Buying jewellery

Please note that these guides do not constitute legal advice and any information provided in the guides should not be construed as legal advice or legal interpretation. We do not accept any liability for any loss caused by your reliance on this guide.

DoneDeal guide to buying jewellery

Buying safely

One of the defining parts of jewellery is that it is small, easy to carry and high value or desirable. While it is easy to fake, it’s also easy to get verification of high quality items so don’t be put off. Just be extra security consciousness (both buyers and sellers). Read our Buying Safely section in-depth and overall take a common sense approach.

The key to buying jewellery is to meet a seller in person, physically see and examine the jewellery in order to be sure of what you are buying.

Meet the buyer or seller in daylight hours.

Arrange to meet in a public area that feels safe and where there are lots of people.

Bring someone with you.

If in doubt don't – make sure to follow your gut and if a deal seems to good to be true, then it is too good to be true.

Costume jewellery

Costume jewellery can often be worn once or not worn at all, if the price matches what you think it’s worth, that’s the main thing.

Other things to consider are if you are allergic to the metals.

Ensure that all the parts are in full working order, and that it’s not about to fall apart. 

Expensive jewellery

Ask for proof of the original cost or value, e.g.: receipts, insurance valuation, a gemological report (from the Institute of Gemology, or IGI). You can also verify gemological reports online on the IGI website.

One of the first things any owner of expensive jewellery will do is get an insurance valuation.

If you’re viewing a ring from a private seller with a valuation of X, remember that this is the full replacement price. So, you can expect to pay below the valuation

Check that the ring matches its description in the valuation report. For example, a ‘Tiffany setting’ does not mean it’s a ring from Tiffany & Co, the world-renowned jewellers. It describes a particular style of setting.

It’s important to make sure that the person selling the jewellery is entitled to sell it. For example, if it’s on sale as the result of a divorce it could well be part of the divorce settlement.

Check for actual hallmarks on the ring, rather than just a stamp. Get verification of the gemstone – you don’t want to be paying for diamonds if you’re getting cubic zirconia.