Buying and receiving jewelry may be considered a milestone. For couples, this signifies the next step of the relationship, as it’s mostly given when one pops the question of marriage. As for an heirloom, it marks a person’s growth and responsibility of owning diamonds. Even if it’s just a gift to oneself, jewelry signifies a luxury status that doubles as an investment.
Whatever the case may be, if you find yourself in front of a jewelry store, you will want to know how to buy jewelry without looking clueless. Before you choose the biggest stone in the store, it’s good to know how expert jewelers evaluate the value and integrity of a piece of jewelry.
How to Buy Jewelry Like a Boss
General Expert Tips
If you are not that much of an expert when it comes to jewelry, being in front of so many sparkling rings and accessories can ultimately be confusing. Showing hesitation may not be the best course of action. However, overconfidence in your knowledge can also set you back a couple of dollars, if you do not know what you truly want.
Before you step into a store and get surrounded by sparkling jewelry, take some of these expert tips to heart. This should help decide and answer the question “How do I buy good quality jewelry?”
Match Budget With Preference
When it comes to tips for buying fine jewelry, most people want to know how to save on the receipt. This makes sense, especially if you are not familiar with the cost of fine jewelry.
Fine jewelry requires a bit more savings, even for those with simple designs. Gemstones and precious metals may cost more than an average luxury. But when you think about it in terms of “I buy my own jewelry,” consider it as the first step towards an investment you can use.
Balance your budget with reasonable luxury. Do your research and see the average price for a jewelry piece of your choice. From here, build a budget that you can work with. When you get to the store, browse through selections and see where the budget can take you. Don’t think of your budget as a limit but rather the gauge so you know the price and what to ask when buying jewelry.
Sometimes, it can’t be helped when you find a piece that really resonates with you. It’s good if the piece fits right in your budget. Oftentimes, it may cost more–don’t they all? If this is the case, learn when to be flexible with your arrangements.
One tip, when asked how to buy jewelry without looking clueless, is to also know when to adjust your plans. It’s good to know what you really want, as it will limit your time looking. However, there are more suitable options, don’t be afraid to try them. Find the Goldilocks sweet spot of jewelry buying. It’s all about a balance of wants, needs, and resources.
Consider Your Style
If you are buying your own jewelry for the first time, think of this as an empowering moment. Not only does it signal one of your major purchases, but it also allows you to create your style in terms of fine jewelry.
Costume and fashion jewelry help accentuate everyday outfits. But having a good piece of fine jewelry in your arsenal is essential to those professional moments and cocktail night-outs.
Know what’s already in your jewelry box
Unless this is the first ring or piece of jewelry that you will ever buy, it’s good to know the styles you have. Consider also even those that are either costume or fashion jewelry. Having a lot of single and similar designs defeats the purpose. Consider this if you are building your jewelry box to be more dynamic and versatile for your style.
Or if you are buying for your partner, make sure you have an idea of which styles she already has. While it’s hard to have the exact same style in more than one piece, try to see if there are other options in the store that will still have a distinct quality compared to the jewelry she has.
Think of it in the same way that uniform outfits work. It’s good to have more than one power suit in the closet, but you would want a different color or a variety of cuts.
Choose a ring that suits your style
Fine jewelry matches the pace of fashion’s evolution. As such, there are many more options to choose from. Whether it is a simple band with a small stone or an intricate setting with a unique gem, the style possibilities are endless. What’s important here is to know which jewelry will best suit your existing style.
Unlike costume jewelry, fine jewelry has fewer embellishments that catch the eye. This makes it harder to easily stand out, especially if it’s not a big stone or a rare design. Hence, some buyers assume that they need to get the ring that looks most unique for it to truly stand out.
Yet like other rings and accessories, your jewelry needs to accentuate or support your wardrobe. Unless you plan on overhauling your entire style, it’s best to buy a ring or bracelet that can be worn with the majority of what is already in your closet.
Know the essentials you need
Make your jewelry purchase memorable and practical by getting fine jewelry you can often use. Some people assume that fine jewelry should only be worn on special occasions. But with the right choice of materials, you can have a durable piece that will glam up your everyday outfit.
When it comes to finer pieces, there are staples that one ideally should have. These include a simple tennis bracelet, a gold chain necklace, a fine watch, a simple diamond ring, and a charm bracelet. Expensive jewelry does not have to be considered fine. Semi-fine jewelry, especially those that will be worn in professionals settings, can still impact one’s style.
More Than The 4Cs
When you ask “How do I start buying jewelry?” the first step to this is doing research on the product. It’s helpful to have some knowledge of what’s in the market and what to expect. Always cover the 4Cs of jewelry, so you know you are getting the best choice for your buck.
