Jewelry, precious metal products

Many jewelry pieces are made of precious metals. Precious metals are pure gold, silver, platinum, and palladium, and their alloys. Depending on the precious metal, precious metal products can be costly, so the following should be kept in mind when buying and wearing them.

All precious metals sold must have a sample and a name tag.

The sample mark, or alloy sample, indicates the metal used in the jewelry manufacture and the proportion of that metal used in the jewelry's melting. The sample mark is expressed in thousandths (showing the amount of pure precious metal in 1000 parts of the alloy). Carat marking of precious metal products is not permitted in Estonia.

The name tag indicates the manufacturer or importer. The name tag may be a letter, an acronym, or a sign and must be registered in the name tags' national register.

The sample indicated on the sample label must not be lower than the standard sample. The pure precious metal content of the product shall not be less than the standard sample indicated on the sample label. The standard samples are 375, 585, 500, 750, 916 or 999 for gold, 800, 830, 925 or 999 for silver, 950, 850 or 999 for platinum and 500, 950 or 999 for palladium.

When buying jewelry, give preference to products that bear the name and sample label and the control label of a Member State of the European Union (the Estonian control label is in the shape of a lion).

A hallmarked coin has been verified by the national assayer (in Estonia, this is done by the Estonian Assay Office). It is guaranteed to correspond to the specimen marked on it. You have the right to ask the seller to mark the stamp with a control mark.

All product labels must be legible. The marks must be applied to the products mechanically or by laser. Copying of the marks with molds is not permitted.

If necessary, the seller must provide you with additional information about the jewelry's characteristics, the metals used, the manufacturing method, the marking on the jewelry, the finishes, the country of origin, and the guarantee. The seller must also explain any restrictions on the use of the jewelry due to its construction or other characteristics and give you instructions on caring for it.

If the jewelry contains precious stones, ask the seller for a document describing the stones. It is a good practice among gemstone dealers to include a certificate with the product, which will outline the stone's main characteristics for more expensive stones or products (where the value of the stone exceeds the value of the rest of the product). In case the seller has ordered labels for the gemstone products from the Estonian Sampling Laboratory, the label number's authenticity can be verified by the label number on the AS Metrosert website. For pearls, it is important to know whether they are cheaper freshwater or more expensive saltwater cultured pearls.

If you prefer a unique piece of jewelry instead of a store-bought one, you can order it from a master. When ordering from a master, make sure you place your order in writing to avoid possible problems later (different jewel from the one you have recommended, etc.). The order should include the model of the jewel according to the sketch or sample, the precious metal alloy, and sample to be used, the stones to be used, the expected weight of the jewel, the fee for making the jewel (in case of advance payment, the amount), the deadline for completing the order.

Jewelry lasts a long time if you

  • keep each jewel in a separate box;
  • use a small soft brush, warm water, and soap to clean the jewelry (for proper cleaning, consult a master);
  • regularly check the condition of the jewelry (locks are in good working order, locks and connecting rings are intact, stones are properly set);
  • keep the chains in the hanging position;
  • avoid jewelry coming into contact with chemicals, dropping and striking jewelry stones;
  • You don't mend them at home with, for example, tin solder or glue;
  • you care for the jewelry according to the recommendations of the shop/master.

If less than six months have passed since you bought your jewelry and you have worn and cared for it correctly, but it breaks, it could be a manufacturer's defect.

If the jewelry breaks, contact the retailer first to fix the problem.  If the retailer refuses to resolve the complaint or you disagree with the company's solution, contact the consumer protection authority.

If the case is still not resolved, you can lodge a complaint with the Consumer Disputes Committee. The Commission can start to settle a dispute if the value of the goods or services is €20 or more.

If you disagree with the Committee's decision, you can appeal to the county court. The other party can do the same.

Remember!

  • Ask for proof of purchase when you pay for your jewelry in a jewelry shop or at the jeweler. Be sure to keep the cheque - it will help you to solve any problems later.

Last updated: 06.04.2021