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April 2003

The latest edition of Antionette Matlins‘s “Engagement and Wedding Rings: A Definite Buying Guide for People in Love,” offers some interesting new additions.

The book is published by GemStone Press, Woodstock, Vt., publisher of Matlin’s earlier books like “Jewelry & Gems at Auction” and “Diamonds: The Antoinette Matlin’s Buying Guide.”

The new edition includes sections on high-pressure high-temperature (HPHT) diamond treatment, choosing an appraiser, as well as a section on buying on the Internet.

Buying on the Internet, she warns, requires research. Websites, she says, are springing up almost daily and not all are scrupulous.

“Before flying off into cyberspace, take time to consider some of the pros and cons,” she says.

Before making any online purchases, consumers should carefully check contact information, and don’t necessarily rely on easily rigged online vendor ratings:

“Remember that many Internet companies and individual vendors are unknown entities without reliable track records or well-adjusted reputations. This means that problems might be more difficult, or impossible, to resolve satisfactorily, regardless of ‘guarantees’ made before purchase. You must also remember that it may be difficult, or impossible to find the seller ‘offline.’”

Finally, Matlin warns that diamonds and other gemstones cannot be properly judged on a lab report or appraisal alone:

“We have seen diamonds accompanied by reports from highly respected labs, where the quality of the stone does not match the description on the report. Be sure to get independent verification of any documentation provided by the seller before payment if possible.”

She advises anyone buying a diamond on the Internet ask the following questions:

– How long has the company been in business?

– What are the gemological credentials of the person you are talking to?

– Do they have a full money back guarantee? (some charge a restocking fee)

We recommend this book to consumers to get correct information. There is a lot of false information on the Internet.

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