can be addressed by contacting the jeweler. However, if you still aren’t satisfied with the outcome of your purchase, file a complaint with the FTC, the Better Business Bureau, the Jewelers Vigilance Committee’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Service, or contact your state Attorney General.

The Top Three Jewelry Surprises at the Golden Globes

Today’s post is written by American Gem Society member and guest blogger, Lisa Bridge, Certified Gemologist, of Ben Bridge Jewelers.

 In college the only times I got homesick were during holidays and award shows.  I love award shows.  I love to see what people are wearing on such an important night, and last night at the Golden Globes certainly didn’t disappoint.

Instead of covering the big trends of the night (pendant earrings and colored gemstones amongst them), I thought it more interesting to talk about the three things that surprised (and delighted) me the most.

Kerry Washington

Kerry Washington

#3-  Kerry Washington wore a petite vintage Movado.  I found it surprising for two reasons.  The first was that we rarely see women on the red carpet wearing timepieces.  With so many beautiful watches out there it has always confused me, so I was particularly thrilled to see Kerry Washington wearing one. The second was the diminutive size of the watch.  Watches have seemed to grow larger and larger in the past few years to almost comical proportions (I’m not judging, I love my oversize TW Steel), but this was just the opposite.  It was old Hollywood glam with diamonds adorning every inch.  It was a stunning part of her outfit.



#2-  After years of bare necks, I was happily surprised by the number of women wearing necklaces.  The most popular style of necklace worn was stunning diamond collars (also known as Riviera necklaces).  A diverse group of actresses chose to take on the trend from Olivia Munn to Sally Field to Jessica Alba.  Each one wore the regal style and brought a bit of old Hollywood glam to the red carpet.

Zooey Deschanel

Zooey Deschanel

#1-  I love classic pearls, but rarely do I see them on the red carpet.  ZooeyDeschanel looked very retro in her matching pearl suite.  Her pearl strand was rich and lustrous and was a wonderful departure from many of the red carpet jewels.  Although I often eschew being too ‘matchy-matchy’, Zooey looked pulled together in her matching pearl studs, bracelet, and strand. 

With the red carpet season starting off on such a high note, I can hardly wait to see what the stars will wear next!


Why Is a Diamond’s Cut Important?

Today’s Guest Blogger is Alethea Inns, CG, Director of Diamond Grading for the American Gem Society Laboratories. Alethea’s post today is on a topic she knows very well: a Diamond’s Cut, and how it helps make a diamond even more beautiful.

Cut is, without a doubt, the most important of the 4 Cs.  The cut of a diamond has the greatest overall influence on the diamond’s beauty.  Facets that are correctly placed on the diamond allow it to act like a system of windows and mirrors that return the most light to the eye in the most balanced way. 

That being said, diamond cutting is both an art and a science.  The artistry lies in the fact that we are talking about cutting the hardest natural substance on earth to a tenth of a degree.  The science lies in maximizing the weight retention to yield the largest stone with maximum profit.  The diamond cutter has absolute control in deciding to maximize weight retention, or cut the most beautiful diamond possible but rarely can achieve both at the same time.  Rather than compromise the beauty and light performance of the diamond and accept lesser proportions, polish, and symmetry to preserve weight, the cutter can make the decision to lose more weight from the rough and to maximize the beauty of the diamond.  That is the reason there is such a premium on diamonds with AGS Ideal Light Performance grades.

By purchasing an AGS Ideal Cut you can be sure that the diamond will perform to its maximum potential. It’s the difference between a diamond that looks good under the jewelry store lights, and a diamond that catches your eye in every light.