Being prudent when buying jewelry is truly a good plan. Giving yourself an education about the jewelry you want to purchase and who you are buying it from is a wise idea.
Just as in any industry, I am sorry to say there are a number of bad apples that spoil the jewelry buying experience for the uneducated buyer. I have seen first hand instances of deception; individuals buying jewelry that wasn’t represented properly. I would like to share some tips about buying jewelry that will help you be an educated buyer.
Diamonds and precious gemstones are probably the most expensive jewelry purchased. You owe it to yourself to learn about the 4 Cs and the different price levels affected by cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. The best place in my opinion to learn about this is the Gemological Institute of America website (GIA) where there is a wealth of information about gemstones. The GIA is a non-profit organization set up for the jewelry industry, they provide a standardized grading system and educate us about all types of gemstones. If you go to the GIA website, you can get a quick education or study the archives for months to come to read about all of the wonderful research that has conducted by this wonderful institution. Being that gemstones are the core of most pieces of jewelry, adding more to the cost than the mounting, don’t be swayed by emotions and buy the first thing you look at.
Once you pick a gemstone, you want to make sure it is set properly so it has good wearability for years to come. When people are picking out a piece of jewelry, they seem to forget that these pieces are likely to be worn on a daily basis. Jewelry worn on a daily basis, takes a huge amount of abuse. Having a jeweler that knows how to set a diamond, while using the proper techniques to polish and finish a piece are very important. I have always been very lucky to sell a lot of gemstones throughout my career, and I have always made sure to have the finest jewelry in the Kansas City area to back me up, to create very wearable pieces of jewelry.
Selecting jewelry that fits your lifestyle is very important. Most people want to wear their jewelry on a daily basis, so picking a style that has hundreds of diamonds surrounding a center stone can cause a lot of grief down the road. The more elaborate a piece of jewelry, the more maintenance and care need to be administered. There are absolutely gorgeous mountings that are very light and airy, but may not be practical on a daily basis. If you are going to be an individual that takes great care of the piece and you don’t wear it daily a delicate piece may be desirable.
All metals and gemstones have different levels of wearability. Diamonds and sapphires are some of the hardest substances on the face of the earth and work extremely well in jewelry for daily wear. On the other end of the spectrum, emeralds, aquamarine, and tourmaline are very prone to abrading. It is good to do your research on your gemstone, to make sure it is appropriate for your level of activity and how much you plan to wear the jewelry. I love pearls, opals, emerald, and aquamarine, but I wouldn’t suggest wearing them on a daily basis. Metals can also determine the longevity of your jewelry. White gold, either 14k or 18k, actually wears very well. White gold does require some maintenance, rhodium plating, over time to keep its bright appearance. Yellow gold wears very well and doesn’t require plating. Rose gold, which is very popular, tends to be a little softer than yellow or white gold as the gold is alloyed with copper to give it the beautiful rose tint. Platinum is the premium metal for jewelry, the wearability, durability, longevity is much better than gold. When using platinum, I suggest heavier pieces of jewelry due to platinum’s malleability.
Most people when buying a high priced item they are planning to have for years to come are prudent in their research about the item. Jewelry is the same. When spending money for a piece of jewelry, that will create a jewelry moment and be cherished for years to come, it is worth educating yourself to find the piece of jewelry that is perfect for the occasion.