That’s certainly the case when it comes to purchasing fine jewelry — most of us don’t have a reference on which to draw when making our first big-ticket buy. That’s where this guide comes in. It’s not necessarily an exhaustive list of questions to ask or facets to look for, but it will give you a starting point on the day that you step into the jewelry store for the first time.
Consider the Price
You’re probably thinking that this tip is a bit obvious — the price tag will probably be the first thing you look at when considering purchasing a fine watch, necklace or ring. For one, it’s illegal for a merchant to promote wholesale prices to customers, which means that those direct-to-customer sales at some jewelry shops are probably too good to be true. You should also be wary if a merchant offers a deep discount or if he or she says that the stone you’re considering will appraise higher than the price you’re getting. Bottom line: if it seems too good to be true, then it probably is. Top-of-the-line jewelry will carry a big price tag, so prepare yourself for it.
Embrace (Some) Flaws
When buying investment jewelry, you want it to be perfect. Unfortunately, not every stone is completely flawless. Even more unfortunate is the fact that a crystal-clear diamond will cost you much more than one with a few imperfections.
You’re probably thinking that you don’t want an engagement ring or earring set with smudges; what’s the point? It turns out that many of the flaws that diamonds carry are not even visible to the naked eye. If you’re interested in re-selling your jewelry one day, then consider its cut and weight, as these are the two factors that most affect the resale price. If you want a report on the quality of your stone from a third party, request one from the Gemological Institute of America.
Find the Stamp of Authenticity
This applies to the metallic portion of your new piece of jewelry. If you’re skeptical as to whether or not it’s really made of, say, sterling silver then inspects the metal closely. You’ll find the inscription, which will also tell you the precious metal content and show the maker’s mark or any other required trademarks.
Question its Origins
The mining industry isn’t known for its dedication to ethics; therefore, it’s worth asking your jeweler for a bit of history of the piece that you want to buy. Some won’t know, and some don’t care; many believe that customers don’t care, so they don’t bother finding that information. However, you pressing for answers might change this in the future. In the meantime, find a jeweler who sources his or her display cases with ethical stones so that you can wear your new piece with complete pride and sense of peace.
Keep It Beautiful
A jewelry box’s soft lining isn’t there for show: it turns out that these velvety textiles preserve your jewelry well when you’re not wearing them. The lack of abrasive threads will ensure that your piece doesn’t get scratched or otherwise damaged while in storage. Make it even safer by purchasing a jewelry box or storage system with dividers so that each piece of jewelry has its own place. It’s unlikely that two resting pieces of jewelry would damage each other, but different types of metal co-habiting can cause the other to change colors.
To that end, it’s important to polish the metal and stones in your piece regularly. They often don’t show tarnish or another build-up until it’s super thick and hard to remove. Avoid the need for an intense cleaning job by regularly polishing with a cloth or solution designed to clean your particular piece and its materials.
It’s important to go with your best instincts when you set out to buy a piece of jewelry. From price-comparing to flawed stones, to stamped silver to cleaning jobs, you now have an idea of what’s required of you if you want to be an informed shopper. With all of this information in mind, it’s time to get out there and bring out: you deserve it.
Author bio: Kacey Mya Bradley is a lifestyle blogger for “The Drifter Collective.” Throughout her life, she has found excitement in the world around her. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations, cultures, and styles while communicating these endeavors through her passion for writing and expression. Her love for the world around her is portrayed through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. Follow her Twitter and Pinterest.
The Drifter Collective: An eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us.