Shopping for jewelry pieces has the potential to cause exhilaration and stress. You are looking for the perfect piece of jewelry for a loved one, special occasion, or within your budget. You do not want to sacrifice style or quality but have no idea what elements you should focus on when making a purchase.
Fortunately, there are just a few tips to keep in mind when shopping for jewelry. These will help you stay focused and make the best choice possible for you.
Tips To Buying Jewelry
Prior to purchasing consider:
Recipient. If the piece is a gift you may want to purchase a quality piece.
Frequency. If the piece is worn often, plated metal may not be the best choice.
Occasion. Work pieces may require a different quality or style than a piece for everyday.
Budget. It all comes down to what you can afford. If the purchase is a type of investment, try to purchase the best quality you can. If the item is a trendy, statement piece consider something less expensive but equally eye-catching.
Know the different metal types and treatments available.
Most inexpensive jewelry is made with plated metals — gold or silver. This means a thin layer of gold or silver is applied to a base metal. This article explains the difference between gold filled and gold plate.
- Widely available
- May options in styles and trends
- Easily wears or scratches
- Base metals can cause allergic reactions (nickel, copper, zinc)
- Is not a long-term purchase
Filled is superior to plated metals. A thicker layer of metal is adhered to a base metal.
- Affordable option to solid gold
- Great for long-term, constant wear
- Less valuable than pure gold
- Deteriorates over time
- Contains a base metal core (nickel, copper, zinc)
Made with pure gold, silver, or platinum. These metals are based on current market for fine metals.
- Durable and long-lasting
- Maintains luster and shine
Gold is often mixed with alloys to increase its strength and durability. Typical alloys are copper and zinc.
24 Karat: 99.9% Pure
22 Karat: 91.7% Pure
18 Karat: 75% Pure
14 Karat: 58.3% Pure
12 Karat: 50% Pure
10 Karat: 41.7% Pure
Gemstones And Crystals
Note the gemstones used in a jewelry piece. Gemstones range in quality from rare to lab-created.
Natural gemstones are rated and valued on a number of factors. Typically, the 4C’s is used to value a gemstone and decide it’s selling price.
The 4C’s are the color, clarity, cut, and carat of a gemstone.
Precious Gemstones are valued for their rarity and hardness.
While Semi-Precious Gemstones, however, are valued for their beauty. They are available in any budget.
These gemstones have the same mineral elements as a natural gemstone but are produced in a lab rather than nature. They tend to have fewer inclusions and higher clarity.
Lab-created gemstones are often stunning and affordable. Crystal pearls and gems are beautiful options too.
When shopping, pay special attention to the gemstones. Are they glass? Plastic? Acrylic? Resin?
Purchase the best quality pieces you can afford. There is always room in your jewelry wardrobe for trendy, costume items and stunning, fine pieces of jewelry.
Looking for more information? Download this free Ultimate Guide to Diamonds. It includes diagrams and guides for the 4C’s!