7 On Your Side: Avoiding Unscrupulous Jewelers

The diamond.  It's sparkling beauty makes it no surprise that it's the most precious of stones and the most expensive.

How do you know whether you're dealing with a potentially shady jeweler?

We turned to Master Gemologist John King and Chairman of the Gemological Institute of America Ralph Destino.

"The first red flag for me would be the exaggerated discounts that you hear about," says Destino.  "50%, 60%, 70% discount. I get very skeptical when I hear about these inflated discounts."

King adds, "Many times jewelers have staff members who are GIA graduates and that shows that they're educated in the topics and can help their customers understand the product better."

You can also ask to see the GIA Grading Report that comes with diamonds.  It serves as the diamond's fingerprint, certifying the stone's color, clarity, cut, carat weight and more.

"Other questions that come up, is this diamond natural?  Has it been treated in some way? a report like GIA's will answer all of those questions," King explains.

"I would say to a client beware of a jeweler who refuses to provide you with a document--a 3rd party independent document about what it is you're looking at, at his counter," says Destino.

Chairman Destino also says while shopping for diamonds is fun, the worst thing you can do is go into a jewelry store without arming yourself with information ahead of time.

"People could help themselves by getting a little knowledge you know, doing a little homework. Go to the GIA website for example, www.gia.edu.  There's a wealth of information there," says Destino.  "We can protect ourselves greatly by becoming a little more educated."

It's information that can help you make a smart investment...one that will last a lifetime.

Click here to go the GIA website directly.

Christine Nelson reporting. cnelson@kltv.com