The Ultimate Jewellery Buying Guide for Beginners
Why is Jewellery Important and why do people collect jewellery?
Jewellery and Precious Gems have been hailed as the essence of beauty throughout the ages. Their bold, symmetrical appearance and vivid colours mesmerize us in a way no other object ever did.
Jewellery making is considered by many to be a form of art and is also one of the most ancient recorded crafts in Human History, second only to tool making. Women and men alike have been captivated with the brilliance, sparkle and colour of gems and jewels. Historically, jewellery and precious stones have been symbols of power and authority and were worn by royals, high priests, noblemen and people with immense wealth.
Things have changed quite a lot since then. Jewellery has become more accessible and can be enjoyed widely by most people. Both collectors and people who prefer to enjoy their jewellery by wearing them share the same passion. They try to find the best deals and best designs or strive for the possession of the flawless gem. This noble hunt has surpassed the boundaries of a simple hobby. It is now a way of life for them! If you want to embark on this journey in search of the noblest of stones look no further. This is the Ultimate Jewellery Buying Guide for Beginners.
Where to Start:
The path to finding the best jewellery piece is not an easy one. No matter if you are a collector, a person who wears jewellery in their daily life or simply someone who wants to impress their significant other with a stunning piece, spending money without thorough planning is never the way to go. You will need to think creatively and approach this in a holistic way in order to tackle the difficulties of the journey. And this is where this article will shine!
The task can be daunting at first and instil fear in a beginner's mind.
Though, if you perceive it as a relaxing journey or a thrilling hunt for the perfect jewel it is going to reward you in ways you couldn't possibly imagine! Before we begin, it would be wise to split the potential buyer types into categories. The course of action you will take will be defined by the category you belong in.
Buying Jewellery as a Present:
Buying a jewellery present may sound simple but is actually one of the trickiest tasks. Why? because it means choosing on behalf of someone else. This involves many dangers. From buying a jewellery piece that does not match your loved one's style or character to buying cheap jewellery at an unfairly high price or even buying a jewellery piece that is the wrong size!! This section is a vital and ideal part of the guide for raising your awareness and your perception levels as well preparedness in the field of buying jewellery gifts for your loved ones!
Perceptiveness in Conversation:
Start by paying attention to your conversations with your significant other. It will save you a lot of time. There are subtle signs that we sometimes may not pay attention to when we talk with others. Tiny hints like pointing at directions and changing the tone of our voice when we want something are all important indicators that we sometimes miss in our daily conversations. By paying attention to these behaviours we are going to improve our chances of getting a suitable present for our loved ones!
If we still do not have enough hints, we could try to enter the mind of your loved one by asking some scouting questions. Try not to give yourself away though. A successful gift needs the element of surprise. Bring up a news story you might have read about an expensive piece of jewellery and try to tailor the conversation to your needs. Ask a question or two that will help you get rid of your doubts and spot the ideal piece for your loved one.
If the conversational perceptiveness didn't do the trick, you should start noticing the already available information in the house. Namely, you could start by checking out the style of jewellery your loved one enjoys wearing daily. Once you have found out which style of jewellery your loved one prefers (e.g. statement jewellery, precious gemstone jewellery etc.) it is time to find out which type of jewellery your loved one is lacking or which type of jewellery your loved might want.
Take a peek at the pieces of jewellery that are lying around and see if your loved one is missing a specific type of jewellery or if they are obsessed with a specific type of jewellery (e.g. rings or necklaces). -Always respect the privacy of your loved ones. Only lay your eyes on what is already there in the open, we do not advise going through their stuff! - Now that all important factors have been covered, you should have a fairly firm grasp of the style and type of jewellery they need.
Where to find the perfect jewellery gift:
Now that you have laid down all the necessary groundwork and learned about your loved ones' tastes it is time to jump into action! First it is essential to discover stores that sell jewellery of a similar aesthetic to that of your loved one. To do so the optimal solution is to search online by describing the design you are looking for and the materials. Once you learn the basic terminology you are set for success. After you determine the style and type you can do price comparisons and product comparisons to find the ideal present depending on your time and budget.
If it is a Birthday present, you could go for Birthstone Jewellery and a personalised message! After the price comparison you can set up a reminder for the day you intend to buy the gift and surprise your significant other or important person in your life with a very thoughtful jewellery gift that will be remembered for years and years to come.
Buying Jewellery for yourself:
If you are buying jewellery for yourself look no further! This is the part of the guide you need to check out. Your journey for the perfect jewellery will be defined by your tastes, time and budget! If you are totally serious about your jewellery it would be wise to devote at least one or two weekends in advance to online research. Being proactive is essential. People who want to invest in new jewellery should also already have some allocated savings for this hobby. It is important to create your own "Luxury Reserves" in order to be able to buy whatever you may want at any given point.
After you determine each individual factor according to taste, time and budget (f.e. Taste: fine gemstone jewellery, Time: weekends, Budget: 2000£) the next step is research. Research always gives you the answers you need. Price comparing, material comparing, cold calls and emails with inquiries to jewellery stores and offices, and even local scouting are only some of the tools that will help you get the jewellery you want! Research is the best way to utilize your free time for preparation.
