FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do you have a jewellery question or need to find out more about a particular issue? Please read our frequently asked jewellery questions and answers below.
If you have a question that is not listed in our FAQ's, please email us via our contact page.
This is a natural and normal process that occurs when the rhodium plating on the surface of white gold starts wearing off and the slightly yellow colour of white gold starts to appear. You are able to have the shine and brightness of your white gold restored to its original condition by having it re-rhodium plated by your JAA jeweller. Rhodium plating is affected by wear and tear, by excessive sweating and chlorine exposure. The thickness of the initial coating is also important and can affect the rate of wear.
Depending on the wear to the ring, rhodium plating may be required every 6 to 12 months for rings such as engagement rings and wedding bands that are worn daily. Items such as dress rings, earrings and necklaces will require rhodium plating less frequently.
There is no legal requirement for a retailer to provide a valuation for new items. However, if this was agreed as part of the sale it is recommended that this agreement be in writing.
Whilst diamonds are the hardest substance known, they are not indestructible. If a diamond is hit or knocked in a certain position they can chip or crack. The hit or knock does not need to be of substantial force. It can often be the position of the hit or knock on the diamond that will result in the damage. The edges (also known as the girdle) of a diamond are the weakest part of the diamond, because it is thin and vulnerable. Diamonds set with exposed edges, such as in a claw setting, will have a higher chance of sustaining damage. Please note that it is in rare cases that a diamond is chipped or cracked. In some cases lower quality diamonds may have natural inclusions that break the surface of the stone; these can appear as chips or cracks but are actually part of the natural fingerprint of the stone.
There is no such thing as a ‘warranty’ on a piece of jewellery. As a consumer you are covered for all manufacturing faults under Australian Consumer Law. It first needs to be determined whether the stone has fallen out due to a manufacturing fault or from normal wear and tear. If it is a manufacturing fault, it then needs to be determined whether it is a minor or major fault. This then will determine the next course of action. For more information on manufacturing faults and Australian Consumer Law, please click here.
This question does not have a straight forward answer; different factors will influence what is considered reasonable, for example, the type of item. Do not assume that because other items of jewellery tolerate a level of wear and tear that all items can be treated the same. For rings, light dents, abrasions and scratches would be considered normal wear and tear over a one to five year period. It is recommended that you visit your local JAA jeweller each year for a clean and polish, and to have all stones and settings checked to ensure they are secure and have not loosened due to accidental damage and wear and tear.
There are endless options for engagement ring settings, however, it is suggested that you consider two important factors when selecting the setting of the ring: 1. Will you be wearing the ring every day? 2. What type of work and activities will you be doing whilst wearing the ring? The answer to these questions will help determine the most appropriate style of setting. For example, a high, claw set engagement ring may not be suitable for someone who wants to wear the ring every day and is very active, as it may catch and be more susceptible to knocks and damage, when compared to a lower style setting. The more claws there are in a setting, and the thicker the claws, the more secure the setting will be for the stone.
When purchasing an item of jewellery it is important that the item is considered to be suitable for its purpose. That is, if you are buying an engagement ring, make sure that the retailer is aware that the ring will be worn every day and that the most appropriate design and setting is selected to ensure durability and longevity.
Yes. If you do not receive a receipt or take-in document that describes the item and any existing damage and outlines what work will be carried out, it can be difficult to prove that you left an item with them.
It first needs to be determined whether you are unhappy with the design of the item or if you are not satisfied with the quality of the workmanship. You need to clearly outline to the jeweller what you are not satisfied with and give them an opportunity to rectify the matter.
Please contact your local Fair Trading or Consumer Affairs office to understand your rights.
There is a small percentage of wastage that occurs when an item of jewellery is made. This is due to the precious metal being melted down, shaped, filed and polished. Ensure that the jeweller has noted the amount of precious metal you have left with them.
