Ultimate Jewellery Buying Guide

Everything you need to know to buy jewellery with confidence

There is so much to consider when buying an item of jewellery that it can feel overwhelming to the unprepared. Understanding the construction and quality of the jewellery, where to buy it, and your rights as a consumer is essential to making sure you have a satisfactory shopping experience. Join us as we guide you through the things to consider when making that all-important purchase.

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In this guide:

  1. What is jewellery?
  2. Types of jewellery
  3. Why do people buy jewellery?
  4. Buying jewellery for special occasions
  5. Measuring ring sizes
  6. Five considerations when buying jewellery
  7. How to research jewellery
  8. How to choose a jeweller
  9. After your jewellery purchase

1. What is jewellery?

Jewellery is a decorative object worn on your body or clothing. These items are typically made from precious metals, such as silver or gold, or adorned with precious stones. However, jewellery can be made of the simplest and cheapest materials and is often worn for aesthetic appeal rather than intrinsic value. 

Jewellery has been worn for almost as long as humans have walked the earth. Evidence of jewellery has been discovered all over the world and as far back as prehistoric times. The significance of jewellery has changed over the centuries and often signalled the importance and status of the wearer. 

2. Types of jewellery

Jewellery comes in many shapes and sizes and used to adorn and accentuate different parts of the body. Below is a list of some of the most popular forms of jewellery.


Anklets, as the name would suggest, is a piece of bracelet-like jewellery worn around the ankle. Popular in the East, particularly in India, anklets have been worn for centuries, with examples found from Persia and Egypt. They are regularly adorned with jewels, charms and bells that gently ring as the wearer walks.

Anklet jewellers


Armlets are decorative bands worn on the arm. Unlike a bracelet, armlets are typically worn on the upper arm. Historically, armlets were worn by men but now are worn mainly by women for their decorative beauty. They are usually made of precious metal, such as gold, and twist around the arm.


Bangles are solid bracelets without a closure that slides over the wrist. Typically made from a precious metal such as gold or silver, they are popular in India and considered good luck.

Bangle jewellers

Beads and Charms

Beads and charms are small decorative items that typically adorn either bracelets or necklaces. Charms were believed to possess magical qualities, but are now worn for their decorative appeal. Most charms are cast in the shape of animals and objects, and given as sentimental gifts.

Beads and charm jewellers


Bracelets are one of the most popular and widely worn pieces of jewellery. They wrap around the wrist and come in practically every material, from precious metals and gemstones to wood and leather. Bracelets possess different cultural significance around the world and have been worn by women and men for centuries.

Bracelet jewellers


Brooches are decorative pins that fasten to clothing. They are both ornamental and functional while being used throughout history and across cultures. Initially used to secure garments together, such as cloaks and tunics, they are now used predominantly for decoration. They are typically made in gold and silver with gemstone or enamel embellishments. During the Victorian era, they were popular as mourning wear. People used them to hold hair or a keepsake from a departed loved one.

Brooch jewellers


Chains are a particular type of necklace with interlocking parts, be they rings, balls or material twisted together to look like rope. Chains are arguably the most popular and common form of necklace style for both men and women. From chunky gold chains to delicate silver curb chains, they come in many shapes and styles. Due to their flexibility they are perfect for laying flat against the wearer's chest and staying in place when the wearer is in motion.

Chain jewellers


Chokers are tightly-fitted necklaces often made from softer materials like velvet or leather. Like many jewellery designs, chokers have been around for centuries and appear across cultures. In the west, they became popular in the 19th Century and continue to be a popular fashion accessory today.


Cufflinks are used to fasten the cuffs of dress shirts. They are typically worn for formal and business wear and come in many designs and materials. Precious metals, such as gold and silver, remain the most popular. Designs vary greatly and can offer subtle decorative embellishments to a man's outfit.

Cufflink jewellers


Earrings are the most popular form of jewellery and are regularly worn no matter the occasion. Earrings come in many shapes and styles, including hooped, drop and stud. They are worn around the world and have been a regular fashion accessory through the centuries, adapting to changing tastes and fashions. Typically worn in pairs, they are often made from precious metals and embellished with gemstones, pearls, enamel or ornate detailing. Only in the late 17th Century and 18th Century, when wigs and headdresses obscured the ears, did earrings fall out of fashion.

