After20 years in the jewelry industry, one thing has never changed: The confusion consumers have when it comes to warranty coverage. It is reallyno surprise, however, as each jeweler decides what they will warranty on theirown. Multiple jewelers equal many different warranties. Yet,despite this, there are some common items that appear in virtually allwarranties.
1. They require the jewelry be inspected.Virtuallyall jewelry warranties require the guest to return with the jewelry eitherannually or semi-annually so the item can be inspected for security of thegems, claps,ear nuts and the overall wear condition of the piece. Most (but not all) jewelers will tighten any loose stones or make minoradjustments to the jewelry at this time at no charge to you. Skipping theinspection generally voids the warranty. Some jewelers, like Day's willreinstate the warranty upon making a current inspection of the jewelry.
2. You are responsible to keep the paperwork showing theinspection was completed.The majority of jewelers do notkeep records of what they have inspected. As a rule, you will be given aform or folder that has a space forthe jeweler to sign off that theinspection was completed,the date, and who did the inspection. Youshould store any such items in a secure area of your home as the form isusually needed for any warranty work to be done at no charge.
3. Normal wear and abusive wear are not covered.Jewelersgenerally do not cover any damage or repairs that occur with the normal wear ofthe jewelry or any abusive wear. Generally, guests confuse abusive withbeing extremely rough with the jewelry. This is sometimes the case, butnot always. Gold and other precious metals are soft and can shape easilywith wear. However, even gold alloys have their limits. Pushedenough, they will crack and break as well as any other metal. An exampleof abusive wear would be a crack in the ring due to a guest misshaping the ringto an oval shape.
As for normal wear, gold and other precious metals wear down with time.The crown on a diamond solitaire, for example, will last between 5-10 years andthen will need to be replaced. Most jewelers do charge for this.
4. Defects incraftsmanship or materials are what thewarranty does cover.This is a tough one for theconsumer. Jewelry is an unknown to most people not in the industry andunless you know what you are looking for it is impossible to know what is trulydefective. Understand that most jewelers actually WILL stand up and takeresponsibility for a defective item or job. Why? They want youhappy and they know they can return the item for a remake or refund from theirvendor for a mere shipping charge if it is indeed defective.In essence,when they tell you it is not a warranty covered item, they are telling you theyhave no grounds to request a refund or exchange from their vendor.
5. Loss anddisappearance or not covered.Jewelersare not insurance agents and cannot help you if the item goes missing. Day's recommends you insure your jewelry through your private agent or through a policy from Jewelers Mutual Insurance.
6. Repairs done by someone other than where you bought theitem void the warranty.Jewelers will not cover workdone on their jewelry done by someone other than themselves. You will need to have any repairs or alterations done where you bought thejewelry. Otherwise you will have to enquire as to whether or not thejeweler doing the work will now cover the item. Most jewelers do have alimited warranty for repairs they do, but it is generally not as comprehensiveas a standard warranty.
7. They are generally free. Most jewelers offer some form of this warranty as a free service. Whatthey do vary slightly, but the common theme is they are free of charge withthe purchase. For example: Day's Jewelersprovides free stone tightening,clasp tightening, ear nut tightening for earrings, cleaning, polishing, and aonce a yearre-rhodium for white gold rings purchased from Day's Jewelers.
These are the primarycommonalities with jewelry warranties. Thereare also extended warranties that exist in the market as well. Thesegenerally cost a percentage ofthe purchase and can cover additional items such as stone chipping and lifetime sizing. Beware of thesewarranties. They do cover more, but have a limited lifespan, cost moneyout of pocket, and have very strict guidelines about inspections. Themost common pitfall is the inspections. If you miss one...even by 1 day,the warranty becomes void and you cannot reinstate it. I recommendyou avoid the extended warranty unless it states in writing it can be reinstatedif a date is missed. It will save you money and frustration in the longrun.
In the end, the warranty is only one piece of caring for your jewelry. Properinsurance and a good relationship with a jeweler you trust are equallyimportant for the longevity and protection of your most preciousmemories.
About the Blogger:
Mark, Store Manager, Auburn, Day's Jewelers
Certifications -Diamond council of America Certified Diamondologist -Jewelers of America Certified
Specialties -Watches -Giftware
Why Day's? -He loves working with customers and teaching them about jewelry.
Learn moreabout Mark...