Most coloured stone rings can be resized, with the exception of organic gems such as pearls, amber and opals. Certain stones, such as emeralds, require an extra level of care as they cannot be subjected to the same processes that other coloured stones can withstand. A qualified jeweller will be able to identify what process can be applied to each type of coloured gemstone.Organic stones cannot be heated and would therefore need to be removed from their setting prior to the ring being sized.
Depending on the design and style of the ring most multi-stoned rings can be resized. Your jeweller will be able to advise you on whether the resize will be possible. It is recommended that all settings be checked after the resize to ensure all stones remain secure within their settings.
Depending on the design and the style of the ring, most pave set rings can be resized. However, care must be taken to ensure that after all stones remain securely set following the resize.
Yes, however it is important to ensure that the resize is done by a qualified jeweller and that the settings are checked after the resize to ensure all stones are secure.
In Australia, there is no restriction on someone calling themself a ‘Master Jeweller’, therefore it is recommended consumers check the qualifications and industry experience of the individual.
A retailer is not required under Australian Consumer Law to provide a refund for change of mind. Whilst the recipient does not like the present and you do, it is still considered a change of mind. A retailer is only required to provide a refund when there is a major fault. This is when the item: 1. has a problem that would have stopped someone from buying the item if they had known about it; or 2. is unsafe; or 3. is significantly different from the sample or description; or 4. doesn’t do what the retailer said it would, or what you asked for and can’t easily be fixed.
No, such signs and statements are illegal and there is no such provision for earrings under Australian health regulations. However, a retailer is not required under Australian Consumer Law to provide a refund for change of mind. A retailer is only required to provide a refund, exchange or repair when there is a major fault. This is when the item: 1. has a problem that would have stopped someone from buying the item if they had known about it; or 2. is unsafe; or 3. is significantly different from the sample or description; or 4. doesn’t do what the retailer said it would, or what you asked for and can’t easily be fixed.
Many reputable diamond grading laboratories will allow consumers to check the validity of their certifications. This can be done via the laboratory website or by phoning them. You will need to know the certificate number and carat weight of the diamond to verify the certification.
Many factors need to be considered in order to assess whether a product has a manufacturing fault or if the item has been subjected to excessive wear and tear or accidental damage. Things that need to be considered are: When the item was purchased. The number of times the item has been worn and the condition of the item. The type of item e.g. ring or necklace. Whether the item is fit for purpose e.g. you bought a dress ring that should only be worn occasionally but you now wear it every day. Does the item exhibit any signs of damage? The number of times the stones have fallen out and whether it is the same stones or different ones that are falling out.
Yes. Metal is malleable and therefore over time will exhibit signs of wear and tear. It is recommended that you have your pieces of jewellery assessed every 12 months to ensure all stone settings are secure and also to have a clean and polish, which will have your jewellery looking like new again.
Every item of jewellery is different and comprises of different alloy mixes and setting qualities. Therefore, each item must be assessed on a case by case basis.
The best way for a diamond to be identified is via a laser inscription on the girdle of the diamond. Your diamond certificate will tell you whether your diamond is laser inscribed. It can be viewed using a 10x loupe. Alternatively, a registered valuer or qualified gemmologist will be able to identify if the inclusions match the inclusions plotted on the diamond certificate.
If the work completed on the ring results in the removal of a carat stamp the jeweller should restamp the item.
The country of origin in which the item was sold to you needs to be determined. This can be done by referring to your tax invoice. You will then need to take the matter up with the relevant Consumer Affairs or Fair Trading office in that country.
The Australian Consumer Law (ACL) is very clear when it comes to discounting and WAS/NOW pricing. The item of jewellery needs to be offered for purchase at the higher price for a reasonable period of time. For example, 8 weeks would be considered reasonable in most cases. If the item has not been offered for purchase at the higher price for a reasonable period of time, the retailer must have sold that particular item a number of times at the higher price, before it can be offered at the NOW price. There is no set number for how many times the item has been sold at the higher price before it can be priced on a WAS/NOW sale. It is assessed on a case by case basis.