If you are trying to find a nice piece of jewelry, either for yourself or to give as a gift, you can save yourself some money by going to a pawn shop. Now, before you scoff and have visions of dirty, seeding looking places that buy and sell stolen goods, think about the following.
While there are sure to be some dark, dirty pawn shops that are not in a good neighborhood, there are many more that are nice-looking establishments in the nicer parts of town. If you go to one of these places, you can be sure they are not dealing in stolen goods. They receive police reports all the time to be on the lookout for items that have been reported as stolen. The people who work there are trained to exam the jewelry and test it for authenticity. While they may not be gemologists, who can give you the exact specifications of a piece, they can tell you that the piece is real.
Evaluating the Jewelry
It should be noted that some pawn shops do have a gemologist in the shops. You can call around to find one if you are concerned about more than what a simple test can prove (such as the clarity or color of a stone). In addition, people will often provide a certified assessment of the jewelry they are pawning to get more money for it. This paperwork will go to you if you buy the piece.
Vintage or Unique Pieces
When you go to a commercial jewelry store you usually see pieces that are very common or similar to pieces you have seen your friends wearing. A pawn shop often gets older pieces that may have "gone out of style". When people are in desperate need for money, they may take older things that they no longer wear to a pawn shop. Sometimes the piece was damaged and the shop had it repaired in order to sell it. While you can find trendier pieces as well, you will have a broader selection in a pawn shop.
Keep an open mind about buying at a pawn shop. Remember that you can offer a lower price than what is on the sticker. Because you can never be sure of what will be for sale, you may want to start shopping a bit before you need the item and check back frequently. You can also describe what it is you are looking for and ask to be called if something like that comes in. You could save yourself a lot of money on a very nice piece of jewelry.
For more information, you will want to contact a company such as Pomona Pawn Shop.