Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Jewelry Exchange of New Jersey

The experience of visiting the Jewelry Exchange is always the same... educational.

Pros
  1. Great Sales people: Every visit to the Jewelry exchange is an educational tour. You would learn about stones, gold, prices, value, design and other similar things about jewelry.
  2. Amazing variety of designs and product options: After the internet, this is the best place to hunt for a variety of classic designs. Most designs are variations of the basic pieces such as the Tiffany set diamond ring, or the tennis bracelet or solitaire rings etc. You can get exactly what you want in the exact shade of diamond that you desire.
  3. Easy to compare prices right away: Since the jewelry exchange is a cometitive market place, you can compare prices for similar goods right away. You have a wide selection of diamonds and colored stones so you can choose exactly what you want in the budget that you have decided.
  4. Place for all budgets: Lest assured you would find jewelry in all budget ranges at the jewelry exchange. Starting from baby jewelry or gift items for under 50 $ you can go up to an ambitious range of very highly priced collector's items.
  5. Upper hand on bargaining: The pressure of making a sale is way more intense in the jewelry exchange which obviously would give a tactful customer a very good upper hand in bargaining for the price of what they like.
  6. Instant comparsion of prices and designs from the malls around: Since the Jewelry Exchange is centrally located in Edison, you have access to the mall jewelry stores at several locations within a half hour driving distance.
  7. Repair and resizing options available within premises: This is one of the biggest advantages that the jewelry exchange has to offer to you. You can buy a diamond off the internet at Bluenile or Costco or some place else and simply buy a mount from the jewelry exchange and get it set or resized right in front of you.
  8. Cleaning service available at many jewelers: Almost every jeweler will clean the jewelry you are wearing while you wait and browse through their collection
  9. Walk away without making a purchase: You can walk away when you want even without making the purchase and you will still be welcome the next day and the day after that and the day after. This is the Jewelry Exchange for you.
  10. You can sell your jewelry: Several jewelers at the Jewelry Exchange will buy or exchange your old jewelry or gold for money or new jewelry.
CONS:
  1. Great Expectations: Every time you go to the jewelry exchange you walk in with great expectations and rarely walk out with any gratification. It may be the design, prices, the quality or maybe just a late realization of this blog post, but in any case, I have rarely come across a customer of the jewelry exchange leave alone a happy one.
  2. Great salespeople: Once you get sucked into the web, it is very difficult to get out of the hypnotic dose of information and passion from any one jeweler. The magnetism of the sales people is so strong that it is very difficult to walk away without making the purchase
  3. Well experienced people: In the exchange, where jewelry is passes all the time all around, everyone learns the cunning traits of the trade, that is everyone but the fresh client so you have to be very wary of what you hear and buy once you are in
  4. Too many designs and options: This is a very common dilemma that several people face. There is simply too much information and too much visual material to process to make the decision that could have been simpler at another store
  5. Return, exchange or upgrade policy: You buy and you realize you are not too happy about the purchase. You go back to the Jewelry Exchange to return what you bought but you are shown the ... fine print... on the bottom of the receipt which nullifies all exchanges, returns and upgrades. In short there is no policing of the policies of the individual store owners so you are really on your own when it comes to risking your money at the jewelry exchange.
  6. No guarantee is good enough: At the jewelry exchange you go out to buy a diamond with for lower prices. You will find plenty but those will be lower in quality as well. You get to see a "certified" diamond, but stop and think twice as to who is really certifying and what is the authenticity or the value of the certificate. Unless it is a GIA certified diamond and NONE other, you may land up paying an expensive penalty for that "great" deal that you are getting at the Jewelry Exchange. I have actually come across diamonds certified by non-GIA bodies which are definitely over ranked in their basic 4 Cs.
  7. Not the most expensive collection of jewels nor the most exclusive one: People go to the Jewelry Exchange for good deals and for great bargains. You would rarely find exclusive designs at the jewelry exchange. You can order for something that you have liked or seen at another jeweler or a jewelry book, but I doubt that you will find any design award winners here.
  8. Most of the self-certified products carry a little certificate which carries a little fine print line which nullifies the guaranty for every other reason: This is just an extension and reinforcement to what I have already stated above
  9. Chances of switching the stones in case of repair etc: Basically you are the only one liable for your product at the Jewelry Exchange. This point me of the time my mother, also a Graduate Gemologist went to a small time diamond dealer in New Delhi, India. She chose a gorgeous rock (diamond: 2.25 ct, VS1, F-color, Very good cut, no Florescence, round brilliant cut) for an UNBELIEVABLE price. She started to write out the check while the diamond dealer cleant the diamond in the ultra sonic cleanser right in front of her. Just before handing over the check, she happened to review her purchase and realized that he had switched the diamond with a similar sized, I3, poor color diamond. And yes she has been in the trade for a while.
  10. High chance of coming across misnomers, synthetics, imitation and mis represented jewelry or stones: This i snot an uncommon practice at many jewelers. It is easy to call a colorless sapphire a white sapphire and a pink one a "pink ruby". But seriously, when you think of a misnomer such as a "golden" topaz then question the real value of that stone as a "yellow" topaz or a pink sapphire or a colorless sapphire etc. It is easy to get into the trap of the "Fool's gold". The story goes as this, Lapis Lazuli a truly gorgeous blue colored stone that carries golden specks of non-precious minerals was once sold in tonnes under the name of gold. This was later described as the fool's gold since it was only sold to those who were unaware of this misrepresentation of minerals.

Basically... you should buy from the jewelry exchange only if you know what you are up against or else you are accompanied by someone who really knows what the ins and outs of jewelry are and more importantly, someone who really has interest in your best interest. Like I already mentioned all the advantages of visiting the jewelry exchange, you can really get good for your buck if you are careful of what you buy or learn from the Exchange.

For any questions about a stone that you are considering or any design that you are looking at, you can share your anxiety, doubt or excitement with me at surbhi.s.gupta@gmail.com


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