Whether you’re buying a gift for someone or a piece for your own collection, this article explains what should you look for when buying jewellery. In 10 easy tips that include style, gold purity, ring size and gemstone knowledge, this guide will help you make a good purchase.
1. Make it personal
Whether it’s a gift, an engagement ring or a piece for your own collection, the most important thing is to buy a jewellery item that the wearer will love and that suits their style and personality. That way, the jewellery purchase will bring maximum joy for a long time. To learn more, read about how to choose the perfect gift jewellery item or engagement ring, or how to build a good jewellery collection.
2. Educate yourself on diamonds and gems
If you’re a first-time buyer of diamonds or gemstones, it’s a good idea to learn a little bit about them. You probably wouldn’t buy an expensive TV or a mobile phone without first doing some research – and the same goes for valuable gems. To learn more, visit our gem guides.
3. Don’t guess ring size
If you buy someone a ring and it doesn’t fit, your special occasion could end in disappointment. Luckily, there are 3 easy ways to get an accurate ring measurement:
- Take an existing ring and measure it with a mobile phone RING SIZER APP
- Measure the finger with a FREE RING SIZER
- Ask a jeweller to measure an existing ring or the person’s finger
4. Silver, gold or platinum?
Silver is the most affordable precious metal. However, it’s very soft and can bend easily, so it’s not suitable for long-term daily use, like engagement rings. Instead, silver is a great fashion accessory, best suited to occasional wear.
Gold is a little more expensive than silver but much harder wearing. It comes in different colours: white, yellow and rose gold. It also comes in different purities – from cheaper 9K gold to more expensive 18K gold. Therefore gold is very versatile for all types of jewellery, from small gifts to important pieces like engagement rings.
Platinum is the toughest precious metal of them all, with a beautiful silvery-white colour. However, it is also the most expensive. It’s ideal for heirloom jewellery, such as engagement, wedding and eternity rings.
To learn more, visit our comprehensive precious metal guides.
If you buy a jewellery item made of gold, silver or platinum in the UK, look for the hallmark stamped into the metal. A hallmark is a legal guarantee of the precious metal content of your jewellery. It ensures that you pay for what is advertised. To learn more, read our article on 10 Hallmarking Facts.
When rebel or terrorist groups sell diamonds on the black market in order to fund their illegal activities, these stones are referred to as “conflict diamonds”. Therefore, you should always check that you are buying conflict-free stones. In other words, make sure the seller is legitimate and their diamonds have been produced in line with the international Kimberley Process – learn more here.
7. Avoid nickel-filled jewellery
Many people are allergic to a metal called nickel. However, some jewellery contains nickel used as an alloy. Since almost anyone can develop skin irritation from nickel, it’s sensible to avoid items with this metal in it. If you’re not sure, simply ask your jeweller if their jewellery is nickel-free.
8. Compare prices
This is an important tip for buying jewellery: don’t buy the first item you see. Shop around. It’s a good idea to compare prices at a few jewellers because you might find the same piece of jewellery for less money at another store. For example, online stores are generally speaking cheaper because they don’t have the same overheads as physical shops.
9. Find the right jeweller
A good salesperson will be reassuring and helpful, no matter how many questions you ask. The most valuable thing to a jeweller is their customers’ trust. So check for things like National Association of Jewellers membership, as well as a guarantee-period offered on the products, as signs of reliable service.
10. Read the fine print
As a final tip for buying jewellery, always keep the receipt and any other documents that come with your purchase. With custom-made items, check whether they are returnable. If you’re buying a gift, it’s an especially good idea to check on the returns and exchange policy. This way, you can always change the item if your recipient doesn’t love it.
Shop beautiful jewellery at TheDiamondStore.co.uk.