When you’re shopping for fine jewelry in a retail store or online, one of the hardest things you can do is assess the true value of the jewelry you’re about to buy. This is especially difficult when buying designer jewelry because the popularity of the names and labels outweighs the value. Lab grown diamonds rings from a famous jeweler like Cartier or Harry Winston will cost much more than a similar piece from your local jewelry store. But that doesn’t mean the piece is worth more. Keep in mind that buying luxury jewelry does not mean that you will end up with a more valuable piece of jewelry.
In fact, many top designers can avoid putting cheap materials into their jewelry because they know that name is the main reason people buy from them. Now, this is not to say that all famous jewelers follow this approach. In fact, some of them offer quality that is superior to what you can get from other jewelers. But if the big designer prices are beyond your budget, you can find plenty of luxury jewelry. Remember, quality is most important.
Here are some tips you can use to achieve the true value of your fine jewelry:
1. Diamonds – Having diamonds in your fine jewelry will add the most value to your jewelry. It is important to first find out the quality and weight of the diamond in your cut. Any reputable jeweler should be able to tell you the quality of the diamonds in your piece. You should ask your jeweler about the clarity and color of the diamonds used. If you are buying a solitaire, always ask if your diamond is certified by the GIA, EGL or IGI (the three main diamond grading authorities). If not, you might want to think twice about buying a particular piece of jewelry.
2. Metal – If you are buying gold or platinum, always look for a label on the piece that indicates the type of material used. Look for 10 karat, 14 karat, 18 karat or 24 karat gold and 900 or 950 platinum. With gold, the higher the number, the higher the purity of the gold. 14 karat is 54% gold and 46% other metals. 24 karat 100% pure gold. Platinum 950 is 95% pure platinum and 5% ruthenium. Try to get a good feel or even the exact weight of the piece. The heavier the piece, the more valuable the latter.
3. Price – Just because a jeweler charges too much doesn’t mean it’s too high. Jeweler pricing is not an exact science. In fact, the price can vary greatly from jeweler to jeweler, even for the same item. That’s why it’s important to shop around and get the most out of as many jewelers as possible before making any decisions. Once all the prices are known, try to calculate the average cost of the item by first getting rid of the largest and smallest quantities, then averaging the remaining price.
If you can use these three tips every time you shop for fine jewelry, you’ll feel a lot better about your purchase and find great value every time.