A Scam Avoidance Series: The Jewelry and Gemstone Scam

Humans are attracted to shining, shimmering, splendid things in the same manner that moths are attracted to flames and lamps. And whenever emotions are high, so are our impulses. And the higher the impulse, the lower your guard is going to be when you’re making a purchase.

The thing about jewelry is that it serves no other purpose than to be a status symbol, whether it’s in the form of showing your civil status or your socioeconomic status. It has no practical function and it is, therefore, a vanity item. There isn’t a specific metric to use in order to gauge its functionality because it serves no practical function to begin with.

And it is here where there are many buyers who fall victim to jewelry scammers. Victims are often blinded by the glamor and shine of jewels, but they have no means of assessing the jewelry themselves on the spot.

But fear not, this is where we come in to help you ascertain the authenticity of a particular jewel. So, what exactly should you be doing in order to avoid losing money when purchasing jewelry?


Do Your Price Research

As with most high-value purchases, you need to be able to ascertain the price of the item and whether or not it’s being sold according to its actual market value. This is rather easily done, especially with the advent of technology. A simple online price search could go a long way in helping you avoid getting scammed out of your hard-earned money.


Consult The Better Business Bureau

Much like a simple search is going to help you determine whether a piece of jewelry is being sold at its proper market value, a simple call to your local Better Business Bureau chapter is going to reveal if the seller you’re interacting with has any outstanding customer complaints.

This also applies to jewelry appraisers and gemologists. It’s the same principle behind why most companies do background checks before hiring an applicant.


Opt For An Independent Appraisal

This does not simply mean that you get a gemologist or appraiser of your choosing, as some scams are elaborate enough to involve those who are meant to help you avoid the scams in the first place. Anyone connected with your seller could be benefitting from the scam by way of kickbacks. Only deal with well-known appraisers or, if you want, you can even consider engaging the services of XRD professionals who are adept at determining the composition of any given sample.


Insist On Viewing a Certificate

If you’re purchasing a diamond, you’re going to want to see a grading certificate in order to determine authenticity. These certificates can come from only three reputable gem labs and they will reveal vital information about the stone that you’re planning on buying.

However, you shouldn’t rely entirely on certificates as these, too, can be forged. You’re going to need to make use of all of these precautions if you want to be totally sure about your purchase.

Have you come across this scam?

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