Shopping for jewelry for a loved one ahead of Valentine’s Day can be stressful. But learning some tricks should help anyone have an easier time finding the perfect gift. That means understanding a partner’s tastes, shopping at reputable jewelry stores and learning what the wording means in terms of how gemstones are graded.
And there’s plenty of opportunity to haggle for the best price.
Start researching with time to spare, figure out how much you want to spend, and shop to take advantage of post-holiday sales or limited-time Valentine’s Day deals.
Here are some tips:
KNOW YOUR LOVED ONE’S TASTE
Look at what your partner is wearing and what’s in the jewelry box. If your special someone likes small earrings, don’t get big hoops. And if that person is active, don’t buy rings with high settings. Among the trends this year: updated classics like hoop earrings with diamond chips, or layering rings or bracelets. If you plan to buy diamonds, see if there’s a way, subtly to find out if your partner would rather sacrifice size over quality or vice versa.
DO RESEARCH AND LEARN THE LINGO
Check out online retail sites for help understanding key terms like what clarity means when you are talking about diamonds, or want to know more about how gemstones are graded.
CHECK FOR PURITY
No matter from where you buy your gold jewellery, get a purity check done. Most jewellers have purity machines installed in their stores for purity check. You can get it tested before buying.
ASK ABOUT A WARRANTY
Reputable jewelers typically offer warranties and some kind of return policy. Warranties will add to the cost but may be a good idea for an expensive piece or one that is made of highly pure gold, because of the risk of damage. Make sure to ask about this before your purchase.
TAKE PRECAUTIONS AGAINST FRAUD
First, be cautious about a store always offering discounts of more than 50 percent. Consumers may find the discount price is actually the average retail price elsewhere. Buy from a trusted retailer. Ask friends for recommendations, or go to websites that lets you search for reputable jewelry stores by ZIP code.
As for diamonds, consumers should insist a stone be accompanied by an independent grading report from a respected lab
Also, check out the return policy and find out whether you’d get your money back or would have to exchange an item for credit.
CONSIDER SYNTHETIC DIAMONDS
If you want something sparkly but want to avoid gems from conflict zones, synthetic or man-made diamonds are about 20 percent to 40 percent less expensive. Produced in a laboratory, they are chemically the same as mined diamonds, as opposed to simulated diamonds, which are usually cubic zirconia or moissanite. While a gemologist wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between mined and synthetic diamonds, a jeweler needs to tell buyers the origin.
Not interested in spending a lot but still want good quality? Consider estate sales. Or if you think your partner would want to try out pieces for a while, there are rental jewelry subscription services too.