Few purchases are as sentimental as jewelry but then you have to act smart to get the true value for your money. Fine gemstone jewelry comes with its own language, standards and selling pitch. Understanding a little of these can greatly help in buying a good deal you will cherish for years.
The expert view over fine gemstone jewelry buying:
According to experts, jewelry is considered the best option to celebrate any occasion. It is not restricted to weddings, birthdays or Valentine’s Day. Most couples choose gemstone jewelry to signify any milestone moment of their life. For example, sapphire engagement rings and bands are a popular choice these days. People are ditching the traditional diamond rings for blue sapphires, as the gemstone is equally beautiful and cost considerably lesser than a diamond of similar weight and quality. Many people are choosing birthstone jewelry as a significant gift. The idea behind choosing fine jewelry is to invest in something that last for a lifetime. Gemstones have been in vogue for centuries. In fact, the charm has only increased over time.
Jewelry experts say that a tremendous boom has been noticed in fine jewelry demand. It has multiple reasons – people are more focused on value over fashion, jewelers are introducing more innovative and versatile designs, jewelry-marketing strategies have gone better and serving quality within an affordable price is the prime factor.
In the present market scenario, experts advice few things to consumers about buying fine gemstone jewelry:
- The market is full of fake stones so it is better to buy only from authentic jewelers or online stores that offer valid certificate with your jewelry.
- Buying online is better these days as the laws are very strict and most online stores with a good reputation do follow proper regulations. The collection and design options are also more.
- Before buying from any store whether local or online, find out the customer reviews about it. You can check genuine customer reviews for an online store at different forums and community sites. Jewelers may write well about themselves at their website but they can’t manipulate anything elsewhere. For a local store, better to ask your friends and coworkers to share the experience if they have ever purchased from that store.
- Another good way to find about the authenticity of the store is to ask their customer support executive about the credentials like rating from Better Business Bureau or any special notification for service and quality in major magazines or newspapers.
- Clearly ask for gemstone authenticity certificate or a third party grading certificate. It might cost you a few extra dollars but you will be relaxed that you have paid for the right thing.
Things to consider other than the four Cs:
The grading for gemstone is different from that of diamonds. Still the four Cs are always considered as the prime factor in any case. While it has a different guideline for diamond, in case of colored gemstones it is more importantly associated with color intensity and clarity then cut.
However, few things, which are common for all gemstones, are the quality, price and metal, if any of these matters to you.
Natural gemstones look a little dull and included in rough state so they are often treated to enhance their appearance. As it is a considerable part of lapidary, the seller should disclose it. Different gemstones have different quality parameters such as diamonds are highly valued for the brilliance and fire that creates a beautiful play of light while sapphires and rubies are more desired for their luscious color and beauty. Depending on which stone you are shopping for, check its quality. For example, natural emeralds are usually included. In fact, they are often valued for their inclusions that make an exotic look. Emeralds are oil treaded to lighten the flaws. If you are offered an emerald with no inclusions at a normal price, beware, it might be a fake crystal or a lab created emerald because naturally flawless pieces are rare and cost a premium.
It is a tricky thing but smart customers identify how to get an almost similar size stone at considerably lesser price. Diamonds of .45 carat or .95 carat look similar to the half or one-carat stone yet has a great price difference. By understanding such tricky points, you can save a good amount while getting the quality piece.
Of course, a fine jewelry is more than just a piece of gemstone. It also includes the precious metal. Gold and platinum are the preferred choices for fine and classic pieces as they last for a lifetime and require a little maintenance. Platinum is more enduring and naturally white and it is costlier as compared to gold. Gold has a range of color and karat options. You can choose from yellow, white or rose gold with purity levels of 18k, 14k and 10k in general. The price changes for each purity level.
Apart from the above-mentioned things, you should always look for the metal purity stamp and brand’s trademark on the piece, a third-party proof for the authenticity of the stone and jewelry, a good and clearly explained return policy with money back option.