Spend Smart on Jewelry at Any Price Point

by Gina Blitstein · 0 comments

Jewelry is an investment, regardless of your accessory-buying budget. Whether you buy fashionable costume jewelry to coordinate with your wardrobe or invest in timeless pieces of fine jewelry, your dollars should be spent with ample consideration. No matter your jewelry preferences or financial circumstances it’s best to buy pieces that serve their purpose well, get worn regularly and look great on you. Otherwise, no matter how much you pay, it’s money wasted.

General Jewelry-Buying Guidelines

When purchasing jewelry, regardless of price point, consider:

Your jewelry as a “wardrobe” – Think of your jewelry collection as a, “work in progress.” Begin with basic, classic pieces in plain metals, neutrals and colors you wear often. Build your wardrobe over time, gradually adding pieces to fill in the gaps. It’s better to have something, “plain,” yet appropriate, for a variety of occasions than to have only one “mood” represented.

Quality over quantity – Even when you buy costume jewelry, buy the best quality you can afford. Look for construction details that demonstrate that the piece will be durable and retain its attractiveness.

Versatility – Look for pieces that can be worn in casual as well as more formal situations. Pieces that are all one or the other will sit, unworn, for long periods of time.

Your lifestyle – Choose jewelry that fits your lifestyle. Dainty, fragile pieces may be unsuitable if you live a very active, physical lifestyle.

Pieces that fit you as you are:

  • Coloring- Determine whether you look best in gold- or silver-toned jewelry, based upon your skin tone.
  • Face shape – To accentuate the shape of your face, match the shape of your jewelry to it. To detract from your face shape, wear jewelry that’s opposite your face shape.
  • Accentuate your assets – Wear bright and/or light-colored jewelry on those areas to which you want attention (and eyes) drawn.
  • Scale – Match the size of your jewelry to the scale of your body. Large pieces will dwarf a small frame; petite pieces will be lost on a larger one.

Once you have a strong jewelry foundation of basics, you can build upon it, incorporating more of your personal style, preferred colors, favorite materials and individualized fashion elements.

Understanding the Terminology of Fine Metals

When considering a piece of jewelry in a fine metal, like gold or silver, it’s important to understand what you’re actually getting:

Gold – Pure gold is 24 karat (k) and is too soft for jewelry-making purposes. It’s mixed with other metals, to strengthen it enough to make jewelry, creating an alloy. When 10k of 24k gold is replaced by other metals, 14k gold is created. A more economical alternative to 14k gold is 10k gold, which contains more metals, making it even more durable and only slightly less brilliant. “White gold” is the same 14k or 10k gold mixed with nickel and zinc and coated in rhodium for a whiter appearance.

Silver – Pure (fine) silver, is soft and easily damaged; it’s usually combined with other metals to make it durable for jewelry-making. “Sterling silver” is commonly used for jewelry, and consists of 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper.

Plate – Because precious metals are expensive, a more affordable solution to enjoy their beauty and brilliance is to plate – or coat – common metals with a layer of gold or silver. If cared for properly, plated jewelry can last and retain its beauty for a long time.

By knowing what comprises good quality jewelry and how to choose what suits you best, you’ll be able to build a gorgeous, functional wardrobe of pieces that will enhance your appearance without frivolous or wasteful spending.

Bonus Tip:

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