A Guide to Jewellery Shopping: 5 Tips You Must Know Before Buying Jewellery

Tips for Buying Jewellery

Whether you're treating yourself to a new everyday jewellery piece or selecting a gift for a loved one, buying jewellery is often an exciting and significant event.

But deciding on the right jewellery piece to buy can be a daunting decision. A lot can go wrong if you don't know what to look for! What if you get the wrong ring size? Or they prefer gold to silver? What if the gemstone is not right for their birthday? Or the aesthetic is all off?

All this trouble can be avoided by knowing a few essential tips for choosing the right jewellery—for yourself or someone else.



How do I know what jewellery to buy?

Choosing the right jewellery depends on a few factors, some more important than others. These include personal style preferences, metal and gemstone favourites, and the occasion the jewellery is being purchased for.

It's important to take into consideration who the jewellery is for, when they'll wear it, and how often. The jewellery you buy will depend on whether it's for everyday wear, a special occasion, or a formal event. As well as how durable it needs to be to withstand daily wear or if it's for special occasions only.



How can you tell good quality jewellery?

There are several ways to tell if jewellery is good quality or not. Look for pure metals—gold and sterling silver is the best. Hallmarks will indicate the metal's purity and authenticity.

However, if pure gold is out of your budget, vermeil and gold-filled is an affordable alternative. It offers many of the benefits of pure gold at a fraction of the cost. Look for vermeil and gold-fill over sterling silver for high-quality jewellery.

The metal should have smooth, well-finished surfaces without rough edges or irregularities. While gemstones should be vibrant, well-cut, and free from visible flaws. Settings should be secure and prongs should be sturdy and evenly placed.

When looking for good quality jewellery, avoid plated and nickel-filled jewellery as well as plastic accessories.



Tips for Buying Jewellery

5 Things You Must Know Before Buying Jewellery

From style to sizing, this guide to buying jewellery will teach you everything you need to know including the top 5 tips to consider when purchasing new jewellery pieces.



The Right Necklace Length

Buying the correct necklace length will ensure that a necklace sits comfortably on the wearer without feeling too tight or too lose. A short chain can be constricting and may not lay properly, while one that is too long runs the risk of getting tangled or snagged on clothing.

The right length necklace will not only be comfortable to wear but easier to style. Different length chains suit various necklines and will dramatically impact how the jewellery looks when worn with certain outfits.

When choosing a necklace, consider the wearer's style and pick a chain length that will coordinate seamlessly with their wardrobe preferences. For example, longer pendant necklaces accentuate a V-neck or scoop neck. While chokers are better suited to boat neck tops.


The Correct Ring Size

Whether you're buying a ring for yourself or as a gift for someone else, it's crucial to know the correct ring size—especially if it's for a significant event, like a proposal.

Buying an incorrect ring size has the potential to ruin a big moment. Not only will a well-fitted ring guarantee comfort for the wearer. A ring that is too tight will cause discomfort and lead to irritation, while one that is too loose risks slipping off and being lost.

Moreover, getting the size right from the start helps avoid the need for resizing, which can be challenging, costly, and, in some cases, damaging to the jewelry. Ultimately, ensuring the correct ring size is a key aspect of both practical comfort and meaningful symbolism when it comes to buying and wearing jewelry.

To avoid the hassle of returning a ring or having it resized, which can be costly and damaging to the jewellery. Take a ring measurement to ensure you're buying the correct ring size. The easiest way to do this is to measure an existing ring or measure the person's finger using a ring sizer.


Whether to Pick Gold or Silver

Choosing between gold or silver is one of the most important factors to consider when buying jewellery. If you want the jewellery you buy to be worn, you need to take into consideration the wearer's personal style preferences as well as how durable it needs to be.

Many people have a preferences for one metal over another. Gold tends to convey a sense of luxury and is often better suited to warmer skin tones. While silver is sleek and contemporary, suiting cool skin tones. Deciding between the two depends on the wearer's individual taste.

Depending on lifestyle and preferences, the maintenance of each metal can influence the decision-making process. Gold is relatively soft but is less prone to tarnishing. While sterling silver will naturally tarnish over time and require more cleaning. You'll ned to know how to care for jewellery properly to keep it looking its best.


What the Jewellery is Made From

What a jewellery piece is made from is important not only because it will impact its appearance and durability. But it will prevent potential allergic reactions and serious skin irritations.

Some people may be sensitive to certain metals and may even have an allergic reaction to them. It's important to know exactly what a piece of jewellery is made from before purchasing it so you can avoid causing any adverse reactions for the wearer.

Nickel is often used as an alloy and can cause skin irritations while plated metals will cause discolouration of the skin. Gold, vermeil, gold-filled and sterling silver jewellery are all wonderful choices for jewellery as they are naturally hypoallergenic making them ideal for sensitive skin.


If the Jewellery is Sustainable

It's not just the metal a jewellery is made from that is important. Understanding whether jewellery is sustainable has become increasingly more important for environmentally conscious consumers.

The jewellery industry can have a huge environmental and social impact. If you want to buy eco-friendly jewellery that is both sustainable and responsibly-sourced with a minimal impact on the environment, you'll need to know who made the jewellery and how. Packaging is important too as is fair pricing.

Sustainable jewellery prioritises responsible sourcing of metals, ethical labour practices, and environmentally friendly production methods. By choosing to buy from small, independent jewellers who have a commitment to sustainability, you'll be able to buy jewellery that feels as good as it looks to wear!


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Written by Sophie Davies

Sophie is a freelance writer and full-time jeweller. She has been writing about simple living and sustainability for over ten years; exploring simple living, sustainable style, and slow travel. She writes for a variety of brands and publications as well as her personal blog, A Considered Life.

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