How to judge the quality of jewellery

Are there any Hallmarks: Carat Stamp, Maker’s Mark, Guild Mark?

They are quality marks, assuring you that the purity of the metal is as stated and the maker stands up for his work.

Ear stud pair including clip Yellow Gold with 3 Pearls Brilliant cut diamonds matt finishQuality craftsmanship is not only focusing on the front, the back must be well finished too. Pay close attention to details. Is the metal well polished with no little burrs of metal or pockmarks? Is the stone held firmly and square in the setting? Is the setting even and smoothly finished, so it won’t catch on clothing?

Inexpensive jewellery often is very lightweight to give you a bigger look for the money. If an item feels light, pay special attention to prongs holding the stone: Are they sturdy? Do they grip the stone tightly? You won’t be happy about the money you saved in gold cost, if you loose your stone!

When buying a necklace, make sure it lies well around the neck. Try it on. Check that earrings hang well from the ear and don’t tip forward.
If you are buying a gift and you are not sure about the style of jewellery, why not get a beautiful gemstone from a well established, qualified & experienced goldsmith and let the lucky recipient design her/his own perfect setting. Gems can speak louder than words, symbolizing what you want to say with your gift.

Where you shop is equally important

Shopping around can end up in comparing apples and oranges. To remember the exact colour of a stone is very difficult even for trained personal, as it is influenced by the lighting, the background, the setting & the time of day. Rings vary in thickness and width and method of manufacture. Please also read about gold & handcrafted quality on our webpage: Facts about Gold

Be wary of stores that give you appraisals or certificates that state that the gem or piece of jewellery is worth more than you paid for it and stores that tell you a gemstone is worth more than it looks because it comes from a certain country or is in fashion at the moment.

The web is a great place to learn about gems, but be careful where you buy them, as you are mostly unable to really see what you are getting and can't always get an exchange. Papers are no guarantee, particularly when you do not know whom you are buying from (EBAY) or where they will be tomorrow. The best place to buy is a professional goldsmith with a love for gemstones, who enjoys sharing his knowledge on this subject with you. Working together with reliable gemstone dealers, the goldsmith is able to order on demand or on approval, according to your budget. Bargains on EBAY can end up in disappointment or cause higher cost in manufacture or restoration, than a new piece of jewellery or a gemstone from an approved gemstone dealer, e.g.: too high gems or bad cuts with wrong proportions require more material and more labour to set them. If something sounds too good to be true, it most likely has got a flaw. Quality has its price, workmanship is worth the money.

How to Buy a Gem / What is the right price?

How much does a one-carat ruby cost? It can be worth ten dollars or it can be worth $10,000. Quality makes the difference. You could see differences in quality, if you looked at a lot of rubies side-by-side. Better colour costs more, a lot more. Better clarity costs more. Better cut may cost a little more but it is worth it! The bigger the stone, the more it is per carat. Different varieties have different price ranges. Prices can be lower, if the gems are readily available, or the colour is not fashionable, they have a funny name, the material is relatively soft or they have everything but no one knows it. Buy the best quality gemstone you can afford or consider buying a higher quality gemstone from an unusual variety. Diamonds, Ruby, Emerald, Sapphires and Pearls have been treasured for centuries and are still highly valued. More recently discovered gemstones are also beautiful, rare, quite affordable and coming in a wide range of colours, like Garnet, Tanzanite, Tourmaline, Opal, Peridot…..The word: semi-precious is banned in the jewellery industry, as it is misleading.


In general, the brighter or richer and vivid the colour the better. Within each gemstone variety, a clear, medium-tone, very intense and saturated primary colour is the most preferred. Muted colours, paler or subdued, darker tones may be very attractive and usually less expensive. Look at the colour in different kinds of light, especially daylight.


Clear transparent gemstones with no visible inclusions (flaws) are the most valued, which is very rare in natural emeralds and red tourmaline. Phenomenal gemstones owe their star or eye to tiny inclusions. Reflecting light back, they produce the eye in cat’s eye, chrysoberyl and the star in star sapphires. They are valued for their inclusions!


A good cut adds beauty. A well-cut faceted gemstone reflects light back evenly across its surface area. If the stone is too deep or narrow, the light is swallowed, some areas will appear dark. If it is too shallow and wide, parts of the stone will be washed out and lifeless. The best way to judge cut is to look at different or similar gemstones next to each other. Ask your goldsmith to show you a well-cut gemstone. Diamonds


Gemstones are generally sold by weight not by size. The price will be per carat, which is one-fifth of a gram. Some gems are heavier than others, so stones of the same weight may be a different size! The carat weight also affects the price: large gemstones are rare, so the price per carat is higher within the same quality.

In every variety, especially the more expensive ones, you should expect to pay more for matched pairs, sets and special shapes and cuts. In general, gemstone pricing follows common sense: the more beautiful the gemstone, with the final visual effect of all the quality factors, the more valuable it is. Don’t be afraid to choose what looks best to you!