By Beth Jones
Though we may buy costume jewelry on a regular basis, fine jewelry takes a little more thought. Depending on the item, fine jewelry tends to come with a larger price tag. Some pieces fall under the umbrella of designer or handmade jewelry. It is, therefore, important to choose wisely.
Know Your Gemstones
Before you begin your search, make sure you are familiar with the wide variety of gemstones. They tend to fall into two categories, precious and semi-precious. Technically, there is no real difference between the two. However, precious gemstones tend to be rarer and as a result are more expensive. That said, there are many semi-precious stones that are much rarer than diamonds. So the labels are a little more arbitrary. The main four precious gemstones are diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphires. Gemstones tend to be measured in carats.
Natural gemstones occur naturally. i.e. They are mined from the earth. Beware imitations for synthetic stones which are produced in a lab. A professional will be able to determine the difference.
When choosing diamonds, you need to consider the four Cs. This stands for color, clarity, carat and cut. It is useful to read up on this before making a purchase. This will provide you with a general idea of what you’re looking for. However, always seek the help of an expert in this field. Go to a reputable dealer. Reviews such as the Hearts on Fire review will provide you with useful information about grading, etc.
The three main types of precious metal are Gold, Silver and Platinum. When we refer to Gold, we are describing 24K Gold. Because Gold is a soft metal, it is often mixed with other metals to make it more durable. Always check the markings before purchasing.
Platinum is more expensive than Gold and is graded differently. Like Gold, it is usually mixed with similar metals. Platinum is usually graded in percentages. This relates to percentage of Platinum within the piece.
When we talk about Silver or Sterling Silver, we refer to a metal that is 92.5% silver. Again, always check the markings before purchasing.
How to Choose
When deciding which pieces to choose, think about the purpose of the piece. Ask yourself the following questions:
All of these questions are useful when determining what to buy. They can help you to narrow down the vast number of choices that are available.
Many people believe that jewelry should be worn and not locked away in a jewelry box or vault. With the exception of priceless pieces, of course. It is therefore very personal to the recipient. It represents their tastes, personality and lifestyle. If you’re looking for expensive pieces, always find a reputable trader and ask for an expert opinion.
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About This Blog:
The Found in the Jewelry Box Blog is my attempt to teach others about the wonderful world of gems and jewelry, past and present. Please enjoy!
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