However, these technicalities are not the only guidelines. Buying jewelry for yourself means taking into consideration how you feel about the piece. If budget would allow, see how each of these three factors sit with you.
All about the stones
For a lot of jewelry buyers, choosing the stone often comes first. The stone carries either the impact or the color, both of which attract the eye. Some prefer colored gemstones, such as rose quartz, sapphires, rubies, and emeralds. Others like almost glass-like or icy white diamonds. Either way, the gemstones form 50% of the decision to buy.
If you are buying for a loved one, it’s good to know their preference. Diamonds may be the staple ideal, but not everyone may have that as their first choice.
Mind your metals
This goes way beyond just the looks of the jewelry, but it’s a good starting point. Metals don’t just provide the foundation to set glamorous stones in. The kind of metal can make or break the look and utility of jewelry.
Gold and silver remain the most popular of metals for fine jewelry. Gold has a classic touch, whereas sterling silver is durable and relatively more affordable. Nowadays, rose gold rings matched with rose quartz or light rubies have become more popular. Its feminine touch makes it a favorite for unique engagement rings.
In some cases, individuals who are allergic to nickel will likely settle for platinum and titanium. These metals are hypoallergenic, thus lessening any bad reactions even with daily use.
If you are buying for someone else, know what popular jewelry they prefer beforehand. This shows that you took the extra step to match your choice with their usual style.
Issues with durability
Now that you’ve chosen the overall look, it’s time to evaluate the durability. In most cases, those who buy for their partners would either be looking for an engagement ring or a sentimental fine necklace. Oftentimes, those jewelry pieces are meant to be worn on a daily basis.
As such, you also need to consider the durability of both the stone and metal material. Diamonds are the ideal engagement and wedding band stones because they are among the most durable stones. Regardless of how long and how frequent one wears it, the wear and tear level will not be as noticeable. Pair this with a platinum or titanium band, and you have yourself a keeper–in the literal sense.
If your partner prefers the more colorful stones and a daintier band, consider the setting and the design. Some setting designs are less intricate, making them safer for everyday wear. If the metal is more likely to get scratched, pick a band with a bit more texture. This way, any small scratches will be less noticeable than with a smoother surface.
Is It Safe To Buy Jewelry Online?
With the rise of online jewelry shopping, a lot of people wonder if it’s a risk trying to find a good piece of jewelry on this platform. Perhaps the only thing missing from the online experience is the ability to touch the jewelry before making a purchase. But if you know the size and adhere to these non-negotiables, you might switch to buying online from now on.
Go With a Trusted Seller
Unlike off-the-rack items, jewelry carries a more personal sentiment–not to mention a heftier price tag. Jewelry buyers usually have a go-to seller that they already trust, especially for bespoke items.
If this is your first purchase, you need to do your homework and find a trusted seller by reading reviews. Trusted stores usually have good reviews from satisfied customers. This can clue you in on where and how to buy gold jewelry online.
Ask For Photos–A Lot of Them
Sometimes, simply browsing through online jewelry stores can give you a picture of what you want. If a ready-made piece catches your eye, don’t click on the buy button just yet. If you ask, “So when should you buy jewelry?” the simple answer is after you have examined the product.
If they keep giving you stock images of an item, consider this as a red flag. Stock images are nice when used for marketing promotions and displays. But when it goes down to business, always ask for images of the actual project.
Take note: ask for many images. These include several angles and closeups of the stone, the setting, the band, and the hallmarks if any. Convenience is really half of the advantage of buying online. This means you may not be able to enjoy the feeling of handling your jewelry before you buy it. While images may not entirely reflect things like inclusions and sparkle of the cut, it would give you a good gauge of how it looks.
Be Reassured With Grading
Perhaps the best method on how to buy jewelry without looking clueless is to ask your chosen jewelry store for grading certification. Any major purchase always requires some sort of paperwork. When you buy a house or a car, you would want proof of ownership. The same goes for jewelry.
Since diamonds are pricey, make sure to get the GIA certification. Most experts agree that if you pay a lot for a diamond of quality, they need to be independently certified by GIA. This ensures the buyer of its quality and its authenticity. On the side of the jewelry seller, this establishes more trust, thereby earning them a potential return customer.
Return and Insurance
Finally, it still pays to play it safe when it comes to jewelry. Whether you are buying online or from a physical store, always ask for insurance. Remember, a piece of jewelry is a big purchase. It becomes even more complex when you have your jewelry custom-made. Insurance becomes your cushion that you are less likely to lose this expensive gift or investment.
To know more about how to protect your purchase, read our article on 10 facts you need to know about jewelry insurance.