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Beware jewellery store pitfalls, games, and gimmicks!

Playing games and having gimmicks is a time-honoured jewellery store tradition, dating back to as long as gold has existed. Here at Polished Diamonds, we HATE them, which is why if you’ve ever come into our store, you know we don’t do this. We’ve decided enough is enough and are now going to Break the Magicians Jewelers Code by going through some of the games, gimmicks, and pitfalls other jewellery stores play. You’ll want to pay attention…

The Game: “You’re getting a great deal!”

Have you ever found it annoying to have to haggle? Yea, us too. Almost all other retail categories don’t make you play this Game, so why jewellery? Well, it’s because most jewellery stores want to get as much out of you as possible. It is a common practice for jewellery stores to mark up an item once it is made, around 70%-100%. Then you go in, have a yarn, and if you play the Game, they’ll cut 10% off it. Then you walk away (if you can), come back, and they’ll knock off another 10% because they know you’re not playing around. Lastly, if you happen to come in on the third Thursday or their [insert random holiday sale] and get another 10% off, The thing is, you’re still paying a 50%-70% markup on that item. You don’t recognize this gimmick because you’re getting “such a great deal.”    

Polished Diamonds does not do that. We buy diamonds directly from our diamond cutters, manufacture all our New Zealand jewellery using New Zealand metal and have our expert diamond setters finish our rings. This is how we can provide fantastic quality jewellery at better prices than the other store, without having to play games with our customers. We constantly ask,, “Is this the best price you can do?” We understand it’s a conditioned response, but our answer is always “Yes, it is,” not because we want to be rude, but because we don’t play the jewellery store games and always offer our customers the best price. This is also why Polished Diamonds jewellery always gets valued for MORE than what our customers pay. Which brings me to my next point…

Valuations & Certifications – A must!

We only sell independently certified gems at Polished Diamonds, which we feel is a must, but not all jewellery stores believe in being 100% upfront about the diamond you’re purchasing. Certifications from GIA, IGI, and HRD are global certification companies that will state the exact specifications of your stone. They even lazer describe a serial number on your diamond that traces it back to your certification. If they say it is a G-SI2, then that is precisely what it is and will be independently valued as such. If “G-SI2” makes no sense to you, I’ll refer you to our blog about Diamond Education Here.

Beware of jewellery stores that say what the diamond is without showing you an independent certification. This goes the same with valuations. After a jewellery item is completed at Polished Diamonds, we send it to the Jewellery Valuation Centre (JVC) to be independently valued. They have no affiliation with us and are not persuaded or owned by Polished Diamonds, which is how we prefer. We only provide honest and unbiased certifications and valuations to our customers. If a jewellery store won’t provide this or gives you a valuation they created and prefers you “just trust them” personally, I would walk away or get it independently valued.      

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is GIA.png

Know What’s in Your Metal

We’ve touched on this a bit in our other blog, I Want Platinum, but it’s worth going into detail in this due to being a common pitfall of other jewellery stores. It is true, no matter if you’re in a high-end boutique store, our design studio, or a chain store at the mall, that 14K Gold is 14K Gold. It’s a major no-no to, for instance, put a 14K stamp on a 9K gold ring, which is why 99.9% of jewellery stores would never do this, but what isn’t commonly understood is what ELSE is in the metal.

9K, 14K, and 18K just refer to the amount of gold in the metal alloy. No matter where you go, 14K Gold will have the same amount of gold in the alloy. But other stores cheap out by putting other junk metals in their metal alloys. We do not do this. We leave out cheap, harmful metals like Zinc or Nickel, but some other stores will do this, which is why you can react to their jewellery. Despite both our rings being 14K Gold, they ARE NOT the same. Any jewellery store should know what is in their metal alloy, and if they don’t,, they don’t know who made their ring.  