Earring jewellers


Hairpins are practical jewellery accessories helping hold various hairstyles in place. They have been popular accessories throughout history, including in Roman and Egyptian societies. They can be simple and ornate in design and made from precious metals to plastic and wood.


Along with rings and earrings, necklaces are the most popular type of jewellery and can be worn by both men and women. Necklaces have been worn for almost as long as humans have walked the planet. Early examples were made from bone but since the Bronze Age, most necklaces are made from harder wearing metals. Necklaces can be simple chains or they may be adorned with gemstones, enamel or a pendant.

Necklace jewellers


Pendants are ornamental jewellery suspended from a necklace, bracelet or earring. Pendants date back to the Stone Age where people would wear amulets around their neck. For centuries, pendants often carried religious significance. Religious pendants remain popular today, but most are worn for their decorative appeal.

Pendant jewellers


A ring is a band worn around a finger and is one of the most popular and commonly worn types of jewellery for both men and women. Typically made from precious metal, rings are worn both for their decorative and cultural significance. The earliest examples date back to Ancient Egypt and have been worn ever since. For many, they are a sign of love and commitment, with engagement and wedding rings being one of the most significant jewellery investments an individual will make in their lifetime.

Ring jewellers


Tiaras are ornate and decorative headbands typically worn as part of a woman's formal dress. Popularised by royalty and the aristocracy, tiaras are generally made from precious metals and adorned with gemstones or pearls.

Tiara jewellers

Tie Clips

Tie clips are a functional piece of jewellery, fastening a man's tie to his shirt to keep it in place. Although many are simple in their design, they are usually made from silver or gold and can be embellished with gemstones or enamel.

Tie clip jewellers


Watches are both functional items and items of beauty. Worn around the wrist, watches help the wearer tell the time as well as provide a stylish accessory. Watches are highly collectible and come in many styles and materials. From a gold Rolex to a plastic Casio digital watch, the variety is practically endless. Before the wristwatch, people wore pocket watches which would fasten to their clothing via a chain. The most sought-after watches are those made from precious metals and adorned with diamonds or other valuable gemstones.

Watch jewellers


💡 Did You Know?

Many NAJ members benefit from the Associations popular Jewellery Education and Training courses for their staff. That means members are able to deliver excellent customer service because of their enhanced knowledge and industry-recognised training.

Find a jeweller


 customer shopping for jewellery

3. Why do people buy jewellery?

Jewellery is bought by individuals for many different reasons, from admiring its beauty to a gift passed down through generations or an investment that will appreciate over time. Below we discuss why someone may buy a piece of jewellery.

Buying jewellery for yourself

Purchasing jewellery for yourself may be seen as a luxury for some. Still, everyone deserves a treat from time to time. A person may buy a piece of jewellery for themselves for a variety of reasons. They may want to mark a milestone or achievement by purchasing an item they will cherish for years to come. They may admire the aesthetic beauty of the jewellery and want to feel good while wearing it. Above all, it is perfectly acceptable to buy jewellery for ones own pleasure. After all, jewellery is made to be worn and enjoyed.

Buying jewellery as a gift

Jewellery is often bought as a gift to mark special occasions, whether it be a beautiful diamond engagement ring or a gold necklace for passing important exams. Jewellery is seen as the perfect gift to celebrate anniversaries, birthdays or other important milestones in a loved one's life. Gifting jewellery is often symbolic, whether giving diamonds to symbolise permanence or other gemstones signifying particular anniversaries or birth months.

Buying jewellery for a collection

Jewellery offers a myriad of choices and price points for those looking to start a collection. Whether collecting Omega watches, emerald rings or diamond accessories, there is a near-infinite number of jewellery collections to explore, no matter your budget or experience. With specialist groups catering to every niche, you will always find a like-minded community for support.


💡 Did You Know?

As a member of the public or trade you can check to see if a jewellery business is a member of the National Association of Jewellers by visiting the Check a member tool.

Check a member



4. Buying jewellery for special occasions

Jewellery is always a safe and precious gift for a loved one. There are many special occasions in a person's life where a piece of jewellery is the perfect present. Your local jewellery shop can help steer you in the right direction when looking for a special anniversary gift for a colleague or loved one.

Anniversary jewellery

Marriages are not the only anniversaries worth celebrating with jewellery. Work anniversaries and birthdays also warrant special symbolic gifts, from ruby earrings celebrating a woman's 40th birthday to a silver pen marking an employee's 25 years of service.

