Beauty, authenticity and uniqueness—these are the qualities to look for when shopping for jewelry. This is true whether you are looking for genuine ethnic or regional jewelry, fine jewelry or costume jewelry. Jewelry is more than an accessory—it’s a nuanced statement that only becomes more pointed and significant through closer scrutiny. As a gift, jewelry can be deeply personal, and more often than not, its value is symbolic of the emotional investment that the giver of the gift places in the recipient. When selected by the wearer, jewelry is an expression of style, taste and discernment. This last aspect is particularly true. As a society, we have become ever more astute in vetting and purchasing jewelry. Most of us can spot fake precious metals, even from across the room, and anyone who has ever worn or purchased an engagement ring is well-versed in the four C’s of diamond grading. Because of this, it’s more important than ever to shop for jewelry with a discerning eye.
Unless you have an uncommon amount of trust built up between you and your jeweler, it makes sense to conduct a significant amount of independent research before investing in jewelry. Much of this can be done on the Internet—simply browse through the pages and resources in our Jewelry subcategory in our Shopping directory to find great links to quality information. But if you’re buying jewelry as a gift, you’ll have some personal sleuthing to do as well. Find out what he or she likes. Will she be offended by a cubic zirconia? Is she allergic to silver? What’s his birthstone? And, of course, how much should you spend for what you want?
Take time to answer all of these questions and more before putting down your hard earned money. Begin your research by clicking the links on the left.