Top 10 Essential Tips for Buying Jewelry
Buying jewelry can at times seem overwhelming or confusing with so many choices. Whether you are buying a keepsake for yourself or a gift for someone else, here are our Top 10 Essential Tips to help you make the right decision and make the process a little bit easier.
- Bring a friend. Shopping with someone you know and trust can always help you navigate the choices and make a good decision. If you are shopping for someone else, bring along a friend that also knows the person you are shopping for and they can help you find the right item for him or her. As well, shopping with a friend can help you avoid impulse purchases or be influenced by salespeople. They can help you stay focused as well as keep it fun!
- Know what you are shopping for. Whether an every day, fashionable item, or a special occasion keepsake, you should have some idea of what type of jewelry you are looking for as well as a budget. It will be easy to be influenced once you start shopping, by trendy new items or flashy sales. It also helps to do some research ahead of time and even narrow down which stores you may shop at based on the type of jewelry they have to offer.
- Consider Shopping Online. E-commerce retailers bring more variety and often discounted pricing from what you may find in stores. As well, the products are often the exact same or so similar you would not know the difference minus the label. If you do your research ahead of time and know what you are looking for, it can be a breeze to shop online. Many of these retailers also offer expedited shipping and sometimes Free Shipping as we do at UntilGone.com for items over $20. This may save you the headache of navigating a shopping mall or a jewelry store and get you what you want, delivered straight to your door.
- Do your research. Know what materials are important, such as the metal type and stone. If shopping for someone else, it is helpful to know if they are allergic to any certain types of metals. Jewelry can be made from a solid metal such as Gold or Sterling Silver, ormixed with base metals and either plated with gold or silver or not. Learn how to read the engravings on jewelry to be sure they are what you are shopping for. Metal and stone types can vary greatly in price point, so you may be shopping for a diamond and see something that looks very similar but is much lower in price. This is where your research will come in handy to know the right questions to ask and be sure you are getting what you want and expect.
- Consider Gemstones. Maybe you are shopping for diamond jewelry or even an engagement ring (Congratulations!). Or maybe for a fashionable piece to go with a new outfit. Not only is there a wide variety of colors, shapes, and sizes of gemstones, they often come from all different parts of the world and can have a unique history or tell a story. Many jewelry collectors will buy a piece of jewelry for the story it tells rather than what it looks like. Some gemstones are polished, some are ‘rough’. Understand the process of a gemstone or a diamond becoming a piece of jewelry and find the unique beauty in the piece you decide to buy.
- Mix it up! Don’t be afraid of trying new looks or even wearing multiple pieces at once. Jewelry is often about finding your own look or what is natural to you. Different pieces don’t all have to match or be the same type or price point. Wear gold with silver, diamonds with pearls. You may even stack up many bracelets or rings to wear all together or find you can wear your favorite necklace as a bracelet, and so on.
- Be You. Don’t just buy something for a trend or a fashion, or even a sales promotion. Find a piece you love and that can become a part of your collection or the person you are buying for. Jewelry is a special and even emotional purchase, be sure to seek out not just the materials you are searching for but something that really has meaning to you or stands out. You will find yourself or that special someone wearing this piece of jewelry as it becomes their favorite piece, not only because it is beautiful but also for that story or history behind it!
- Check the return policy. Whether you are shopping in stores or online, be sure to check the return policy. This will give you some security and peace of mind that you are able to make a return in the event you need to.
- Care for your jewelry. Learn what type of care is proper and necessary to keep your jewelry at its best. Cleaning kits are affordable and easy to find. As well, find out if services are available such as sizing, cleaning and more with the jeweler you purchased from. Often jewelers will extend the warranty they provide if you are following up with proper care and taking good care of your piece.
- Get Insurance. For any valuables, you will want to get insured as quickly as possible. There are a number of jewelry insurance companies and the process is often quick and simple. The insurance company may ask whether your piece was Certified or came with a Certificate of Authenticity. If not, you can have this done through professional jewelry agencies such as the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or American Gem Society (AGS). They will inspect your piece for authenticity and provide a certificate stating exactly which types of materials your jewelry is made of, and often stating an estimated value for insurance purposes.