Below is a list of jewellery-themed anniversary gift ideas.

1. Paper

Perhaps a gift voucher from one of our members - find a list of our members here.

2. Cotton

How about a silver sewing box or a pair of cotton silver-cleaning mitts with a piece of silver to go with it?

3. Leather

Leather is a natural companion to precious metal jewellery. Many jewellers’ shops sell leather goods like jewellery boxes or hip flasks to make a perfect gift for the third anniversary.

4. Fruit

Silver or crystal fruit bowl, servers or spoons would make an ideal gift. Or perhaps a silver ornament or brooch shaped like a piece of fruit.

5. Wood

Wooden jewellery boxes and necklace display stands make a perfect fifth-anniversary present.

6. Confectionery

Why not shop for a silver sweet dish, sugar caster, bowl or tongs?

7. Copper

Copper is seldom used alone and is probably best represented in most jewellers’ shops as the copper alloy brass. A pair of copper cufflinks are a unique gift for a man's seventh anniversary.

8. Bronze

Bronze is an alloy of copper and tin. Small ornaments such as cold-painted bronze animal figures make for a charming choice for this anniversary. But be aware, some of the cheaper examples are not real cast metal but a moulded mixture of powdered metal and resin.

9. Pottery

Many independent jewellery shops stock china and porcelain gift items such as figurines or tableware.

10. Tin/Pewter

For this anniversary, many shops stock pewter gift items, such as tankards and animal models.

11. Steel

Stainless steel is a popular choice for watches and some jewellery.

12. Silk

Some jewellery stores will stock silk-covered gift items. Make the anniversary even more special and match a silk-covered ring case with a beautiful diamond ring.

13. Coral/Jade

A coral or jade beaded necklace or a set of earrings is the perfect gift for this anniversary.

14. Ivory

Ivory was the traditional gift, but its trade is thankfully now restricted by international treaty. As an alternative, how about a watch with an ivory-coloured dial or an elephant-shaped pendant?

15. Crystal

You will have no problem here; most jewellers stock lead crystal glassware and picture frames.

20. China

See 9th anniversary.

25. Silver

Jewellery, watches, picture frames, ornaments and antiques are just a few possibilities for this celebratory milestone. If hallmarked silver is too expensive for your budget, try shopping for the cheaper alternative of silver plate.

30. Pearl

How about a pair of earrings, or the classic fashion statement, a row of pearls?

35. Platinum

The most precious of precious metals, local and online jewellers now stock a wide range of platinum jewellery.

40. Ruby

If you want to be traditional, a ruby ring is best for a 40th anniversary. However, why not break with tradition and buy a stunning ruby pendant instead?

45. Sapphire

Blue is not the only colour available. Why not try a pink sapphire for something a little different?

50. Gold

Buyers have a vast choice of items to choose from, such as earrings, brooches, pendants, rings, necklaces and watches, to name but a few.

55. Emerald

As with most gemstones, you are spoiled for gift choices when buying emeralds, from rings to necklaces. Don't like emeralds? What about an emerald cut gemstone? That way, you can get a special diamond five years early!

60. Diamond

Diamonds are forever, and they are also for the 60th anniversary. Diamonds remain one of the most desirable gemstones, and there is an abundance of gift ideas that will make any recipient smile. If you want a watch instead of jewellery, choose a diamond set example.

Wedding Day Jewellery

For both bride and groom, jewellery on a wedding day is essential accompaniments to the wedding outfits. Whether choosing some old, new, borrowed or blue, we have a selection of traditional and not so traditional jewellery ideas for you.

 Wedding jewellery

Valentine's Day

For centuries, the gift of jewellery has conveyed love in all its forms. From friendship bracelets to cherished engagement rings - there are endless ways to say "I love you" and show how much we care.

 Valentine's Day jewellery

Mother's Day

Mother’s Day surely calls for a little extra something to convey the message of love and appreciation. When flowers aren't enough, jewellery is the best option.

 Mother's Day jewellery

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5. Measuring ring sizes

You've chosen the perfect ring; now it is time to find out the perfect size. A ring must be tight enough to stay on the finger but large enough to get over any finger joint. Make sure when measuring any finger that it is not too cold. Fingers will fluctuate in size depending on temperature and humidity. Therefore, measuring them when they are at their largest will make sure you get the best fit, no matter the weather.