Raw Platinum and Gold
Only premium metal alloys are used at Polished Diamonds

The Hard Sell Game

Have you ever been in a store and felt like you’re not allowed to leave until you buy something? This is a notorious game in the jewellery industry, and we at Polished Diamonds despise it. It seems even silly, but you have the right to walk away! Buying an engagement ring is likely one of the most significant decisions you’re ever going to make, and if someone insists you do it right then and there, they don’t understand the significance of this decision. Most jewellery store representatives work on a commission-based salary, meaning their goal is to sell you a ring, not necessarily the right one.  Even better for them is a ring that is more than you wanted to pay. Budget means nothing to them, and sorry to say, neither do you after you walk away with a ring.

We at Polished Diamonds understand the importance of having the perfect ring. Our owners and staff are on a first-name basis with our customers, and we enjoy seeing them return for their free ultra-sonic cleanings and inspections. You’ll never get a “hard sell” at Polished Diamonds. We’re allergic to it like harmful metal alloys.

Not All Inclusions Are the Same

First, if you need to know what an inclusion is, I’ll again refer you to our blog about Diamond Education Here. Still, essentially, this is “stuff” in your diamond, other than diamond. When people usually think of inclusions, they think of big black coal spots. Although this is true, it’s not the only inclusion that exists, and knowing the difference can save you from buying a flawed-looking diamond.

Here at Polished Diamonds, the inclusions we search for and hand-select are translucent Feathering, needling, pinpoints, indented naturals, etc. These inclusions, despite being in the diamond and affecting their clarity grade, can not usually be seen by the naked eye. So, if you’re shopping around, it’s good to know that an SI2 diamond can be very different depending on where you go and who’s selected your stone. You don’t have to settle for a black spotted or milky-looking diamond.    

Diamond Clarity - Polished Diamonds
Diamond Clarity – Polished Diamonds

Rhodium Plating Pitfall – Understand What It Is

White gold, to keep its shine, will always have rhodium plating. This is a plating put on the metal and will always be at its best when the ring is brand new. But when you consider it a “plating”, you can understand that you can plate something well or not so well. Some stores will cheap out on the plating to save a couple of bucks and only put a thin layer to make the gold look as good as possible. Unfortunately, if they don’t plate it as they should, this plating can come off soon with regular wearing of the ring, leaving you wondering six months later why your ring just doesn’t look as shiny and lovely as it did when you once got it.

Que going back to the jewellery store and them telling you, “Oh, your ring just needs rhodium plating”, which, of course, they don’t do for free, and you spend $100 or more trying to get your ring looking nice again. They add a thin layer of rhodium plating,, and the circle continues. You become an endless revenue stream for a jewellery store where from which you have already spent your hard-earned money buying a ring. You can avoid this by either buying platinum and going to a credible jewellery store like Polished Diamonds. In all honesty, rhodium plating should last between 3-5 years, and so should the shine of your white gold.   

Buying “The Set” Game

Another common trick of the jewellery trade is convincing you that you need the “trifecta” (engagement ring and two wedding bands) all in the same purchase. I’ll be blunt: this is just because they want more out of you immediately. They’ll convince you that the matching wedding band might not be in stock or made when you’re ready, giving you a bit of FOMO. A much better solution to this is to have your ring CAD designed. This way, you can create your matching wedding band when you’re ready for it.

At Polished Diamonds, we use Computer-Aided Design to create your ring, which means we’ll always have it in our database. You can come in a year or ten years, and we’ll always be able to create your matching wedding band, however you want to design it. You don’t have to worry about getting something else “off the shelf” and risk the rings rubbing against each other and ruining your beloved jewellery.  Our clients are our customers for life, not the moment, so they can get their matching wedding band whenever they choose.

Auckland Made Wedding Band
Scanned Engagement Ring for Flush wedding band

Hopefully, this has served a good purpose, despite us probably annoying our industry. But at Polished Diamonds, our loyalty is to our customers, so helping in any way possible is what we aim to do. If there are any further questions or pitfalls we’ve missed but you would like to know about feel free to contact us. Our experienced (and honest) staff are here to assist.