A Little Positivity Goes a Long Way During Coronavirus Pandemic

If there is a silver lining in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s seeing the beautiful and inspirational stories and posts from members of the American Gem Society. From beautiful, soothing colors to engagement ring cleaning, we wanted to share a few with you.

Diamond Boutique

When the closures began, Diamond Boutique created a series of “Chromotherapy” posts that featured beautiful images of jewelry paired with insightful messages.

Diamond Boutique opal ring

Gleim the Jeweler

Gleim the Jeweler shared gorgeous gems on their feed, ensuring that there was something full of color and beauty for their followers to enjoy.

Gleim the Jeweler sapphire earrings

Jack Lewis Jewelers

Jack Lewis Jewelers posted a series of personal videos that featured the store’s staff presenting their favorite piece of jewelry, and what it meant to them.

Jack Lewis Jewelers store staff videos

Sydney Rosen Company

Sydney Rosen Company understands that some of life’s most important events had to either be put on hold or canceled. They offered to help couples, even with something as simple as last-minute engagement ring cleaning.

Sydney Rosen Company wedding set next to face masks

We all enjoy the exquisite beauty of gemstones and inspirational stories that are attached to a special piece of jewelry. Please reach out to us if you have a question about jewelry and gemstones, or have a special story to share.

Tips on Selling Your Fine Jewelry

Tips on selling your jewelry

The diamond necklace from an ex, the gold watch that sits in your jewelry box, the ruby necklace that you loved—a decade ago. We all have jewelry that we no longer wear. Selling your old jewelry is an option, but it can be hard to know how and where to get started. Here are a few tips on getting the most from your rings, earrings, bracelets, and necklaces.

1. Know the worth

Start by getting your jewelry appraised by a certified jeweler. You may love your jewelry, but the emotional value you assign to your jewelry often has little to do with the current fair market price of your piece. Many factors go into determining the current value of a piece of jewelry, including fashion and style, current condition, designer (or not), and wearability or repair needs. Remember, that chain or gold watch is always worth its weight in gold, but may not be worth any more than that.

The best way to determine your item’s value is by due diligence. Start by getting certified jewelry appraisal. Let several jewelers evaluate it and ask for a purchase offer. Have an AGS trained Certified Gemologist® (CG), a Certified Gemologist® Appraiser (CGA) or an Independent Certified Gemologist® Appraiser (ICGA), recommend an accurate replacement value. Keep in mind that your used item will not bring the same price as a new comparable item.

It is important to know the new price in order to determine the selling price. You should expect low offers in comparison to the replacement value, because any jeweler who purchases it will try to resell it, and in effect becomes the middle-man who will sell it for a higher price to make a profit.

2. Be informed

Consider how quickly you want to sell your jewelry. If you want an immediate sale (i.e. cash in hand today), your options will be limited on where you can sell, and how much cash someone might be willing to pay immediately. Many jewelry stores offer a consignment option, where you leave your piece with them, and upon sale, they pay you. This is often the best way to maximize the money you receive.

If you are able to wait, researching some other possibilities could net you a better price for your jewelry, or provide other options, like re-setting gemstones from your jewelry into a new piece.

Visit an AGS jeweler who buys jewelry (not all do; make sure to call ahead) and learn your options to sell your piece or work out another solution.

3. Be realistic

Have a range in mind of what you would accept for the piece and be willing to accept an offer in that range. Be aware you may get offers that are higher, or possibly lower, based upon all the factors previously mentioned.

If you are interested in selling your jewelry or if you want to explore the option of re-setting your gemstones into a new piece, find a jeweler near you.

Tips from Jewelers Mutual: Traveling with Jewelry—What No One Warns You About

Packing a suitcase

Wearing jewelry to complement an outfit is often a fashion must. We try not to leave home without it! Even when traveling, we want to bring a few special pieces along for the trip, especially engagement rings and wedding bands.

Whether traveling for business or pleasure, there are some hazards to be mindful of when traveling with fine jewelry. Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group has a how-to guide on how to avoid such hazards and to give you peace of mind during your journey. Click here to read their article.

Four Holiday Shopping Tips

Trying on ring at jewelry store

Tips on Buying Jewelry This Holiday Season

With the holiday shopping season here, the American Gem Society (AGS) has been receiving questions from shoppers seeking jewelry buying tips and secrets. We thought we would answer a few of our most frequently asked questions to help ease the pressure off this hectic season.

“How do I know if I’m getting a good deal?”

Trust your jeweler. Do your research, read reviews of their store, ask friends and shop with a credentialed jeweler. We take great efforts to vet all of our members, to make sure that they continue their gemological education and that they adhere to the AGS standards of ethics and integrity.

Click here to learn more about the importance of shopping with a credentialed AGS jeweler.

To find an AGS member jeweler near you, visit americangemsociety.org/findajeweler.

“Before I buy gems that have been altered to enhance their appearance, is there anything I need to know?”

Make sure that the piece comes with the proper disclosures and that you understand how to care for the gemstones. Ask your jeweler if the treatments are permanent. For example, fracture-filled diamonds can have their filling damaged by an ultrasonic cleaner or steam cleaning. Some irradiated stones are susceptible to color change with high heats such as that from a jeweler’s torch.

“What advice do you have when shopping for diamonds?”

Ask for a diamond that comes with an independent diamond grading report, specifically, an AGS Laboratories diamond grading report. AGS Laboratories is a nonprofit lab created with a mission of consumer protection.

A diamond grading report from AGS Laboratories offers a simple, straightforward, and intuitive 0-10 scale and provides all the information you need to be comfortable with your diamond-buying decision.  Visit americangemsociety.org/agsdiamondgrading to learn more.

“When should I get an appraisal?” 

There are different kinds of appraisals for different purposes. The most common reason for an appraisal is to obtain insurance to ensure a replacement of equal quality and value in the event of damage or loss.

For this purpose, either an Insurance Replacement Appraisal or Statement of Replacement Cost should be requested. The Insurance Replacement Appraisal represents the retail replacement cost with a comparable item.

The Statement of Replacement Cost is provided by the actual seller of the item of jewelry and will report the actual selling price based on the normal selling price of that item in that particular store. In general, you want to get your appraisal updated every two years, or if you have a significant life change, like a change of address. Of course, the best reason to get an appraisal is if the piece has significant meaning to you.

To find an AGS-credentialed appraiser near you, visit americangemsociety.org/findanappraiser.

If you have more questions, you can reach out to any AGS member jeweler or AGS-credentialed appraiser, and they’ll be happy to assist you. The American Gem Society wishes you a very happy holiday season, full of sparkle and wonderful surprises!