Just like shoes and clothing, the UK, EU and US all have different measurement guides. Follow our link to find out the perfect fit for you or your loved one.

Ring Size UK Measurement (mm) Ring Size US
A 37.8 1/2
B 39.1
C 40.4 1 1/2 
D 41.7
E 42.9 2 1/2 
F 44.2
G 45.5 3 3/8 
H 46.8 3 3/4 
I 48.0 4 1/4 
J 48.7 4 5/8 
K 50.0 5 1/8 
L 51.2 5 1/2 
M 52.5
N 53.8 6 1/2 
O 55.1
P 56.3 7 1/2 
Q 57.6
R 58.9 8 5/8 
S 60.2 9 1/8 
T 61.4 9 5/8 
U 62.7 10 1/4
V 64.0 10 5/8 
W 65.3 11 1/8
X 66.6 11 5/8 
Y 67.8 12
Z 68.5 12 1/2

 41522419 m

6. Five considerations when buying jewellery

To buy or not to buy? That is the question. Jewellery will always be an attractive purchase option as they are beautiful, sparkling objects. However, they are usually a considerable investment, meaning it is important to make the right choices for your budget and taste. Below are five considerations to think about when making your jewellery purchase.


Just like the fashion industry, there is a wide range of jewellery styles on offer to buyers. Are you looking for a timeless traditional piece or something more on-trend and contemporary? A gold necklace can come in thousands of different shapes and styles, so it is essential to do your research, find examples that you like, and, importantly, suit you. If you're purchasing jewellery to wear regularly, consider if the style will work in multiple situations (such as work or social occasions) and if it will date quickly.


Jewellery comes in most materials, from leather and plastic to precious metals like silver and gold. Precious metals can come in various grades and prices depending on the percentage of the metal in the item. For example, 18-carat gold contains 75% pure gold, with the rest made up of other alloys. The higher the gold content, the softer and more expensive the metal. If you buy everyday gold jewellery, one with a lower carat may be more sensible as it is less susceptible to bumps and scratches.

Gemstones also vary in price depending on their grading. Gemstones may be graded differently depending on the type of gem it is, but most are tested for clarity, colour, cut and carat size.

Skin tone

A gold ruby necklace may look beautiful in the shop, but it will be a disappointing purchase if it doesn't suit the intended wearer. Although most people look great wearing any precious metal - whether it be the cool tones of silver and platinum or the warm tones of gold - for some, this is not the case. It is important to understand what metals and gemstones suit your skin tone to make sure you are happy with your purchase.

The best way to discover if a piece of jewellery will suit your skin tone is to try it on, ideally in both artificial and natural light. However, fair skin tones tend to suit cooler precious metals and gemstones, while dark skin tones better suit the warmer tones of gold and darker gems.

Longevity and purpose

Is the piece of jewellery for a one-off event, or will you wear it more than once? When cared for properly, good quality jewellery can last generations, so it is crucial to think about when and where you are likely to wear the item. Special occasion pieces are a welcome addition to a collection, but is it a wise purchase if it gathers dust in your jewellery box for the next twenty years?

Occasionally a one-off event piece is a worthwhile investment (say, for your wedding day), but consider where else the jewellery may be worn and with what outfits. A versatile piece will bring far more pleasure and value for money than those purchased for a single event.

Have you purchased a timeless piece or one that will be out of style before the season is over? Fashions are constantly involving, so buying jewellery on-trend may mean it lacks longevity. If you're wanting to invest in an item of jewellery that you'll keep and cherish for years to come, consider going for a more timeless piece that will not date quickly.

Value for money and budget

Budget is arguably the most important consideration when purchasing jewellery. Everyone will have a price in mind when looking for their next purchase, and everyone likes to think they've got value for money. Jewellery prices vary wildly, and several factors determine the cost, from the quality of the raw materials and production to the provenance and where it is being purchased. You must do your homework, making sure that what you are buying is worth the money. A good NAJ member will always explain the reasons for price differences when purchasing jewellery.

Check for certifications of gemstones and the quality of the precious metals that make up the jewellery. A diamond ring can vary in price from a couple of hundred pounds to tens of millions, so it is important to understand why costs are so different.


