Ponder the future. A jewel, like a new car, can depreciate suddenly. But the jewel has a chance of regaining its value, and perhaps more, if you can hang on to it for 20-30 years. It depends upon rarity, quality and setting. Single stones will appreciate faster than more elaborate pieces. Gold and other metals tend to lose, not gain in, value.
Arrange for an appraisal. Before you make any big-ticket jewelry purchase, write to the American Society of Appraisers at 555 Herndon Parkway, Suite 125, Herndon, VA 20170-5226. The ASA will help you locate an appraiser savvy about jewels in your area.
Reprinted with permission from Beat the System!: 1,200 Tips for Coming Out on Top in Every Deal and Transaction, edited by Jeff Bredenberg, Rodale Press, Copyright (C) 1996