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It’s hardly surprising that jewelry is the favorite accessory. For women, and men, it’s a way to express personal style, affection, and financial status. It’s mesmerizing when the dealer presents you with dazzling diamonds and shiny pearls, meticulously placed within the jewelry drawer dividers. Everything seems dreamy until reality hits with the price. Inevitably raising the question, is it worth it? Before making a costly mistake, here are a few tips to build confidence in your purchasing decision.

Buying Vintage 

Modern jewelry stores carry an infinite supply of costume jewelry, synthetic gems, and cultured pearls. Shopping in a niche market, however, is very different than that of a modern retail store. The supply of high profile vintage jewelry decreases every year, while the demands for historic brands continue to increase. This disparity causes a spike in the prices. To learn the accurate price for a vintage piece, research auction results for similar items. If you’re not sure how to find them, ask a trusted jeweler.

Determining Quality

In the jewelry market, the tiniest enhancements are capable of creating a dramatic difference in the price. These details are difficult to identify, especially to those with little experience. As an example, for hundreds of years, people practice heating stones to augment the color. Unheated stones are worth upwards to twenty times more than heated stones. It is highly unlikely to pinpoint one stone from the other just by simply looking at it. The recommended approach to learning about the quality is to directly ask about it. Uncertain about which questions to ask? Bring some back up with you. Take along a knowledgable friend or expert for a second opinion.

Requesting Certificates of Authenticity  

Always ask for a certificate of authenticity. Ensure the reputability of the lab certification. The Gemology Institute of America is one of the most trusted sources to obtain a certificate. The gemological identity, quality, grade, origin, and modifications should all be verified. Taking note of the gem’s origin is particularly important since some areas are known for their excellent quality. Another factor to consider is the date of authenticity. During the last few years, vast improvements were made to lab technologies. A certificate dated a decade ago is unacceptable. Current technology is able to prove erroneous findings from ten years ago, such as incorrect geographical origins. As stated earlier, the location of a gem’s origin can impact the quality, which determines the price.

Buying jewelry becomes more of a fun experience when you are confident in your knowledge of the product. The higher the price, the more well versed you should be.

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