💡 Did You Know?

Every NAJ retailer, designer, supplier, manufacturer, valuer and associate abides by the Association's Code of Conduct, based on honesty, integrity and professionalism. Gain peace of mind and confidence by purchasing your jewellery from an NAJ member.

Find a jeweller


 man on laptop

7. How to research jewellery

There are many factors to consider when looking to buy a new piece of jewellery. To make sure you are making the most informed purchasing decision, you need to consider more than just budget and the aesthetic beauty of the jewellery. It is important to understand the precious metals and gemstones that make up the jewellery item and what to look out for so that you are buying an item of quality and value.

Precious metals and hallmarking

Most jewellery is made from precious metal, be it gold, silver or rarer metals such as platinum. Each metal has its unique characteristics, appearance and value. The most common metals for making jewellery remain gold and silver.

Gold - Pure gold is yellow, but the precious metal can come in many different shades. For example, rose gold is increasingly popular, giving the gold a warm pinkish hue. Rose gold is created by increasing copper in the alloy. In contrast, white gold can be produced by alloying gold with silver or palladium.

Carat is the measurement of purity of the gold. The higher the carat, the purer the gold with less evidence of other metals in the alloy.

Silver - Silver is a reasonably hardwearing metal with a bright shine and perfect for almost all types of jewellery. Most silver jewellery is silver combined with other metals as an alloy. This makes it more suitable for general use.

Hallmarking dates back over 700 years and assures the purity and provenance of the precious metal. It is the oldest form of consumer protection in the UK. Since 1998 three mandatory marks make up a hallmark. These include the company that produced the jewellery, a number identifying the fineness of the metal and the assay office that tested the metal. In addition, on jewellery made before 1998, it was compulsory to include the year the item was tested.

You can find out more information about precious metals, hallmarking and the role of Assay offices in our detailed guide.

Precious metal, nickel and hallmarking


Buying a birthstone item of jewellery as a gift is a popular way to mark an anniversary, birth or special date. Each month and astrological star sign has its unique birthstone, with each one said to possess unique properties. For example, the September birthstone sapphire symbolises purity and faithfulness.

Birthstones are a great way to add extra significance to a gift for both the intended wearer and the buyer.

Month Star Sign Traditional Gemstone Gemstone Meaning Alternative Gemstone
January Capricorn Garnet Faith, Eternity, Truth Rose Quartz
February Aquarius Amethyst Luck, Wittiness, Health Amber
March Pisces Aquamarine Happiness, Understanding Jade
April Aries Diamond Eternity, Courage, Health Clear Quartz/Rock Crystal
May Taurus Emerald Fidelity, Goodness, Love Chrysoprase
June Gemini Pearl Peace, Nobility, Beauty Moonstone
July Cancer Ruby Love, Enthusiasm, Strength Carnelian
August Leo Peridot Success, Peace, Love Spinel
September Virgo Sapphire (blue) Serenity, Truth Lapis Lazuli
October Libra Opal Purity, Hope, Health Pink Tourmaline
November Scorpio Topaz Wisdom, Courage, Sincerity Citrine
December Sagittarius Tanzanite Love, Happiness, Luck Blue Topaz

Discover more about traditional birthstones and their modern alternatives in our specialist guide.

Zodiac and birthstone guide

Buying gemstones

Gemstones of all shades and colours continue to grow in popularity. Once people sought the diamond's crystal clear beauty, now consumers explore a more comprehensive range of gemstones.

Gemstone is a broad category encompassing both mineral crystals that are cut and polished into dazzling stones, as well as organic gemstones such as pearls, opal and amber. Only crystals that can be cut and are hardwearing tend to be used in jewellery production.

When purchasing gemstones, it is essential to do your research. Gemstones are often graded based on their colour, cut, clarity and carat size (although this can vary depending on the type of gemstone). The better the rating, the higher the quality and value. It is common for gemstones to be enhanced. Sometimes these treatments are perfectly standard within the industry, such as heat-treating gems to deepen their colour. However, be aware that care may be needed when wearing or cleaning the gemstones if they have been artificially treated.

Find out more about the most popular gemstones and what to look out for when buying them, with our gemstone guide.

