A piece of jewelry made with precious metals and gemstones is an instant heirloom that, if well taken care of, can be passed down through generations. Shopping for fine jewelry can be daunting if the shopper is not armed with knowledge. Bill “the barefoot jeweler”, owner of Jewelry & Timepiece Mechanix, encourages customers to fortify themselves with information and make sure they trust in the jeweler and/or store. To help customers get started finding the perfect piece for them, Bill offers the following tips.
1) Know Where to Shop. It’s vitally important to shop at a well-established professional jeweler. Ask a friend for a recommendation just as you would for a doctor, or check with the Chamber of Commerce or Better Business Bureau. Look for a jeweler who is affiliated with a professional trade association. Jewelry & Timepiece Mechanix is a member of Jewelers of America (JA), which requires high ethical standards of its members and provides them with ongoing education. Look for a sticker on the door or a certificate on the wall. If you don’t see one, ask.
2) Don’t be dazzled by discounts. If a venue is routinely offering unbelievable discounts the sale is probably just that–unbelievable. Savvy shoppers may find that the “drastic discount” price is actually the normal retail price elsewhere.
3) Prepare. Fine jewelry is unlike any other purchase. Research your purchase before you shop. Visit the Jewelry Information Center which is a website for fine jewelry consumers that offers the latest jewelry trends, care and cleaning information and more.
4) When buying gemstones, find out if the stone has been treated in any way to improve its beauty. Gem treatments such as oiling and heating are accepted industry practices. However, FTC guidelines require that these treatments be disclosed to the buyer because they may affect the care and cleaning of the stone. Exercise your rights and be informed.
5) When buying diamonds, look for the 4 C’s. They are cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. Cut is arguably the most important, because a skillful cut is what will unleash the fire and brilliance in a diamond. Cut, which refers to the faceting, is not to be confused with shape – such as marquise, oval, square, etc. With regard to color, grading begins at D; the deeper into the alphabet one goes, the poorer the color. Clarity refers to the presence of – or lack of – imperfections such as bubbles, spots or lines called inclusions. Clarity is graded on a scale ranging from flawless (FL or IF) to imperfect (I).
6) Cultured pearls. Look for surface cleanliness: an absence of any scarring or pitting. Also important is the pearls’ lustre: they should be glowing with iridescence, not chalky or dull. When purchasing a strand of cultured pearls, be sure there is a knot between each pearl. This insures that if the strand breaks, the pearls won’t skitter across the floor. Before you purchase, check to see that the pearls are well matched in color and lustre, and that they graduate gracefully in size, growing smaller toward the clasp.
Making a fine jewelry purchase should be an enjoyable, special experience.
“We Love To Make You Sparkle”
Armed with these savvy tips, visit Jewelry & Timepiece Mechanix for your next jewelry purchase.
Retail has changed a great deal in the 40+ years that Bill has been involved in the jewelry business. Most independent “Mom and Pop” stores have given way to impersonal multi-location chains, all of which carry the same heavily advertised merchandise. We’re still here servicing our customers, although a growing portion of these relationships with our family of customers are being forged via the internet. Be assured that regardless of whether you drive over to Haddonfield to see us in person or visit us at this site, you’ll receive the same attention and honest value. Bill wouldn’t have it any other way. We design, create, repair, restore, restyle, buy and sell all types of jewelry, watches, and clocks. Watchmaker and Jeweler on premises – ALWAYS!