1. The first preliminary steps when you buy jewelry are to choose a jeweler by getting recommendations from friends, checking the stores credentials and finding out if they're affiliated with any trade organizations. Is there a credentialed jeweler in the store? Some jewelry salespeople may be very knowledgeable and helpful, but someone in the store [preferable the owner or manager] should have gemological credentials.
2. What impression do you get from the buy jewelry store? Does the place seem professional, are your questions answered in a clear, detailed, understandable, proficient manner or are you given vague, euphemistic responses? Do you feel rushed into a jewelry purchase or are you given good, patient service and full disclosure on all the topics you bring up? If you are only given gems with qualifiers in their names or your questions aren't being answered leave the jewelry store and don't come back.
3. The salespeople should tell you about the stones background and the properties intrinsic to that specific gem-type, and not only give you the dry measurements and weight that you just as easily learn by reading the tag. They have to tell you about the quality of the cut, mountings, production and explain to you about the cutting techniques such as the pavilion is proportional to the crown and the measurements of the table surface in relation to the girdle's diameter. If they cannot, so that you can see the subtle differences in perfect proportioning.
4. If you've not brought a loupe with you, the store should supply you with one for your examination of the stones. Stores that claim not to have a loupe on the premises or won't lend the use of one for a few minutes should be immediately suspect. Don't even think about buying there-simply leave. And if you don’t have experience and knowledge to buy a Stone, you have to ask about the certificate related to the stone. To note that the stone should be placed in its original box and stacked.
5. If you're looking for a certain type of gem, does the store hold a large selection of various colors, clarity grading and quality grading; are you shown a selection from which you can make comparisons? If there are only ‘bargain-prices' or a very small selection of each gem-type, perhaps you should keep looking and only come back if you have made certain that this store is indeed reputable and legitimate.
6. Gems are impossible to grade after being mounted and in expensive gems it is well worth the trouble to demand that the stone be set free from its mountings, re-appraised and then remounted.
7. You should ask about any special services provided, Are the stones cleaned rudimentarily before examination, cleaned professionally before purchase, Do they also make custom-made jewelry, Do they repair or replace stones that break or chip not as a result of regular wear and tear.