Summer is fast approaching, and we know many of you will be jetting off out of the UK and considering returning with some wonderful keepsakes. Later in the year, Jacobs start to see customers bringing in pieces of  jewellery bought on their holiday for re-sizing or repair. In some instances they’ve bought something genuinely fantastic nevertheless, we are seeing an increase in pieces bought that can’t be adjusted owing to their design and suffer from a lower than UK standard of workmanship.

This means the jewellery will not be as durable, and we believe once you’ve invested in jewellery it ought to be something you can treasure and keep for a long time: maybe even pass down through generations. We often find when doing insurance valuations, with a piece bought outside of the UK; people are disappointed in the values we provide: they feel it ought to be worth more.

We have to value based upon the quality of piece in front of us and a strict criteria provided by the Institute of Registered Valuers of which we are members. We at Jacobs want to look after you! We know what it’s like on holiday when you see something special. If you’re tempted please take care over your purchase and feel free to contact us if you’d like a genuine second opinion or some advice.

Here are some handy Jacobs do’s and don’ts for buying jewellery abroad…

-       Don’t be persuaded to buy anything after a few drinks in a shop! Sounds obvious, we know, but we have heard of this before resulting in some buyer’s regret – though, to be fair this advice is equally applicable here in the UK: the strongest we at Jacobs serve is coffee!

-       Turn an item of jewellery over and look at it in reverse, if it looks hollow or hasn’t been finished elegantly then beware. Much like buying good furniture, the devil is in the detail and if a goldsmith doesn’t care about the back of the piece then chances are they don’t care about the length of time it’s going to last.

-       Middle Eastern jewellers like setting lots of diamonds together, sometimes like a chessboard. It’s eye-catching, though if you have to alter a size it’s almost impossible  to do. Ditto, if you lose a gemstone, it’s very expensive project, if achievable at all. See first picture.

MultiSet-       If you can, take a jewellers loupe or eyeglass to the ring and look for any tiny pit holes in the metalwork – it’s a sign of porosity in the alloy of metal and isn’t good for the longevity of your purchase. See second picture.

Capture_02554-       Beware counterfeit branded goods, always choose an authorised agency.


-       When buying diamonds, watch out for the certificate and try to choose a credible international recognised laboratory.

-       If the price is too good to be true, it probably is! White gold jewellery is a classic example we see a lot. The alloy of much foreign white gold jewellery is a poor one designed to be cheap and after time shows tinges of yellow, despite looking great in a shop. Good quality white gold alloy will always stay white or grey and certainly doesn't look off white/ yellow.

-       Beware of a hurried re-sizing of a diamond set ring as it may weaken the settings, and make sure it isn’t funny shaped (oval) unless there’s a very good reason.

Please do ask us for any more information if you wish to.