Whether you are finding the perfect piece of jewellery for yourself or looking for a memorable and lasting gift for a loved one, purchasing jewellery can be incredibly overwhelming. In this article, we will arm you with 4 important things to keep in mind while you’re searching for a piece of jewellery that you (or someone special) can love and enjoy for years to come.
Set your budget
Firstly, it’s important to decide the amount you would like to set aside for your new purchase. You certainly don’t have to spend thousands to receive a quality piece of jewellery that will last. Sterling silver jewellery can be very reasonably priced and with the option of gold plating, you can get the luxe gold look for a fraction of the price. If you’re investing in solid gold or platinum, the price will be significantly higher.
Designer brands tend to have a big markup on their jewellery so unless you prefer these well-known labels, they are not always the best places to find well priced yet good quality jewellery.
Check the metal quality
Once you’ve set your budget and found some jewellery options that you like, you will need to do a little research into what material the jewellery is crafted in. Here’s a simple guide to help you decide on the quality to look for:
Base metal: All costume jewellery is made from base metal, this is the cheapest way to create fast fashion jewellery. The base metal is an unspecified mixture of many different metals such as copper, brass, and aluminum to name a few. This is often plated with a thin layer of silver or gold and may be listed as ‘gold-plated’ or ‘silver-plated’ but with no description of the metal underneath the plating. Be wary of this kind of jewellery as it will only last a matter of weeks, in which time it can discolour, leave marks on your skin, and if there is any nickel contained in the piece, it could cause allergic reactions. If you’re looking for a short-lived fast fashion piece, this is a great way to get the look for cheaper but not worth making a long term style investment in.
Sterling silver/fine silver: this is a very reliable and long-lasting and reasonably priced material to use for silver jewellery. Sterling silver is also known as 925 silver, which means it has 925 parts silver to 75 parts alloy, this is much tougher than fine silver which is malleable and easily scratched.
Gold-filled: This is a thick plating of gold (at least 10 karats) on top of base metal. To be considered gold-filled (or rolled gold) the whole piece of jewellery must contain 5% gold. It tends to be long-lasting as the thick plating of gold protects the base metal from discolouration and makes a great cheaper alternative to solid gold but you can only create simple designs with this technique.
Gold vermeil: Also known as silver-gilt, gold vermeil pieces only contain precious metals, this is considered “demi-fine” gold jewellery. It must have sterling silver or fine silver base with at least a 2.5-micron plating of gold that is at least 10 karats. This thickness of the plating is great for long term wear and the use of precious metals ensure it will not cause any allergic reactions. Gold vermeil should be marked with a 925 stamp.
Solid Gold: When purchasing solid gold jewellery, you can be sure this will be a long-lasting heirloom to add to your collection. Perfect for daily wear, solid gold is measured in karats. 24 karat gold is pure and most expensive, this is incredibly soft and malleable and rarely used in jewellery, so alloys are used to harden the metal. The lower the karat the more alloys the gold has been mixed with and the lighter in colour the gold appears.
Platinum: This is the most expensive type of metal, it’s durable and scratch-resistant making it perfect for wedding rings.
Find your perfect size
When shopping online for jewellery, it’s always best to check the dimensions so you don’t get a surprise when the piece arrives. When it comes to necklaces, you should measure a necklace chain that you already have and decide whether you would like your new piece of jewellery longer or shorter. If you’re shopping for a ring you can wrap a measuring tape around your finger to find out your size.
Will it suit you
Last but not least, it’s important to find a piece that will be suitable for the occasions you’re wearing it for, whether it’s your daily go-to piece or just for special occasions. Choose a design that will match your personal style and find something that will make you feel good while you’re wearing it, whether it’s a meaningful symbol, a bold statement, a personalised piece or a timeless design.
We hope you’ve found this guide useful, good luck investing in your new piece of jewelry!