By Anjum Cave
Gemmologist Antoinette Matlins offers advice on how to buy jewellery and gemstones safely at a time of rapid digital transformation of the industry.
“More and more people are buying and selling without actually seeing what they’re buying or knowing what they’re selling,” Antoinette says. “This can lead to disappointment, and even worse, to being the victim of fraud, misrepresentation, or theft.”
To prevent problems, intentional and unintentional, Antoinette presents her suggestions to assist both buyers and sellers of jewellery and gemstones.
when buying online, buy only from someone with a physical address as well as a website address, in case of any issues.
- get all the important representations about the gem or piece of jewellery in writing on the sales receipt.
- ask a qualified gemmologist or qualified gemmologist-appraiser to confirm what is described on the receipt.
- For sellers:
- ask an appraiser for a full appraisal, with updated documentation needed to assure a potential buyer of the item’s quality and condition.
- seek advice and guidance from the appraiser on what to sell and how to proceed.
- For pre-owned jewellery, ask an appraiser to confirm what you have and its value, or if existing documentation exists, to provide an up-to-date description and evaluation.
Antoinette concludes, “Seek counsel from an independent source with respected credentials. This is the first, and most important step.”