Buy Jewelry

Written by Serena Berger
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Buying jewelry conjures very different emotions for different people. Some look forward to it as an opportunity to accessorize and express themselves with anything playful and fun. Others look for pieces that are the height of elegance. Others view a gift of jewelry as the quintessence of romance. And some simply feel overwhelmed and nervous--especially when they want to pick out something special for someone they love and they're not sure what to choose or even whether they can afford something nice.

When budget is a big concern, you have two options. You might want to look for a wholesale jewelry store or an outlet which sells world class jewelry at significantly discounted prices. Sometimes the selection will be limited in comparison with what you might find elsewhere, but you are likely to find beautiful pieces--especially diamond engagement rings.

The other option is to buy a piece with synthetic stones. If you want the maximum amount of sparkle possible, this is clearly the best option--but you shouldn't rule it out in the case of more classic pieces, either. No one but a jeweler with professional equipment can tell the difference between a well-made cubic zirconia and a diamond, so many people think there's no reason to pay thousands for a diamond tennis bracelet when they could pay closer to a hundred dollars for an equally stunning CZ alternative. Even if you have the money for the diamonds, you might prefer to buy the CZ bracelets and take a vacation instead!

Choosing Jewelry Carefully

If you are buying a gift, of course, you should have some idea how the recipient feels about jewelry in general. If you have no idea what to buy for your special someone, either you dig a little harder or you refrain from making such a serious purchase (for now, at least). If you never see your girlfriend wearing bracelets, for example, you might buy her a necklace instead.

If you haven't even had the chance to ask her if she likes bracelets, whether she prefers gold or silver, or what her favorite stone is, put off the jewelry buying excursion. If you're even thinking of buying a significant piece of jewelry for your wife or girlfriend, find out which of her pieces are her favorites, or ask her to point out things in stores that she likes before you make your decision. It may lessen the surprise, but will greatly increase the likelihood that your gift will be an overwhelming success.

Of course, there's the relatively common case where you ask your partner what she would like only to hear "surprise me," or "anything from you." Don't be fooled! While there aren't many women who will tell you they hate something you give them, you can tell when your partner isn't thrilled, and you'd probably prefer to avoid it. Think of a significant jewelry purchase as similar to getting pet, a car, or taking your only vacation in two years. Do not think of it as choosing a movie to watch or getting a new sweater. Even if the price tag isn't that high, keep in mind how much you'd have to love something to have it with you all the time.

Certification for Fine Jewelry

There are various forms of certification or validation you should also look for if you are going to make a significant jewelry purchase. Gold, sterling silver, diamonds and Swiss watches all have their markings to indicate quality. There are many places online where you can get designer knockoffs that mimic the paperwork or the branding on these items, so you should view each piece with a sharp eye before committing to any purchase. Everything from a subtle difference in a font size to the spacing between the words "Swiss" and "Mvmt" can indicate a fake.

With diamonds, you should look for the oft-mentioned four C's: cut, clarity, color, and carat/karat weight. You should also consider getting your diamonds certified by an independent gemologist who offers diamond grading reports. While a diamond grading report is not an official statement of exact value, it is a document which includes a plotted diagram of your diamond for identification. It will give you piece of mind and can be used for insurance purposes.

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