It’s the holidays and you want to buy something special for that someone special. Or maybe you just want to buy yourself something special, because . . . . why not? You’re special and you deserve it, damn it. So, of course the first thing that comes to your mind is something shiny, something gold and with a little (or a lot of) ice . . .maybe. Whether you are buying for yourself or for someone else, these are the 3 top things you ought to keep in mind when buying fine gold jewelry.
First and foremost, you should buy something that you like and will like for a long time. Unless you have a lot of disposable cash and can afford to buy fine gold jewelry whenever you like, try to look beyond trends and buy something that you will like not only today and tomorrow, but next year or at least for a couple of years since gold is not cheap. Remember, timeless pieces of gold jewelry remain fashionable for generations. More importantly, fine gold jewelry will not lose value and will likely appreciate with time.
Regardless whether you go for a trendy or timeless piece, possibly the most important consideration of all when buying fine gold jewelry is quality. Fine jewelry should look, well – fine.
In looking for whether a piece of gold jewelry is high quality, I generally look for workmanship, content (gold and gemstone, if any) and comfort. Whether something is solid gold or hollow is an important consideration of workmanship for me. I prefer solid gold as opposed to hollowed out gold because not only will jewelry made from solid gold hold its value better, it will also hold any gemstones that are set in your jewelry piece better. Clean lines and good polish are also things I consider to be part of skilled workmanship.
By content, I mean gemstone and gold quality and quantity. I like to know what the content of my piece of jewelry is. You can look for metal marks on jewelry. For example, 18 Karat gold is marked either with “18K” or 750 because its 75% pure gold and 25% other metals and alloys. The metal mark for 14K gold is “14K’ or 585. A large number of jewelers will provide information relating to gold content and Karat weight, as well as gemstone carat and quality to you. The content factor takes on even more importance when buying online. Look for details such as gemstone total carat weight, gemstone quality, gold weight when you are buying online. See for example, the “Details” tab on our AX Fancy Hoop Series page. If you are buying gold jewelry online and the information is not provided already, request the information from the e-commerce retailer before you buy. Even if the jewelry item I am thinking of buying has small diamonds, I look for at least G color and VS clarity because they maintain their brilliance, don’t look cloudy and dirty and hold value.
Finally, comfort is a critical aspect of quality to me. Fashionable high heels, for instance, are sexy and appealing . . . for a few hours. With fine jewelry, one should be able to live in it, if one so desires. Naturally those massive statement pieces that Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Bulgari make are also fine jewelry, but they are designed to be worn as such – kinda like the fashionable stilettos you wear for a few hours. If you are buying a piece to largely stay in a safe or vault, you can throw this consideration out the window, but if you are looking for fine jewelry that you can wear on a fairly regular basis, comfort is key.
Another significant is the value proposition of the piece of fine jewelry you are buying. Some of us buy products, including fine jewelry, based on whether our favorite celebrity has endorsed it. There is value in that for those buyers. But even if your favorite celebrity is enticing you to buy something, you should also check on the first two considerations noted above because remember, the celebrity is getting paid by the jeweler to endorse their jewelry, you’re not.
Long standing established legacy luxury brands charge a certain premium for their jewelry. These brands have substantial resale value and hence, their prices offer to some a substantial value proposition. You get the cache of wearing a luxury brand, and you could either sell it when you are tired of wearing it or save it for your children or other family members. Beware though – a number of resale and consignment websites take a chunk of the sale price of your luxury piece.
Finally, there are others who find value in substantial unique pieces with high quality content similar to the luxury brands but at reasonable prices.
Whether your value proposition is because your favorite actor or You-Tuber is wearing/endorsing a brand, or because you rely on established luxury brands, or because you introduced your friend to a great new jewelry brand, all of the 3 factors should be considered together when buying fine gold jewelry.