Gemstone buying guide

Buying diamonds

Whether buying a diamond engagement ring or a gift for yourself, diamond jewellery is often one of the most important purchases you will make. It can also be amongst the most expensive, meaning you want to make the right choice when choosing your jewellery. Fortunately for you, we have a detailed guide on everything you need to know about diamond buying so you can make your purchase with confidence.

Diamonds are rated using the 4C grading system. Each gemstone is graded based on the cut, clarity, colour and carat size of the diamond.

Cut - Arguably the most critical characteristic of a diamond as it has the most influence over the gemstone's sparkle. A stone that reflects the maximum light between facets will command a higher price.

Clarity - Natural diamonds contain imperfections and inclusions due to the immense heat and pressure they undergo during their creation. Therefore, a diamond with fewer and less visible blemishes will command a better price.

Colour - Diamonds are graded on their colour, or, more accurately, their absence of colour. The closer the diamond is to near colourless, the greater the value.

Carat size - Carat refers to the diamond's weight rather than its physical size. The larger the carat, the more expensive the diamond.

Sustainability and where diamonds have come from is becoming increasingly important for the industry and consumers alike. Below is a handy video explaining the terms to look out for when making that all important purchase.


For more about diamonds and the different types available, visit our diamond buying guide.

Diamond buying guide

Trending jewellery

Just like fashion, jewellery trends are constantly evolving. Led by The Jeweller editor, Belinda Morris, our trendspot blog offers you inspiration and up to date news on all things jewellery related. Direct from the NAJ membership, we give you access to the trends that will be exciting the market.

Trending jewellery

Jewellery ethics

The NAJ and its membership continuously work towards transparency and traceability for all materials used in jewellery production. In addition, the NAJ is a founder member of an ethical standards committee engaging with NGO's, legislative bodies and suppliers to guide on issues of concern and ethics in the jewellery supply chain.

Now, more than ever, consumers want to be sure that the items they buy are ethically sourced and produced. The jewellery industry continues to make great strides in protecting the environment and its workforce, with numerous initiatives worldwide to improve best practices and eradicate older, less ethical production methods.

You can learn more about conflict diamonds, dirty gold and how the NAJ and broader industry is combating these unscrupulous practices, in our jewellery ethics guide.

Jewellery ethics guide


💡 Did You Know?

All NAJ members follow NAJ guidelines, such as Diamond Terminology and Principles of Best Practice for Valuers. Maintaining high standards ensures an NAJ member is able to maintain the three key values of the AssociationHonesty, Integrity and Professionalism.

Find a jeweller 


 Choosing a Jeweller

8. How to choose a jeweller

Choosing the right jeweller is as crucial as picking the correct item of jewellery. Whether you purchase on the high street or online, buying from a reputable and knowledgable jeweller will give you peace of mind and protection.

Buying on the high street

Buying jewellery from an independent jeweller or nationwide high street shop gives you the chance to inspect the item in person, making sure you are happy with the quality and fit before making the purchase. Comparing jewellery next to each other and in a different light will help make sure you make the right choice for yourself. Having knowledgeable staff to answer your questions will make sure you are making an informed purchase.

Buying online or via mail order

Buying online offers greater convenience and occasionally lower prices, but it can come with risks. Firstly, you are relying on photographs and descriptions of jewellery to help inform your purchase. The physical item may not match the images when you receive it resulting in disappointment and perhaps returning the piece of jewellery. Under the Consumer Contracts Regulations, you have 14 days from the day you receive your goods to cancel a contract for goods ordered by telephone, mail order, email or fax. This does not include goods that are made to order.

When your jewellery arrives, you have the right to return or cancel your order for any reason. If you don't like the goods or have changed your mind, you can cancel the order. This is typically within a fourteen-day 'cooling-off' period. To cancel your order, you must tell the seller in writing - by letter, fax or email, but not by telephone. Make sure to send the letter by Royal Mail Special Delivery to prove that you sent it and track its progress.

Once making a return, the seller must refund the money within 30 days of cancelling the agreement. This refund must cover the cost of the jewellery and any delivery costs unless specified in the contract that you will pay delivery charges back to the seller. It is against the law for the seller to make additional charges against the refund.

If buying from an NAJ member, you can contact us to help resolve any issues. However, if problems arise from a non-member, your best course of action is to contact Trading Standards.

NAJ membership

Purchasing jewellery from an NAJ member will give you reassurance and peace of mind. Every member abides by the NAJ's strict code of conduct, based on the core values of honesty, integrity and professionalism.

