Purchasing fine jewellery is an indulgence—but it is also an investment. Such an important purchase is more pleasurable and satisfying when you can be confident that you made your selection based on reliable information from a trusted authority.
Here are common inquiries most customers have when purchasing jewellery. If you have a question that is not covered below, please get in touch with us and we’ll do our best to respond promptly.
How do I buy jewellery wisely?
A: Buying jewelry is often to mark a special occasion, whether it is for yourself or a gift for a loved one. Here are a few tips to assist you in making an informed decision:
- Buy your jewellery from a jeweller who is a member of the Canadian Jewellers Association (CJA). Rely on the knowledge, expertise and professional standards of our members.
- Visit the CJA website for information about jewellery—including diamonds, coloured gemstones, pearls, metals and watches.
- When comparing prices, be sure you are comparing merchandise of similar quality. Review information about gold karats, the four C’s of diamonds and other criteria to ensure that you compare “apples to apples”. View deep discounts and “wholesale prices” with caution. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Moreover, one store’s “50% off” could turn out to be the same as another’s regular price.
- To avoid any misunderstanding later on, it is a good idea to check store policies on refunds and exchanges before you purchase.
- Following your purchase, treat your jewellery with care. You should not attempt to repair or otherwise tamper with your jewellery. Instead, visit your jeweller periodically to have it checked—it will usually get a professional “shine up”, too.
How do I select my jeweller?
A: Use the Canadian Jewellers Association website to find a jeweller who is a member of the (CJA). Rely on the knowledge, expertise, and professional standards of our members.
Our directory will help you find a professional jeweller who will be pleased to show you a variety of jewellery products in diamonds, pearls, gemstones and fine metals, as well as watches and even giftware, to suit your special occasion, personal style and budget.
What determines the price of diamonds?
A: You may already be familiar with the term “The Four C’s”, but few jewellery buyers understand the magnitude of the four most important attributes of a diamond. Make sure you understand how these factors determine the value of a diamond before you purchase.
How much should I spend on a diamond engagement ring?
A: Most people base their decision on their monthly salary. A typical rule of thumb is to purchase a ring that equals two to three months of salary.
How can I ensure I’m getting the best value for my money?
A: Buy your jewellery from a jeweller who is a member of the Canadian Jewellers Association (CJA). Rely on the knowledge, expertise, and professional standards of our members.
When purchasing jewellery, it is important to remember that gold, platinum, diamonds and gemstones are rare and expensive to mine. Firm industry guidelines ensure that diamonds, gemstones and gold are valued according to current market prices. Market forces, craftsmanship, grading, quality and weight are all taken into account when determining a value.
How do I know that the diamond I purchase is not a 'blood diamond' and is conflict-free?
A: The diamond industry, governments, United Nations and non-governmental organizations all adopted the Kimberley Process Certification System in November, 2002 in order to stem the trade in conflict diamonds. Canada is a signatory to the process, as well as a major diamond mining country. The Kimberley Process Certification System was put in place to assure only legitimately sourced diamonds are traded. Today over 99% of the world’s diamonds supply is certified to be from sources that are free from conflict.
All CJA member retailers must confirm on their invoice that the diamonds being sold are in fact, conflict-free and from a legitimate source.
If I insure my jewellery, what should I request from my CJA jeweller?
A: Your CJA jeweller will provide you with a receipt for the purchase price, as well as a detailed description of the jewellery purchased. For some insurance purposes, you will want to obtain an appraisal from a member of the Accredited Appraiser Program (AAP) of the CJA.
How often should I have my jewellery appraised?
A: It is recommended that you have your jewellery reappraised every two to three years. Jewellery values may increase over the years and reappraisal ensures you receive compensation based on a current replacement value, in the event of an insurance claim.
Does diamond switching and misleading advertising occur?
A: This does not happen among highly trained professionals who have spent years studying their trade. Rely on the background of our CJA members. Reputable jewellers have formal qualifications as gemologists, appraisers and goldsmiths, and bring honesty and integrity to their craft.
What is the best way to clean my jewellery?
A: Your jewellery should be professionally cleaned and polished at least once a year. At this time, your CJA jeweller can check the settings for wear and tear. Each gemstone or metal has its own sensitivities. Be cautious about cleaning jewellery yourself without more specific knowledge about the material.
What about consumer protection?
A: The Jewellers Vigilance Canada Inc. (JVC) is a non-profit association to advance ethical practices, in full partnership with the RCMP. If you encounter a problem with a Canadian jeweller, please contact Jewellers Vigilance Canada Inc. at:
27 Queen Street East, Suite 600
Toll Free: 1-800-636-9536
Fax: 416- 368-5552
What about consumer assistance?
A: The CJA is more than happy to assist you. We are available toll-free at 1-800-580-0942 or 416-368-7616.
Feel free to email us or send a fax to 416-368-1986.
Alternatively, you can visit your nearest CJA member. Unsure how to find one? Simply look for the CJA logo, ask retailers if they are members, or check the CJA website.