Tag Archives: how to buy jewelry

Selecting the Right Gemstone

Whether you’re a newcomer to the gem world looking to add color to your wardrobe, or a veteran gemstone wearer fine-tuning your look, finding the right gemstone jewelry is a key way to express your own personal style. But this doesn’t have to be a grueling decision. Here are some practical tips for selecting gemstone jewelry that works best for you.

Developing Your Own Style
First of all, any gemstone jewelry you select must be comfortable. For instance, make sure necklaces hang at the “right” length for you and lay well around your neck. Experts offer similar advice for earrings: with dangling styles, make sure they hang at a comfortable length, fit well against the ear and don’t tip forward. Likewise, bracelets and rings should fit comfortably and shouldn’t slide off with a simple shake of your arm or hand.

Next, the jewelry must be appropriate for your personality and lifestyle. A glitzy necklace that would dazzle for a night out on the town probably wouldn’t work for someone with a more casual outlook. Intent is important. Are you looking for a fashion accessory to match certain outfits, a particular season/event or a specific function, such as jewelry for work? Or are you looking for a piece you will wear everyday? Obviously, things like fashion, price, versatility, durability and other factors will play differing roles in your buying decision, based on your intent.

As for which color best suits you, one way to determine this is to take stock of what’s already in your closet. What clothing styles, colors, materials, lengths, etc. are most prevalent? This will give you important clues about the specific gemstone jewelry that will work best for you. In addition, look at your makeup, scarves, hair accessories, and current jewelry for more cues about the jewelry colors and styles most appropriate for you.

Finally, consider your physical features: body type, face shape, finger/hand length and width, hair/eye color, complexion and other characteristics. These factors also will play a key role in determining which gemstone jewelry will look best on you.

Seeking Quality
Once you’ve got the style down, you want to be assured of the quality of any piece you’re interested in buying. Keep in mind that quality determines the value of a stone. Like diamonds, gemstones are judged by the “Four Cs” of color, clarity, cut and carat weight, with color the most important consideration, by far. The better the color, the higher the price. Better clarity and better cut also cost more – and generally, the larger the stone, the more it will cost per carat. Even to an untrained eye, many of these kinds of differences can be seen when similar stones are examined side-by-side.

Other factors that may influence the price of a gemstone include whether it is readily available on the market or subject to supply limitations; whether it’s a “hot” color or stone right now, or for various reasons may be unpopular; whether it’s a single stone or part of a matched set, particularly in special shapes or cuts; and sometimes, its origin (for every stone, there is a particular location known for producing the finest quality variety of that stone – and often, you’ll pay more for a stone from that prized region because of its reputation).

But quality extends beyond simply examining the stone. You need to pay special attention to the setting, as well. Make sure the metal holds the stone firmly and squarely in place. Check prongs to make sure they are tight and sturdy. Look at the finish – is the metal well-polished with no pockmarks or other imperfections? Also, turn the piece around and examine the back – a well-made piece of jewelry will have a good finish on both front and back. If the piece is gold, check for a karatage stamp, as well as a company trademark stamp. This means the company is standing behind the product and assuring you the karatage is as stated. As for bracelets or necklaces, check the clasps, as well. A quality piece of gemstone jewelry will have sturdy, quality clasps.

The Jewelry Insider

December 21, 2009

With diamond prices reaching a record low, fellas, now is the time to pull the proverbial trigger on that jewelry gift you’ve been thinking about for months now but haven’t had the ba – , I mean, time to buy.

In other words? Time to ‘man up’.

But not to worry. Just pay attention to the following gift giving tips, and I guarantee you’ll impress her with your remarkable taste and insight.

Know your audience:

There’s nothing like that look you get when you know you missed the mark. The slight grimace followed by the fake smile? The best way to avoid awkward gift giving is to study what your significant other likes. What does she usually wear? Has she complimented friends on their looks? You know how to make her laugh, you can surely pick up some tips on her personal style. Take notes and bring what you know on your shopping trip.

Know your budget:

There are many price points in the jewelry world – from $99 to $9999 and beyond. Don’t get in over your head with a bauble that will break the bank or make her afraid to wear it. Also, bring what you learned about stone and metal quality to the store, so you won’t be duped into thinking ‘bigger is better’. Often, it’s not.