We offer our members the opportunity for professional training, meaning you will receive the best care and knowledge available. If problems do arise, talk to the jeweller first, they will likely solve any issues you have. If you need further assistance, the NAJ are on hand to help you.

Returning jewellery

Always ask the retailer if it has a returns policy that extends your statutory rights. Jewellers will not necessarily accept a return if the item does not fit when you have had the opportunity to try it on. They do not have to accept a return if you have changed your mind or if the intended recipient does not like the jewellery. Likewise, you have no rights if problems arise because you failed to follow the care instructions you were given on purchase or the item is exhibiting fair wear and tear since purchase.

Under your statutory rights, you are not entitled to a refund unless there is a fault that was not caused by misuse, an accident, normal wear and tear or by not following the care instructions. If you suspect that you may need to return the item, ask for the return period to be written on the receipt. Always keep a record of your proof of purchase. Remember - it is up to you to show where and when you bought the item.

Contact the jeweller immediately to report the problem. If possible, visit the jeweller, taking the item, packaging (if possible) and any proof of purchase with you. However, if you cannot take the item back to the shop, phone or write to the trader, who will typically ask to inspect the item. Where possible, take a photograph of the item clearly showing the problem or fault.

If a minor fault was present at the point of sale, but you have worn the item a few times, it is reasonable to accept a repair. This won't affect your claim for a replacement or refund if the repair turns out to be unsatisfactory. A repair should be carried out within a reasonable period and without causing you significant inconvenience. Any repair should restore the jewellery to a satisfactory condition. If this does not happen, you can argue for a replacement or compensation. This may be in the form of a sum of money or the cost of repairing the item. If the item cannot be replaced or repaired economically, you can argue for a refund. If you cannot reach a mutually agreed conclusion and if the retailer is an NAJ member, you can contact us to make a complaint.


💡 Did You Know?

The Find a Jeweller tool enables you to search the NAJ membership for your local jeweller. Alternatively, you might be looking for something more specialist, in which case you can filter your search accordingly.

 Find a jeweller


 earrings in hand

9. After your jewellery purchase

You've researched and bought the perfect piece of jewellery, now what happens? From caring for your jewellery, insuring the item and resolving issues, there is still much to learn once you own your dream jewellery.

Caring for jewellery

It is crucial to take good care of the jewellery you own to make sure it looks as good as the day you bought it. All jewellery requires care and attention from time to time. We have a definitive guide to help you look after any item safely.

Different materials require different types of treatments. Understanding what your jewellery is made from is critical in giving it the best care. For example, cleaning gold and pearls require different techniques, with softer and more fragile jewellery requiring a delicate approach.

As a rule of thumb, take jewellery off when involved in activities that may bump or scratch the item. Keep away from chemicals and use mild detergents when trying to clean the items. If ever in doubt, take it to an NAJ approved jeweller. They can assist you and check over the jewellery to make sure it is in the best condition possible.

Learn more about how to look after your pieces with our caring for jewellery guide.

How to care for jewellery guide

Valuations and Insurance

Protecting your jewellery extends beyond just taking care of the item. Insuring valuable pieces will make sure you are protected from any loss or damage. Getting a valuation is the first step in protecting yourself and the jewellery. A valuation, ideally from an NAJ's Institute Registered Valuer (IRV), will determine the item's monetary value if you need to make an insurance claim. Without a valuation, insurers will do a post-loss valuation which often results in an under-assessment of the lost item's actual value.

If you are unsure about insuring your jewellery and how to get a valuation, visit our handy insurance guide.

Valuation and insurance guide

Making a complaint

NAJ members go above and beyond to look after their customers and will always take an issue seriously. If the member can not help to your satisfaction, you can receive assistance from the association.

If you’ve purchased an item or service from an NAJ member you can access NAJ Resolve, the independent consumer complaints service for jewellery businesses in the UK and Ireland. The service is operated in conjunction with the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR).

 Making a complaint

NAJ Resolve is only accessible to members of the National Association of Jewellers. You can search the check a member tool to see if the jeweller business you have a dispute with is a member of the Association.

Check a member


💡 Did You Know?

As part of the Customer Charter, members are required to deal with any complaints in a timely and fair manner, and, in the event of a dispute, clearly explain the NAJ procedure for mediation.

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