NYS Consumer Protection Board Jewelry Buyer's Guide

Looking to Put a Sparkle in Someone’s Eye?

Whatever the occasion, jewelry may be
the perfect gift for a loved one or friend.

Take the time to learn about what
you’re buying prior to your purchase.







With gold prices soaring, the long-ignored mystery objects at the bottom of your jewelry box command new respect. Like many consumers, you may be preparing to sell a stash of single earrings, broken necklace chains and everything you ever got from the previous boyfriend. Not a bad idea – but before you go, read this helpful information:

  • Choose a reputable dealer, some one that’s known to you or has been recommended by a trusted source. Preferably, select a dealer that’s a member of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee. Click here for a JVC Gold Buyer  

  • If you are using an Internet based business, be sure to fully understand the procedures and methods they require in order to complete the transaction. Only by following their policies will you be able to get your gold back if you decide to decline their purchase offer.

  • Set off on your expedition with reasonable expectations. When you bought the jewelry you paid for more than the value of the gold. The price included labor, packaging and the retail mark-up of the item. It may have also included non-gold substances, like gemstones. You probably will not be reimbursed for the non-gold components of the purchase price.

  • The buyer will only pay you for the actual gold in an object. Since gold is always blended with other metals to make jewelry, expect that a substantial percentage of the object is made of something other than gold. Don’t expect to be paid for the non-gold component of the jewelry.

  • The buyer may conduct a test to determine how much gold is in the jewelry – known in the trade as its “karat fineness.” This is called a “scratch” or “acid” test. Expect the buyer to actually scratch the gold to conduct the test.

  • The price offered to you by the buyer may not be the market price of gold that day. Prices are not regulated, so the parties are free to negotiate a price that’s acceptable to both sides.  With this in mind, you may want to shop your gold items to several buyers, and then sell to the highest bidder.

  • Bring a form of government issued identification. All gold buyers are required to ask for this in case the police show up later with lots of questions about stolen property and are also required by anti-money laundering laws to obtain seller identification.

  • Gold Sales are Final – unless the buyer advises differently, once you sell your gold you will not be able to “undo” the sale.  There is no “seller’s remorse” period that applies to these sales, so make sure that you really do want to part with whatever you are selling.  No exceptions for sentimental value, so if you’re not sure you can live without it, don’t sell it.

Now make your first foray into the precious metal trade.  Good luck!

“Buying Gemstones and Jewels with Confidence” Brochure is Available

JVC has developed “Buying Gemstones and Jewels with Confidence” to help shoppers understand the difference between natural  diamonds, laboratory created diamonds and  simulated diamonds. 

The brochure includes questions consumers should ask retailers (including online vendors) to make informed decisions about their purchases.


“Buying Gemstones and Jewels with Confidence was underwritten by Charles & Colvard, Ltd.


 JVC’s new easy-to-understand brochure has been designed to educate you, the consumer on the legal implications of advertising “wholesale” prices. We clearly define the necessary legal requirements to be considered a true wholesaler.  

In order to qualify as a “wholesaler” a jeweler must sell for the purposes of resale only.  This excludes selling directly to the consumer, the end-user Several states now enforce strict laws against false and misleading advertising, including selling products at allegedly “wholesale” prices to consumers. 

Download JVC’s “Wholesale Advertising” brochure today to protect yourself against misleading advertising. The brochure is available in PDF format.

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Welcome to the JVC's website. This site was built to provide you, the jewelry consumer, with an educational resource and to provide a contact point for inquiries.

Our Jewelry Buyer's Checklist is a great
starting point if you are considering
buying a piece of jewelry.

The JVC is a non-profit trade association supported by the jewelry industry. We offer a variety of services to the industry, as well as general jewelry buying information to the public. We are here to help if you have a problem.

Please see the links at the top of this page for other resources we offer. If you have any questions that are not answered here, please don't hestitate to contact us using the link at the top of the page.

The JVC offers many links to other jewelry trade sites that offer helpful information. We invite you to explore our resources.

We also can assist you if you are looking for a jewelry appraisal expert. Click here to view our list of resources.

Buyer's Bill of Rights














Here are questions every buyer should ask when making fine jewelry purchases, including from exhibitors at a trade show. These questions are based on the current laws and were developed by the Jewelers Vigilance Committee. For further information regarding these questions, for help in how best to answer these questions or for answers to any other questions you have regarding ethics and compliance, please contact JVC.

Precious Metals

1. Are all goods within the tolerances of gold, platinum or silver content as provided in the FTC Guidelines?

2. Are good stamped with the quality of the metal precious content (ie. 10k, 14k, 18k, etc.)? 3. Are all quality marked goods also stamped with a trademark?

4. Can you provide a copy of your trademark(s) and the current U.S. Patent and Trademark Office registration/certification number for each?

5. Are all imported finished precious metal items labeled with country of origin?


6. Do you disclose in writing all treatments (including laser drilling) to diamonds and other gemstones in compliance with the FTC Guidelines and the AGTA Gemstone Enhancement Manual?

7. Are weight tolerances for carat in compliance with the FTC Guidelines? Do you disclose in writing diamond weight to the second decimal place?

8. Do you sell synthetic or imitation stones, and are they labeled as such?

9. Are you imported stones labeled with country or origin?

                                           10. What is the nature of the written disclosures and disclaimers on sales invoices and laboratory/grading reports?

Look for the JVC Symbols

Make sure to buy fine jewelry from a JVC retailer! Look for the JVC symbols shown below or ask if the store is a JVC member.


 Annual Membership Certificate and Door Sticker

These items ensure you can rely on our members' promise to uphold the ethics and integrity of the jewelry industry through their own business practices.

Contact JVC to ask if a company is a member or to find out if any complaints have been lodged with JVC against them.

Thank you for visiting!


Jewelers Vigilance Committee
Does Not Provide Any Form Of Legal Advice.

Copyright © 2006 Jewelers Vigilance Committee · Contact JVC