Know her size (mainly for ring purchases):

There’s nothing like wowing her with a diamond ring she’ll just have to wait three weeks to wear. Guys, break out your inner sleuth for this one. Find a ring she currently wears, trace the inside and bring it to your jeweler. You can always size a ring, but delayed satisfaction doesn’t always fly when it comes to jewelry.

Know the occasion:

  • If you’re not about commitment but want to impress her with a gift of jewelry, word to the wise: stay away from the ring category. A ring, no matter what the design, is loaded with symbolism that screams “I’m in it for the long haul.” A nice pair of diamond studs might be the better choice in this case.
  • Right Hand Rings are the perfect self-gifting occasion to celebrate a promotion, graduation, or ‘just because’. It’s also a great friend-to-friend or mother-to daughter gift. Think female power!
  • The ‘go big’ calendar moments are of course Valentine’s Day and the December holidays. If she’s expecting a ring, and you’re thinking peridot earrings to match her eyes?you might want to think again.

Know the return policy:

Even with all of these words to the wise, there is ultimately no guarantee your jewelry gift is going to hit a home run. Most stores – whether they are online or in the mall – have a return policy. Don’t be afraid to ask your salesperson.

With a little preparation, education and thought, we guarantee buying jewelry will move decidedly from “a little better than a root canal” to “right up there with no calorie ice cream and winning the lottery”. Happy Shopping!

The Jewelry Insider

February 20, 2009

Last week, the New York Times featured a surprising editorial from a former jewelry store owner, Clancy Martin, who confessed he wasn’t a huge fan of many of his customers. He particularly dreaded the Valentine’s Day holiday, when last minute shoppers would grab any old bauble, throw it in a box and hand it over like it was anything but a special occasion.

“What upset me more was the ordinariness of the choices. You can give a pair of gold earrings to anyone. But Valentine’s Day is the one day when a present ought to express adoration. Valentine’s Day is for special gifts of intimacy.”

Now before you start to complain that times are tough and folks can’t afford more than a simple pair of gold earrings these days, Martin’s point isn’t that you should spend tons of cash on an expensive diamond or gemstone piece – it’s that the jewelry gift should have meaning.

Buy a pair of gemstone earring to match the color of her eyes, he suggests. Putting thought into jewelry gift giving is, as he wisely points out,

“…the opposite of conspicuous consumption, because it has nothing to do with showing off for others.”

I know I’m always pushing jewelry on every poor bloke who comes within earshot when it comes to gift giving, but I don’t mean that you should grab your nearest pearl strand and call it a day. There is a time and a place for baubles that don’t mean much. But more often than not, putting thought into the jewelry purchase couldn’t mean more. Especially on a day like Valentine’s Day.

Click here for a full read of the New York Times editorial piece, and weigh in with your thoughts about the matter.

Does the guy have a heart, or is he just pushing more product?

The Jewelry Insider

August 13, 2008

From a diamond ring to gold hoops, jewelry can be the most important gift you give a loved one. Feeling the pressure? We understand. Guys, and the gals who love them, pay attention to the following tips on how to buy jewelry. We guarantee you’ll impress her with your remarkable taste and insight.

Know the facts:
We’ve all heard it before: knowledge is power. Buying jewelry can be one of the first major purchases in your lifetime, so it’s important to know the facts before you face all the glitter. Take the time to educate yourself about gold, diamonds and gemstones. Thinking of popping the question? Be sure to check out these Bridal Tips as well. We promise it won’t be as bad as algebra class.

 


Know your audience:
There’s nothing like that look you get when you know you missed the mark. The slight grimace followed by the fake smile? The best way to avoid awkward gift giving is to study what your significant other likes. What does she usually wear? Has she complimented friends on their looks? You know how to make her laugh, you can surely pick up some tips on her personal style. Take notes and bring what you know on your shopping trip.

Know your budget:
There are many price points in the jewelry world – from $99 to $9999 and beyond. Don’t get in over your head with a bauble that will break the bank or make her afraid to wear it. Also, bring what you learned about stone and metal quality to the store, so you won’t be duped into thinking ‘bigger’ is ‘better’. Often, it’s not.

