Buying jewelry is special for two reasons. The first is sentiment. Jewelry is bought to mark milestone occasions like a wedding, a birth or an engagement. The second is investment. Jewelry is bought as an investment that appreciates over time. Whatever the reason behind buying jewelry, it has always involved physically going to the store, touching and feeling the jewelry before committing to it. With online jewelry shopping seeing a steady upswing in recent times, it has become increasingly clear that this trend is here to stay.
It is also understandable if you are new to the game and are still learning your A-B-Cs of buying jewelry online. We are here to help! Angara brand jewelry has long since been a trusted name in customizing jewelry to your exact design and budget and this is their take on what you need to keep in mind before you buy jewelry online.
The first question that may pop into your mind, is why should you even consider buying jewelry online. For starters, buying at a brick-and-mortar store will cost you more. Jewelers have to rent out spaces, invest in secure storage options for the inventory in the store, and all of the other overhead costs like electricity are levied on the customer. This means there are higher markups on the cost of the jewelry and you end up spending up to 20-30% more. Here are a few other reasons you might want to think about why you should consider online jewelry shopping.
- Online shopping is easy — You can shop for jewelry from the comfort of your couch and buy from sellers that are miles away or even in other countries without stepping foot outside your home. This saves on the leg work you have to do surveying various stores to see which one offers what you require in your jewelry.
- Purchase at lower prices — The concept of online stores has revolutionized the shopping experience. Online jewelers like Angara list products on their website, and only when a customer places an order for a particular product, does it go into production. This lowers the necessity to stock up on inventory that may or may not get sold and reduces the need for secure storage spaces. This also reduces the need for the store to levy extra overheads on its customers, and that means lower cost price.
- Online shopping offers wider choices — Jewelry stores have limited space, which means that they can only securely store a limited number of pieces. This constraint is removed with online jewelry stores. Since the inventory is listed on the website, the stores can actually display a lot more variety, and send the piece for production once the order has been placed.
Research Trusted Jewelry Brands
It always helps to know what you are getting into while buying jewelry online. This is why it is important to do a bit of research into the brands that customize and sell jewelry online. The biggest advantage of online shopping is that you get access to reviews left by customers. Go through the reviews for the stores you are researching, and check the ratings given by customers. The most important factor to consider while online shopping is trust. And this comes with jewelers who have been in the business for a long time, as they have years of experience and the clientele to vouch for them. Make sure the store website always lists a physical address and a customer care number. Give them a call to find out more about the store and how they plan to customize your piece of jewelry. The expertise and the clarity they offer will give you a better idea if they can be trusted.
Understand The Jargon
This may not seem that big of a deal, but it is important to understand what you are paying for. The purity of the precious metal and the gemstone specifications determine the price of the product. Karat is the term used to define the purity of gold, and the purest form is 24K gold. However, pure gold or pure silver is rarely used to make jewelry as they tend to be soft and will lose form easily. So pure gold and pure silver are mixed with other metals like copper to increase their durability and strength. Most jewelry is made from 22K or 18K gold. This means that 22K gold has 91.67% pure gold and the rest is copper, and 18K gold means that 75% of it is pure gold and the rest is copper. Similarly, fine silver is also mixed with other metals like copper to increase its strength and durability. The most commonly used silver is hallmarked 925, which means that 92.5% is pure silver and the rest is other metals. It is always good to understand the hallmarks of the jewelry you purchase, and always get a certificate of authenticity from the jeweler stating the metal and gemstone specifications.
Similarly, it is important to understand the specifications of the gemstone you are buying. The higher the quality of the gemstone, higher the price of your piece of jewelry will be. Here is the simplest way of understanding the 4 C’s that determine the value of a gemstone.
- Carat refers to the weight of the stone, which influences the size.
- Clarity refers to the inclusions or flaws in the stone. Inclusions occur naturally when the stone is formed. Greater the number of inclusions or flaws, lower the cost of the stone.
- Cut refers to the stone’s internal surface proportions and how they have been polished and what symmetry they have. This has a direct significance on the stone’s brilliance, the way it disperses light (fire) and the sparkle of the gem (scintillation).
- Color refers to the hue, saturation and intensity of a gemstone. Purer the color of the gemstone, the higher its value.
Know Your Measurements
When you go shopping at stores, there is always the option of wearing and seeing how it fits and looks against your skin tone. With online shopping, this feature is not available. All jewelry websites offer their own size charts, so keep a tape measure handy and measure your wrists, or finger size or even the length of the necklace you want. It always helps to speak to customer service and be absolutely sure about the sizing. With earrings, you have to keep in mind the shape of your face and the length of your hair and choose accordingly. For instance, round face shapes should opt for drop style earrings, while oval face shapes look best with stud earrings.
Always Ask for a Certificate of Authenticity
A hallmark is the promise of purity of the metal and a certificate of authenticity states the value, size and other specifications of a gemstone. The value stated on these certificates will be used at the replacement value in insurance claims and at the time of reselling. Any authenticity certificate will have the purity grade of the metals used, the year of marking, the mark of the center that is issuing the certificate and the jeweler’s markings will all be mentioned on the certificate of authenticity.
Make Use of Online Deals
Online websites have discounts at specific times in a year. Christmas, New Year and Black Friday sales are some instances where good deals are made available. Survey and compare various websites and see which one gives you the best deal for the design you have in mind. Having said that, do not get distracted by deals and offers and let that not become the focus of your attention while purchasing jewelry online. The point is to get a piece of jewelry that is made exact to your specifications and requirements, with the best possible customer support.
Understand the Store’s Exchange, Return and Refund Policies
Buying a piece of jewelry you have wanted for a long time can prove exciting enough. But many times, when you actually receive and wear the piece, it may fit differently or just not look the way you imagined it. Many stores have a window of time within which you can return or exchange the piece. It is advised to buy from stores that offer a return or exchange option.
Buying jewelry is a great idea as long as you do your research. Understand the terms used, what you are paying for, work with the store to get your exact specifications crafted, and you will always end up with a piece that will make you happy!