Derby City Council’s Trading Standards team are advising Derby shoppers to buy jewellery that bears a ‘hallmark’ and avoid purchasing inferior quality items.

With Valentine’s day on the horizon, many shoppers may be considering jewellery as the perfect gift for a loved one.

But how do you know that the shiny golden ring in the shop really is Gold?

The answer is to look for the hallmark stamped or embossed into the piece of jewellery.

Traders must also display a current ‘Dealers’ Notice’ which explains the hallmarks and how to interpret them. Any decent jeweller should be happy to help and explain hallmarks to a buyer.

Trading Standards have these tips to follow when purchasing that special piece of jewellery:

  1. Check your sources – where are you buying your piece of jewellery? Is it being sold online through e-bay for example, and there is no photograph or the image is unclear then our advice would be not to buy it.
  2. Check the returns policy/warranty – you should have at least 14 days to take the jewellery back. This gives you peace of mind that you can get it checked out by a third party for insurance purposes.
  3. Check the quality of the item – does it feel too light, or too heavy? Are the right hallmarks there?
  4. Brand marks and logos – look out for these when purchasing your items, check spelling and fonts as these could indicate that the piece is fake.
  5. Diamond certification – real diamond rings come with a certificate, make sure you ask for this at the time of purchase.
  6. Check your documentation – look for spelling mistakes. Poor English or bad grammar can be good indicators that something is wrong.
  7. Use your instincts – If it’s too good to be true, too cheap or someone is pressuring you into making a quick decision, walk away and think about it.
  8. Do your research – check online for similar products to compare prices and ensure you are buying the correct product. Jewellery and watches are generally emotional purchases and a good salesman or offer are designed to invoke a sense of urgency that could lead to you unwittingly ending up with a fake or poor quality piece of jewellery.