Should You Buy Jewelry From a Cruise?

Posted on Wednesday, July 20th, 2022 in Informational.

tanzanite ring

When you go on a once-in-a-lifetime trip, chances are you’re going to want to commemorate that trip with a special memento. But if you’re thinking about spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on jewelry during your vacation, you’re going to want to make sure you do your research beforehand. Here’s why we suggest avoiding purchasing jewelry from a cruise ship (unless you happen to be an expert at evaluating gemstones).

  1. Cruise ship jewelry is not a good deal. When you buy items from a cruise, there are a lot of people who get a cut of the final sale, including the ship’s shopping consultant, the manager of the store, and the cruise itself. To maximize commission, they’re likely going to ask for more money than the jewelry piece is actually worth. There’s also less competition in cruises and ports, meaning sellers can charge whatever price they want, knowing you won’t be able to comparison shop. It’s also important to keep in mind that when jewelry salespeople on cruises try to convince you that you’re getting a great price on gemstones or jewelry, it’s often because the quality is less than ideal.
  2. You’ll have to get the jewelry appraised. You’re going to want to get the piece you purchased appraised for two reasons. One, insurance companies require an accurate, detailed appraisal before they’ll insure the piece. Second, you’ll likely want to verify that the price you paid for the piece was fair. Depending on the gemstone, you may need to send it to a gemological lab to evaluate it, something that can cost several hundred dollars and take at least a few weeks to accomplish.
  3. Return policies can be difficult. Since you’re buying jewelry from someone you’ll likely never see again, you’re going to want to make sure the seller offers an exceptional return policy (in writing) if any problems arise after you’ve purchased the piece. If you do end up buying something, make sure it comes with a no-questions-asked 60 day return policy. This should give you enough time to verify the value of the piece.
  4. Certain terms and conditions are a cause for concern. It’s really important to read the back of the sales receipt before you purchase the item. Some sellers will only allow you to get the gemstone evaluated from their own list of appraisers and won’t accept returns if a different appraiser or lab determines the piece isn’t worth what you paid for it. Additionally, some contracts won’t let you return an item due to buyer’s remorse, a feeling many individuals experience when they’re forced into a purchase decision they normally wouldn’t make due to a pushy cruise salesperson.
  5. You may need to pay duty. Purchases made overseas need to be declared at customs. Depending on the amount you spent, you may need to pay an additional tax on the jewelry item you just purchased.
  6. Gemstone treatment disclosure laws vary from country to country. Gemstone treatments refer to any process used to enhance a gemstone’s appearance. Treated gemstones are not as valuable as their untreated counterparts. Unlike sellers in the United States, who are required to disclose all gemstone treatments and properly identify a gemstone as natural or lab-grown, sellers in other countries may not be required to disclose those same details.

As you can see, you’re going to want to make sure you’re well-informed before you purchase jewelry during a cruise ship trip. Doing so will help prevent you from overpaying on a low-quality piece and not being able to return it. If you already purchased jewelry during a trip and are unsure whether or not it’s worth the amount you paid, feel free to bring the piece into Kloiber Jewelers. We’ll have our GIA certified appraiser take a look at it and determine its actual value. If you have any questions regarding cruise ship jewelry or would like to schedule an appointment for an appraisal, feel free to contact us at 414-276-2457 or