Most people who go into a jewelry store to look for a gift know absolutely nothing about the item they’re about to purchase. Perhaps some people have a passing knowledge of stone size, carats, stone clarity, and quality, but it typically doesn’t get them very far.
Most of the time, the person buying the jewelry is a lost boyfriend or husband trying to impress his lady with the perfect stone. While he has the added advantage of any jewelry being special in the eyes of most women, being thorough and knowledgeable about his purchase is going to be far more of a challenge.
The best thing you can do if you’re in that situation is to educate yourself about basic gemstone and diamond quality facts, and the simple science of what makes them valuable.
Once you’ve done that, you’ve got to know the non-stone related elements of buying jewelry.
These would include who you’re buying for, ring size and the store’s return policy. We’ll cover these items one at a time.
Knowing the Facts
Regardless of who you’re buying for, you need to go into the situation with some basic knowledge about the following things pertaining to diamonds:
- Carat Weight– Essentially the weight of the diamond.
- Clarity Grading – How free the diamond is of blemishes and inclusions.
- Color – The “tint” of the diamond.
- Cut– Basic shape, but more essentially the proportions.
Diamonds are the more complex jewelry topic, so if you’re just going after gold or gemstones, you’ll have an easier time sorting out the science.
Don’t stress yourself out trying to educate yourself, but just make sure you know the basics, so you can at least know what questions to ask the jeweler or attendant. They’ll be better able to help you if you come armed with some pre-acquired knowledge.
While getting a ring re-sized is a common practice (and oftentimes free of charge), it’s not the best thing to have to happen after you give someone a beautiful ring that they’ll want to wear right away. You obviously won’t have this problem with necklaces or earrings, but if you’re getting someone a ring, try this method:
Find a ring that they already wear and trace the inside of the ring on a sheet of paper. Try to get as close to the ring’s base as you can.
When you go into the jewelry store, take that paper with you and tell the attendant what you did. They’ll have a sizing chart that you can use to determine which size ring would be the best fit.
Make sure you have a dialogue about the store’s return policy before you finalize your purchase. The clerk who is helping you will usually be happy to give you the details. Many jewelry stores even offer free cleanings and stone replacement policies that you’ll want to keep in mind.
It varies from place to place, so just make sure you ask before you purchase!
Put the finishing touches on it by adding a nice gift bag for the jewelry that will already come in a box. In some instances, it’s fine to just stick with the box, but having the gift bag is a nice touch.
Buying jewelry doesn’t have to be as much of a clueless venture as it often is. Just take the time to know your stuff ahead of schedule, and you’re sure to impress with your purchase, no matter who it’s for.
This article is contributed by Marcela De Vivo.