The Course of Action.
First you have to come up with a plan. It is advised to always do your due diligence before you leave the house! Cross referencing information is the most powerful weapon in your arsenal. With the widespread use of the internet there is no visible barrier of information anymore apart from unexpected physical store discounts. Why buy a pair of Ruby Earrings for 1200 when you can get a similar design with the same materials for 350? Did you know that many big-name brands incorporate their marketing expenses in their jewellery to make up for the huge cost?
At the end of the day materials will always be materials no matter what the name on the bracelet is. The raw value of the materials remains the same if they have similar properties, treatment and origin. Overpaying is not an option. The ideal jewellery is jewellery that will put a smile on your face, not burn a hole through your pocket!
Where are the best places to look?
This will depend exclusively on your taste. Do you like expensive gemstone necklaces? Contemporary diamond earrings? Vintage jewellery? Maybe even statement jewellery? Once you answer this question it is time to plan your course of action. Write down on a piece of paper or an Excel document all the stores that you would like to visit online and offline. Find the desired pieces from each store's ecommerce website and note them down and their price tags as well. The fun part is about to start!
The hunt begins!
It is time to call stores to check availability of your preferred jewellery and then visit them! It would be wise to have a smart device in hand or a notebook and write down possible discounts that each store may offer and original prices for the items of interest! Once you have narrowed down to the best jewellery choices see which ones are the more appealing to you, but also keep in mind the value to price ratio!
The rough value of the materials is defined by the origin, purity (inclusions in gemstones and gold purity f.e.) and treatment of the materials! The closer the rough value is to the set price the wiser it is to get that piece. There is no need to break the bank if you are organised and dedicated! Now that the hunt is over it is time to reap the fruits of your hard labour! Wear those rocks like there is no tomorrow!
Buying Jewellery for your Collection:
This part is a tricky one. If you are dead-serious about collecting jewellery and gemstones the approach would be completely different than the previous two categories. Finding high carat, flawless gemstones and unique vintage jewellery in the quintessence of gemstone collecting. And in order to hunt for such items, money should not be an option.
The only potential barrier between you and expanding your collection could be your lack of time. This does not mean that you have to squander money with no additional thought though! It would be wiser to hire a jewellery expert to perform the hunt instead of you than to go on a jewellery hunt unprepared or with a limited amount of time at your disposal. A good deal is always a good deal no matter the amount of money in your bank account!
Time for some serious Planning.
The ideal first step is to spot the pieces that you want in your collection. Whether it is a flawless high carat diamond or a highest clarity Burmese ruby, choose according to uniqueness and potential prospects if you resell in the future. If the items, you have your eyes on are being auctioned set a top price mark in your mind that is not affected by sentimentalities and write it down in your notebook.
A seasoned collector could have the ability to roughly figure out the value and the potential price increase according to his/her experience. If you are not that confident in your abilities yet, you will have to research numerous factors. The main factors would be: past auction history of the item (if any), previous market prices of similar items, certificate authenticity, certificate issue dates and more.
Where to Look.
If you have no clue where to look for high end gems for your collection or if you are new in the world of collecting, do not fret! We have all the answers. Extremely rare gems are unfit for being worn as jewellery because of their high prices. No one likes being assaulted because of what they are wearing! This means that the traditional jewellery store approach is not an option. The main option is going to private auctions hosted by auction houses. There are numerous auction houses that host gem auctions. Some of the names include Sotheby's, Bonham's, Christie's, Gemfields and more.
The quest for the perfect gem.
Now that you have found which of the gems you need for you collection and your ideal top price for each has been set you can dive straight into action, or the auction in this case. -pun very much intended- The rules are simple. Participate in as many gemstone auctions or events you can handle as long as you have calculated the combined maximum expense.
The combined maximum expense is calculated by adding all the highest sums you are willing to pay for the individual pieces you have got your eyes on, always considering your budget. After each auction subtract your winning bid from the combined maximum expense. Being optimal in your spending gives you wiggle room to raise the maximum bid of the next auction a bit more than your original maximum. That way you can buy all the jewellery you need and still be under budget.
Be prepared to compete with Saudi princes and famous Jewellery Houses that want big rocks for their company archives. (If you hate competitive environments and you are also a lucky person there have been some instances where high carat vintage jewellery pieces like this one have been found at car boot sales, but it is probably easier to win the lottery than find proper vintage jewellery in some random guy’s trunk.) Being systematic and meticulous can net you a lot more satisfaction in your collecting! To hunt is gut instinct, but to be prepared is logic.
Jewel and gemstone hunting can be a fun activity regardless of the result. The thrill of the hunt alone is a unique experience which can feel even more exciting and rewarding when you finally find what you are looking for. Each precious stone or piece of jewellery is different. Even if they are cut the same no two stones can be identical if they are found in nature. Jewellery is as unique as we ourselves are. That is what's so magical about it. The jewels we wear or collect represent a tiny fraction of our own self.