Jewellers & Watchmakers of New Zealand Inc.
021 59 69 88
Member login

Search a Member


Search by Company


A Guide to Buying Jewellery

Reward yourself or someone special.


Buying jewellery is a very personal affair and choices are often made for emotional or sentimental reasons - an engagement ring or anniversary present for example.
In making their choice, consumers may ask their jeweller for professional advice and members of the Jewellers and Watchmakers of New Zealand Incorporated will provide it.

As an essential first step in helping consumers, the JWNZ has produced this Guide to Jewellery Buying which complements our other information brochures about diamonds, gold, pearls and coloured gemstones.

For more information call the JWNZ T 021 59 69 88. Or ask your jeweller and check they are members of the JWNZ.

How do I choose my jeweller?
JWNZ jewellers have pledged to trade honestly, fairly and truthfully For your nearest member ring 021 59 69 88 or click on our Search a Member - Location and Sector section, Valuers/Appraisers/Gemmologists

Can I trust my jeweller?
Members of the JWNZ are committed to quality, professionalism and value in accordance with their Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct.

Is service important?
Very. Finding a jeweller who will do their best for you - before and after - is crucial for your satisfaction and for the pleasure you will get from your purchase.

What determines the price of diamonds and gemstones?
The four c's - cut, colour, clarity and carat weight. Perhaps another could be added - C for confidence that you are being treated honestly and that you are buying from a reputable JWNZ jeweller.

How much should I spend on a diamond engagement ring?
Everything that is symbolised by a diamond engagement ring is priceless. But you do have to be practical. Today, two month's salary is generally considered a good guideline.

How do I know I'm getting value for money?
All jewellery is different and there are firm industry guidelines on how gold, diamonds and gemstones are appraised for their value according to current international prices. They take into account the grading, quality and weight of the jewellery and may include craftsmanship, market forces and GST. Also, it should be remembered that gold, diamonds and gemstones are extremely rare and are also very expensive to mine.

Is jewellery a good investment?
Most people buy jewellery for emotional and sentimental reasons, as gifts on special occasions, or to wear themselves. While most jewellery retains or increases its intrinsic value over the long term, if treated with reasonable care, the true value lies in its beauty and in the pleasure it provides.

How do I know what type of gold I've bought?
Most New Zealand gold jewellery is made with 18ct or 9ct gold. Some of the common markings found on gold jewellery, with their metric equivalent, are as follows: 22ct or 916; 18ct or 750; 14ct or 585; 9ct or 375;

Gemstones and Birthstones
The variety of colours and qualities of valuable gemstones is almost limitless. Some of the most popular ones have been allocated to months of the year, bringing all people born in their months under the protection of the stone of that month.

The Birthstones are:

  • January;  Garnet
  • February; Amethyst
  • March; Aquamarine
  • April; Diamond
  • May; Emerald
  • June; Pearl
  • July;  Ruby
  • August; Peridot
  • September; Sapphire
  • October; Opal
  • November; Topaz
  • December; Turquoise

Does 9ct gold last longer than 18t gold?
In general terms the answer is no. But it must be understood that 9 carat contains 37'/2% gold and the rest is an alloy of different metals, blended with the gold to make it harder. l8ct contains 75% gold with less alloy, 22ct contains 91.6% gold, close to pure and 24ct is 99.9% or pure gold and therefore very soft.

How can I obtain more information?
If you want more information about diamonds, gemstones, pearls and gold jewellery the JWNZ has produced "What you should know" brochures on each of these topics, They are available online on the JWNZ website.

What should I expect from my JWNZ jeweller if I insure my jewellery?
With most jewellery purchases you should expect a written detailed appraisal by a qualified registered appraiser, or a detailed receipt. This will also help in compiling an inventory of your jewellery in case of loss or theft.

How often should I have my jewellery appraised?
Jewellery values increase over the years and to insure for current replacement value, it is recommended that your jewellery is re-appraised every two to three years.

For your nearest jewellery appraiser contact the JWNZ T 021 59 69 88 or visit our Virtual Jewellers section.

What about cleaning?
Your jewellery should be professionally cleaned at least once a year. At the same time, your JWNZ jeweller can check the settings for wear.

I've heard stories about diamond switching and misleading advertising? Does it happen?
Not amongst reputable jewellers, most of whom are highly trained professionals who have spent years studying their trade. Some have formal qualifications as gemologists, appraisers, goldsmiths and watchmakers. They take pride in their work and in the service they provide to clients; they are honest and ethical and they want to retain you as a valued customer.

What about consumer protection?
The Disputes Tribunal is a dispute resolution service to help find amicable solutions to problems that may arise from time to time. Disputes Tribunal enquiries T 0800 268 787 or click this link

And consumer assistance?
Call in and see your nearest JWNZ member - look for the JWNZ logo or ask if they are members.

Jewellery has lasting value, unlike many of today's passing fads which may be obsolete after a couple of years. So why not reward yourself, or someone special, with the purchase of jewellery from a JWNZ jeweller.