Know her size (mainly for ring purchases):
There’s nothing like wowing her with a diamond ring she’ll just have to wait three weeks to wear. Guys, break out your inner sleuth for this one. Find a ring she currently wears, trace the inside and bring it to your jeweler. You can always size a ring, but delayed satisfaction doesn’t always fly when it comes to jewelry.

Know the occasion:
• If you’re not about commitment but want to impress her with a gift of jewelry, word to the wise: stay away from the ring category. A ring, no matter what the design, is loaded with symbolism that screams “I’m in it for the long haul.” A nice pair of diamond studs might be the better choice in this case.

Right Hand Rings are the perfect self-gifting occasion to celebrate a promotion, graduation, or ‘just because’. It’s also a great friend-to-friend or mother-to daughter gift. Think female power!

• The ‘go big’ calendar moments are of course Valentine’s Day and the December holidays. If she’s expecting a ring, and you’re thinking peridot earrings to match her eyes…you might want to think again.

Know the return policy:
Even with all of the Jewelry Insider’s words to the wise, there is ultimately no guarantee your jewelry gift is going to hit a home run. Most stores – whether they are online or in the mall – have a return policy. Don’t be afraid to ask your salesperson.

With a little preparation, education and thought, we guarantee buying jewelry will move decidedly from “a little better than a root canal” to “right up there with no calorie ice cream and winning the lottery”.

Happy Shopping!

P.S. We want to hear from you! Tell us your own shopping success – or horror – stories. Are there tips we’ve missed? Share the wealth!

The Jewelry Insider

August 13, 2008

From a diamond ring to gold hoops, jewelry can be the most important gift you give a loved one. Feeling the pressure? We understand. Guys, and the gals who love them, pay attention to the following tips on how to buy jewelry. We guarantee you’ll impress her with your remarkable taste and insight.

Know the facts:
We’ve all heard it before: knowledge is power. Buying jewelry can be one of the first major purchases in your lifetime, so it’s important to know the facts before you face all the glitter. Take the time to educate yourself about gold, diamonds and gemstones. Thinking of popping the question? Be sure to check out these Bridal Tips as well. We promise it won’t be as bad as algebra class.

 


Know your audience:
There’s nothing like that look you get when you know you missed the mark. The slight grimace followed by the fake smile? The best way to avoid awkward gift giving is to study what your significant other likes. What does she usually wear? Has she complimented friends on their looks? You know how to make her laugh, you can surely pick up some tips on her personal style. Take notes and bring what you know on your shopping trip.

Know your budget:
There are many price points in the jewelry world – from $99 to $9999 and beyond. Don’t get in over your head with a bauble that will break the bank or make her afraid to wear it. Also, bring what you learned about stone and metal quality to the store, so you won’t be duped into thinking ‘bigger’ is ‘better’. Often, it’s not.

Know her size (mainly for ring purchases):
There’s nothing like wowing her with a diamond ring she’ll just have to wait three weeks to wear. Guys, break out your inner sleuth for this one. Find a ring she currently wears, trace the inside and bring it to your jeweler. You can always size a ring, but delayed satisfaction doesn’t always fly when it comes to jewelry.

Know the occasion:
• If you’re not about commitment but want to impress her with a gift of jewelry, word to the wise: stay away from the ring category. A ring, no matter what the design, is loaded with symbolism that screams “I’m in it for the long haul.” A nice pair of diamond studs might be the better choice in this case.

Right Hand Rings are the perfect self-gifting occasion to celebrate a promotion, graduation, or ‘just because’. It’s also a great friend-to-friend or mother-to daughter gift. Think female power!

• The ‘go big’ calendar moments are of course Valentine’s Day and the December holidays. If she’s expecting a ring, and you’re thinking peridot earrings to match her eyes…you might want to think again.

Know the return policy:
Even with all of the Jewelry Insider’s words to the wise, there is ultimately no guarantee your jewelry gift is going to hit a home run. Most stores – whether they are online or in the mall – have a return policy. Don’t be afraid to ask your salesperson.

With a little preparation, education and thought, we guarantee buying jewelry will move decidedly from “a little better than a root canal” to “right up there with no calorie ice cream and winning the lottery”.

Happy Shopping!

P.S. We want to hear from you! Tell us your own shopping success – or horror – stories. Are there tips we’ve missed? Share the wealth!