Know the Signs of Quality Fine Jewelry

Not all jewelry is the same. That goes for jewelers, too. So, how can you be sure you’re buying quality, fine jewelry from a reputable dealer? It requires a bit of instinct and some training – just like you’ll find at a trusted hometown jeweler.

“People would probably hold a lot of jewelers on the same level as used car salesmen,” says Michael J. Miller, owner of M.J. Miller & Co., in Barrington. “But the truth is we have some of the most ethical people in the world.”

Miller has spent 55 years buying and selling some of the finest jewelry and gemstones, visiting gem mines and meeting stone cutters.

Miller believes the first sign of a quality jeweler is that he or she seeks to educate the customer. The average person doesn’t know what they’re buying, so a good jeweler helps them to understand.

The sales process should be a low-pressure exchange, Miller says. If you’re not getting answers or the sale feels high-pressure, beware, says Miller.

As important as it is to find the right jeweler, it’s also important to know you’re buying quality products. Miller not only stands behind his work, but he can tell you where it comes from.
He has paperwork showing it’s an authentic diamond or gemstone, and not something created in a Chinese lab, which is what you find at a big-box store.

“All of our diamonds are certified by the Gemological Institute of America,” says Miller. “They guarantee the quality of what you’re getting. There are other certificates out there, but they’re not worth the paper they’re printed on.”

Why does it matter? Because a quality, authenticated diamond or gemstone never loses its value.

Thirty years ago, Miller helped a man to buy a $100 pair of diamond earrings for the woman who became his wife. They traded these in years ago and have been trading up ever since. Their latest purchase: a set of 5 carat diamonds.

“The average person buying a piece of jewelry doesn’t think about that,” says Miller. “If you buy quality it will hold up for generations, it’ll hold its value, and it’s something excellent to pass on.”

M.J. Miller & Co. is located at 123 W. Main St. in Barrington, (847) 381-7900