5 Common Jewelry Buying Mistakes to Avoid

5 Common Jewelry Buying Mistakes to Avoid

A versatile jewelry collection is a must-have and is more than simply accessories to enhance your ensemble. The right jewelry showcases your personality, highlights your best features, and makes you feel stylish and confident. When starting your jewelry collection or adding new pieces to your jewelry box, it’s easy to make mistakes like following the latest fad or not choosing a necklace to match your neckline. Start with pieces that are easy to wear, like a diamond pair of studs, and build on your collection by adding more timeless pieces like a diamond pendant, a pearl choker, or luxury watches. Curating the perfect jewelry collection can be overwhelming with the range available on the market today, and it can lead to some common mistakes you should avoid.

1. Following Fads and Trends

Jewelry trends come and go, but timeless pieces remain staples of your accessory wardrobe. Items from luxury watch brands, such as Rolex, Audemars Piguet, and Patek Philippe or well-known jewelry-making houses like Cartier or Van Cleef & Arpels, are sophisticated yet glamorous. These pieces enhance your outfit and hold their value, making them worthwhile investments. Before making a purchase, ask yourself if the piece is limited or timeless. Limited pieces are hot commodities in the short-term and are likely higher in price because they’re currently in demand. However, their allure is short-lived, and they may end up appearing tacky or dated in a few months or years. Fads fade more quickly than trends, so be especially conscious of avoiding purchases that are popular at the moment because they’re a novelty. Pieces that stand the test of time are classics like diamonds, pearls, and colored gemstones. Choose simplicity over something flashy; subtle gold and white gold chains or bracelets are always on-trend. The most beloved classics are often minimalistic and elegant.

2. Choosing the Wrong Necklace Length

Necklaces come in various lengths, ranging from neck-hugging 14″ chokers to luxurious 42″ rope chains. The classic 18″ princess length chain is extremely versatile and flatters nearly every body type, while shorter collar and choker necklaces look great on people with long, slender necks. Long necklaces are ideal as statement pieces to pair with evening wear, but a simple matinee or opera chain with a pendant also complements casual outfits with higher necklines like a turtle neck. If you find a necklace style you love, but the length is too short for your body or neckline, purchase a necklace extender. An extender attaches to the clasp to lengthen the chain and hides easily under your hair.


3. Estimating Your Ring Size

The correct ring size is crucial to ensure your ring fits comfortably and won’t create indentations in your skin. It also prevents the ring from slipping off your finger and becoming lost or damaged. Your ring should fit snugly on your finger but be large enough to glide over your knuckle without resistance. Rings come in sizes between 3 and 14, which equates to a finger circumference between 14mm and 23mm. If you’re buying a ring in-store, the jeweler has a ring sizer that can help you accurately measure your ring size. However, you’ll need to measure your ring size at home for online purchases.

To accurately measure your ring size, take a length of dental floss or string and wrap it around your finger where your ring sits without pulling it taut. Mark the point where the string overlaps with a pen or marker. Measure the string until the mark with a ruler to get your finger circumference in millimeters (mm). Compare the measurement to a ring sizing chart.

4. Not Considering Your Skin Undertone

Skin undertones play a significant role in how well a piece of jewelry suits your complexion. Your skin undertone is different from your skin tone. Your undertone refers to the natural hue underneath your skin’s surface that gives you your natural complexion. Undertones are categorized into warm, cool, and neutral shades. Different precious metals and gemstone colors coordinate better with various skin undertones. Warm skin undertones appear more radiant when you wear yellow or rose gold or gems such as citrine or garnet. People with cool undertones look better in white gold, silver, and gemstones like amethyst or sapphire. If you have a neutral undertone, you can wear both white and yellow metals.

To find your skin undertone, look at the veins on the inside of your forearm under natural sunlight. If they appear blue or purple, you have a cool skin tone. Veins that look greenish indicate you have warm undertones. If you can’t see your veins or they have a similar color to your skin, you have neutral undertones.


5. Failing to Consider the Four Cs

Buying gemstones can be challenging. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) made it easier to source quality gems by developing the Four Cs system of value determination. The Four Cs refer to carats, cut, clarity, and color.

  • Carats. A gemstone’s weight is measured in carats, equivalent to 200 mg. A higher number of carats typically translates to a more valuable stone.
  • The gemstone’s cut refers to both the shape of the gem and the quality of the cut. Gemstones come in numerous shapes, from pear to square to cushion. However, the more facets a gemstone has after the cutting process, the more valuable and sparkly the gem. Round brilliant-cut gems are currently considered the most expensive gem cut, with 58 facets.
  • Clarity. Gemstone clarity refers to the purity of the stone and its unique characteristics, such as flaws or inclusions. For precious gems, the clarity is equivalent to the stone’s transparency, although emeralds have a distinctively low clarity. Semi-precious gems are graded according to their unusual inclusions.
  • Color. Color is the most subjective of gem grading systems. Gems are categorized into color grades from D to Z and into six different intensity levels. D is considered the most valuable, and Z the least.

Understanding the Four Cs allows you to buy the best quality gemstone for your budget, helps you negotiate affordable premiums when insuring your jewelry, and ensures that you don’t pay more than the gem is worth.

Start Shopping for Your Collection

Be selective about the pieces you add to your jewelry collection. Purchase items that last a lifetime and which can be passed down through generations as meaningful family heirlooms.

Avoid impulse buying and take time to think about how each piece complements your natural complexion, whether it’s the correct size, and if it’s a style you’ll enjoy wearing for more than a few months.


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