To get the best experience possible when shopping for fine jewelry, we recommend only purchasing from a business you know and trust. Retail has changed a lot over the years; and while in-store shopping used to reign supreme, online retailers have increased exponentially over the years. There are a few things to consider before making a fine jewelry purchase.

In-Store or Online: Which is Better?

Today, consumers are split on whether they prefer to shop in a store or to order the item they need online. Though one is not better than the other, they are completely different experiences.

When going in-store, you get to see pieces up-close, try them on and talk face-to-face with store associates who can answer all of your questions. Meeting the jewelers in their store allows you to see what they offer and if they are the right fit for your needs.

To find trusted members in your community, search by location in our Find a Jeweler directory.

Shopping Online and on Social Media

Shopping online for fine jewelry can present a few challenges, but it can be convenient for those unable to travel to a jeweler or if you are looking for a more basic piece.

The most important tip when it comes to buying jewelry online is finding a trusted jeweler. The online market is huge and can be overwhelming, and some retailers do not have safe practices. Mass production, poor quality, lack of sustainability and no return/exchange policies are some of the top red flags when it comes to finding an online jewelry retailer.

With retailers on the internet, Facebook and Instagram, plus a rise in second-hand jewelry sellers, it is imperative to be vigilant about who you are buying from. If a shop or seller indicates any of the following, proceed purchasing with caution:
  • They do not stand by their products; this includes not offering reasonable return policies or warranties on their fine jewelry.
  • They are routinely offering unbelievable discounts, like 50% off or more. Many times, the discount price is actually the average retail price elsewhere. Trustworthy jewelers practice fair pricing all year round.
  • They do not state any certifications or industry credentials. Look for certifications from Jewelers of America, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), American Gem Society (AGS) and other leading industry organizations. Also, look for commitments to sourcing through suppliers certified through the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC; ensures all jewelers on the supply chain from sourcing, cutting and designing are ethical) and upholding the Kimberley Process (a government regulation that ensures diamonds are not sourced from high-risk conflict countries).

Jewelers of America Members who are either full e-commerce retailers or offer an online shop in addition to their physical store abide by a strict Code of Professional Practices and are trusted in the industry. To find these reputable online fine jewelry retailers, use the “Shop Online” option in our Find a Jeweler directory.

Online Purchasing FAQs

When shopping for fine jewelry online, follow these tips:
  • Always use a credit card rather than a debit card. This way, if anything does go wrong, no money has left your account and you will have recourse.
  • Look for a liberal return policy with a full refund. Be sure to note the window of time in which the jewelry may be returned.
  • Ask for the original packaging and an itemized receipt.
  • When buying diamonds or colored gemstones, ask for a grading report from an independent gemological laboratory.
  • When buying watches online, be aware that some manufacturers’ warranties won’t be considered valid if the watch was not purchased at an authorized dealer.

If you believe you have been the victim of fraud or a scam when purchasing fine jewelry or watches, you can make a report to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

You can also file a complaint on Jewelers Vigilance Committee's (JVC) Mediation Services For Consumers and Businesses, which will assist with jewelry-related disputes and is recognized by the FTC.

Find a JA Member Jeweler

Search our directory for reputable jewelers

Jewelers of America

In 1906, Jewelers of America was founded by jewelers for jewelers, with a desire to advance the professionalism and ethics of the jewelry industry.

Today, we continue that mission and Jewelers of America Members stand as the most trustworthy, informed and professional jewelry businesses within the United States.