Careful! Tips to Know Before You Shop for Jewelry
you planning a gift of jewelry? Whether it's for yourself or for
someone you love, build in time to get a good background
on the subject. Learning more about jewelry is a fascinating subject
even if you're not in the market right now and the more you know,
the happier you'll be when it comes time to make a big purchase.
A gift of
jewelry can be very expensive. A diamond
engagement ring, for instance, can be one of the biggest purchases
you've ever made. If you're not familiar with a jeweler in your
area, ask family members, friends or co-workers for recommendations.
buy from a local jeweler, check prices online to find out what
range is normal for the piece you're looking at. If you decide
to order online, check on the reputation of the store with the
Better Business Bureau or your local attorney general's office.
If you're auction shopping for jewelry, get familiar with the
safeguards to know before you by at an online
auction. The more research you do before you make the purchase,
the happier you'll be afterwards.
for when you're shopping:
salesperson to write down any information about the jewelry.
Any assurances that are not in writing are open to question.
Honestly, you may misinterpret what is being said. If you see
it in writing you'll be clearer and you also have documentation
to back you up if there is a problem later.
you buy...ask for the store's refund and return policy.
online? Keep printouts of the web pages and any receipts - including
email messages - anything that has details about the transaction,
including prices, refund information and return policies. If
you're not satisfied, you'll need all of these to return your
purchase. If you save these on your computer - make a backup
copy on a disk!
Diamonds, Engagement Rings
This is one
stone that you should always make sure to purchase from a jeweler
you trust. Even then, getting a certificate and having the stone
appraised by another jeweler is a good idea. When you're searching for facts and information on buying
a diamond, look for the famous 4 C's: cut,
Each of these
will affect the price. Color is sometimes "graded" on
a scale, but not every scale is identical. A "D" may
be the best color for one scale, but not for another. Make sure
you know how a particular scale and grade represents the color
of the diamond you're considering. A diamond can be described
as "flawless" only if it has no visible surface cracks
or other imperfections when viewed under 10-power magnification
by a skilled diamond grader.
14K gold wedding rings.
for gold is not limited to sports heroes. Nations have been built
by explorers in search of the precious yellow metal and wars have
been fought to increase a country's supply. The history of gold as a valuable metal goes back to before the Bible and the urge
to collect and possess it is still strong today.
The most common
mixture of gold used in jewelry, fourteen karat (14K) gold, contains
14 parts of gold mixed with 10 parts of base metals. While 14K
is standard for gold jewelry products, you can get anywhere from
10K to almost pure gold. Pure gold is not used for jewelry because
it is too soft and will not keep it's shape well over time.
today are plated with gold instead of being solid gold. While
gold-plated jewelry is very pretty, and often difficult to tell
from the solid gold pieces, there's a big difference between gold
and gold-plated jewelry.
gold-plated describes jewelry with a layer of at least 10K gold
bonded to a base metal. The plating can be a more expensive 14K
or more and that usually determines the price of the piece. Even
the best gold plating eventually wears away. How long the piece
will last depends on how often the item is worn and how thick
the plating is.
a jeweler on buying wedding rings: make sure that the rings are
made from a solid bar. Some less expensive rings are solid gold,
but assembled from pieces. These rings will not last as long as
bands created from one solid piece!
who are allergic to gold, you might be interested to know that
the most common allergy is to molybdenum, one of the metals used
to strengthen the gold. Often, getting a piece of jewelry that
is 18 karats or higher will eliminate the allergic reaction!
Know the difference
between laboratory-created gemstones and naturally mined stones.
Since stones created in the lab look exactly like stones mined
from the earth this can be tricky. The big difference is the cost.
Man made gems are less expensive to make than stones created by
required to identify lab-created stones. If you don't know your
jeweler personally, ask to see the documentation. If you are buying
a naturally mined stone, make sure to ask if it has been treated.
Heating, dyeing or bleaching can improve a stone's appearance
or may help it to last longer. Some treatments are permanent.
Others may change the stone so that it requires special care.
You'll need to know the care your stones require to keep them
looking great and to maintain their value. You'll also want to
know about any treatments because they may affect the stone's
A cultured South Sea pearl.
pearls came on the scene in the early 1900s, natural
pearls from oysters were the only ones available. A pearl
is formed when a piece of sand or stone gets into an oyster's
shell. It irritates the little creature who coats the offending
grit with the same shiny substance as its shell.
were both rare and difficult to harvest, for centuries pearls
were one of the most expensive forms of jewelry and were worn
only by the rich and the nobility. Today's cultured pearls are
still made by oysters, but with human intervention.
waiting for grit to deposit itself into the shell, an irritant
is put into the shells and this causes a pearl to grow. These
oysters are "farmed" in "oyster beds" which
makes harvesting them easier. Today, real pearls are fairly rare
and still very expensive. The cost of cultured or natural pearls
depends on the size, usually stated in millimeters, and the coating
or "nacre" on a real pearl, which gives it its iridescence