Website-Brandt-Old-JewelryThe following is a collection of questions that have been submitted by readers:

Q: I have been looking at round diamonds (for an engagement ring) recently, and even though I’ve been very specific about the size and quality (1 carat, G/H, SI 2), there has been a wide variation in pricing. Am I better off going to a place with the lowest price, or one that offers the best guarantee and insurance?

A: Neither. You have indicated only 4 of 5 factors, which is fairly specific, but not very specific. You have indicated a round shape, but “cut” (one of the “4 C’s”) really means two different things — not only the shape of the stone, but also how well the cutting of the stone has been executed. (This factor alone can make a 40% difference in the price!) This is not to say that guarantees aren’t important, but you need to compare “apples to apples” when pricing before considering other benefits.

Q: I wanted to lend my best friend my emerald pendant to match the dress she will wear for a formal event, but my mother said that I shouldn’t, because I would not be insured if anything happened. The pendant is listed on my homeowner’s insurance policy. Is she right?

A: Absolutely. You are insured when the piece is in your home or in your possession, but not when it is in the possession of someone else.

Joe Brandt

Joe Brandt

Q: I have been hiding my good jewelry in a box in my freezer, but have been told not to do that. What do you say?

A: I say that whomever told you was correct — and for two good reasons. A thief will sometimes check freezers for valuables, since this is a well known hiding place — and — some items (such as certain colored stones and pearls) can be adversely affected by the extreme cold and/or the temperature change when they are removed from such a harsh environment. Find somewhere else to stash your jewelry.

Q: Is gold a good investment right now?

A: In my opinion, no way, no how. It’s far too speculative, and does not qualify as what I consider to be an “investment”. You may as well bet on black or red at Roulette; at least you’ll stand a 50-50 chance of winning. Gold could go up or down — or effectively stay the same for long periods of time.

Q: Is it safe to buy jewelry on the Internet?

A: Only under certain circumstances, and only from time-tested, reliable sources. As a general rule, you’re better off buying from your local jeweler — and if they don’t have what you want, the chances are that they can get it for you.

Joe Brandt is a local resident, and President of J.L. Brandt Company, offering diversified fine jewelry advisory services to the general public since 1928. Readers are invited to submit questions or comments to [email protected] Names or contact information will not be used for publication, and all inquiries will be answered promptly.