Updated: Dec 11, 2022
Looking to make a significant jewellery purchase? Don't hand over your money until you've read these essential tips for buying gemstones and jewellery:
· Think about personal style. You may be drawn to a piece of jewellery, but if it doesn’t go with what’s already in your wardrobe, you won’t wear it.
· If you have your heart set on a particular gemstone, read up on what to look for in that particular stone. Carat weight isn’t everything! Colour, clarity and cut may play more of a part in a gemstone’s value.
· Think about the durability of a gemstone and how you will wear the piece. Opal is a soft stone and not suitable for an everyday ring, whereas diamond, sapphire and ruby are incredibly hard and resistant to scratching.
· Make sure you care for your gemstone jewellery properly. Incorrect storage, household chemicals, unsuitable activities like DIY – all of these can irreparably damage your stone.
· Not all jewellery can go in an ultrasonic cleaner, which is best used only for gold and silver. Use a soft toothbrush and washing up liquid to clean your gemstone jewellery or take it to a reputable jeweller.
· Most shop assistants are not gemmologists, and some aren’t even particularly interested in what they are selling. Keep asking questions. Don’t wait for information to be offered to you.
· High-value gemstones like high-quality diamonds, emeralds, rubies and sapphires are usually sold with a GIA certificate.
· Many gemstones will appear different in different lights. Always look at gemstone jewellery in neutral light—that’s midday light on a bright day.
· Don’t dismiss synthetic (lab created) gemstones – there are benefits to wearing a lab created stone. But be aware that some shops use synthetic to mean ‘fake’. Always clarify exactly what is meant by the terminology used.
· Do buy from the heart, and don’t just go for the finest stone just because you feel you ought to. Falling in love with a low-value piece is absolutely fine, as long as you don’t pay over the odds for it.
For many more essential tips like these, check out our Gemstone Detective guides. Wherever you are in the world, you'll feel more confident when you apply this basic know-how.
Be sure | Be smart | Buy with confidence
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