Guest Author - Lisa Shea
Numerous movies and TV shows revolve around criminals foisting fake gems as real ones on innocent buyers. How do you make sure that the gemstones you buy are real, and not fake? Here are tips to pay attention to.
Use a Reputable Source
If you go to a jewelry store that has been in the Smith family for a hundred years, and it is well known to the community, and offers a guarantee, it's highly unlikely that they would risk all of that to foist a fake gem on you. They have too much to lose. In comparison, if you go to a random website that was created last week by a high school student, who knows what you'll get.
Be Careful of Bargains
Gemstones have a value, and a legitimate seller of gemstones will have to have paid for them. They therefore have to charge you a price that matches. If the gemstone you're interested in normally sells for $500 but a website is offering it for $49.99, something is probably wrong. Certainly you shouldn't deliberately pay the highest price you see - but if the price is TOO low, that should be a warning sign as well.
Ask for a Certificate
Many stones come with a certificate of authenticity. Of course that could be faked, too, but that gives you another item to research and look into.
Gemstone Specific Criteria
Every type of gemstone has its own specific criteria that you can examine. So if you're looking at a diamond, there would be different types of criteria that you would look at vs if you were looking at a ruby. Do research on the type of gemstone you're interested in. Get to know its traits so that if something looks out of the ordinary you can take action.
Get a Second Opinion
See if the place you buy it from will give you a few days in order to validate its authenticity. Certainly you can't expect the jeweler to let you keep it for two months while you wear it for your wedding and honeymoon - that would be a bit much. But on the other hand, asking to be able to bring the gem to another reputable dealer in order to get it checked out should be something you can negotiate. After all, you wouldn't buy a used car without having a mechanic check it out, would you?
Use Common Sense
Finally, use common sense. If the offer seems too good to be true, it probably is.