Worried that online jewellery shopping is unsafe? Have concerns about quality? Rest your fears. Gone are the days when buying jewellery online meant going to your trusted family jeweller. With great deals on precious jewellery at your fingertips, don’t miss out on making the most of online jewellery shopping. Keep this checklist at hand and enjoy a sparkling shopping experience!
Diamonds – Online Jewellery Shopping Guide
Diamonds are governed by the 4 Cs: cut, carat, color and clarity. It’s important to consider all these factors when purchasing a diamond. Cut refers to the brilliance of a diamond—the amount of light that it reflects. A diamond’s brilliance is directly proportional to its cost. Carat is a measure of its weight. Heavier diamonds are more expensive. The color of a diamond actually represents the degree to which it is colorless: the less color, the more its value. And finally, clarity means the amount of irregularities and blemishes a diamond has—both internal (impurities) and external (scratches on the surface). Needless to say, the lower the clarity, the lower the price.
Make sure that any diamond you by has a valid certification from an authorized organization like GIA, AGS, IGI, EGL, etc. Another way to protect yourself is to make sure you get it insured.
Diamond buying tip: To lower the cost of your diamond, make sure its carat is slightly less than the one you desire. This will ensure a lower cost, while making sure that it looks almost the same.
Pearls – Online Jewellery Shopping Guide
Pearls can be natural or cultured and are available in two basic types: saltwater (white pearls—the most common being Japanese Akoya + black or grey pearls) and freshwater pearls (pink pearls).
The larger the pearl, the more expensive it will be. When going in for a pearl necklace, it’s wise to buy one with varied pearl sizes, in order to balance the overall price and to end up with an attractive necklace, too!
Luster refers to the amount of light that is reflected from a pearl — those with a higher luster indicate that they will be on the expensive side. When pearls appear too white, it means that they are of a low luster.
Pearls with a smoother surface are generally more valuable. Shape-wise, the rounder a pearl, the higher its value.
Make sure that the pearl you purchase is certified by an authority like the GIA.
Pearl buying tip: a pearl’s overtone refers to the secondary hue that runs over its body color. There are three: rose, silver or green. The rose or silver variety tend to be aesthetically more appealing and thus more expensive.
Gems – Online Jewellery Shopping Guide
The GIA developed the 4Cs to determine the value of a gem. There are a variety of gems that are found naturally—rubies, emeralds, sapphires, etc.
Carat refers to the weight of a gemstone — the heavier the stone, the more expensive it will be. Most gemstones differ in density and that’s exactly why some gemstones, even with a higher carat value, may be of differing sizes.
Cut refers to the quality and style in which the stone is cut. Most gems are cut aesthetically as per the design of the ornament. A quality cut ensures that the color of the stone is accentuated and carat increased.
The clarity of the gem refers to the internal and external irregularities in the stone, which determine its transparency. A gem can be transparent, translucent or opaque. The higher the transparency, the more valuable the stone. However, there are some gems that are less translucent in nature and still command a higher price—like emeralds.
The final C, color, depends on the personal perception of the buyer. There are times when a single stone can emit two-three different colors at the same time. The color of a gem is made of three different aspects: the hue, saturation or intensity (neutral to vivid) and the tone (light to dark).
Gem buying tip: The most precious gems appear translucent. They are found in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar, and Australia.
Metals – Online Jewellery Shopping Guide
The three major precious metals are gold, silver and platinum.
The gold usually used in crafting jewellery is an alloy (an amalgam of various metals). This is because pure gold is too soft, hence not ideal, in making jewellery. Gold is therefore mixed with metals like copper and zinc to make an alloy to design jewellery. The purity of gold, i.e. its karat, is a measure of the amount of gold in this alloy. While 24 karat means it is 100% gold, 18 karat contains 75% gold and is best suited for precious jewellery. Gold jewellery comes in three different colors depending on the metal it is alloyed with: yellow gold (usually mixed with copper or silver), white gold (mixed with silver or palladium – usually of a lower price), and rose gold (mixed with copper).
Silver, like gold, is too soft to make jewellery in its natural form. That’s why it is alloyed with copper to make jewellery. The most used type is sterling silver, containing 92.5% silver, which commands the highest price in the jewellery market.
Platinum is a naturally white metal that is eternal, durable and immune to tarnish. It can be alloyed with palladium, rhodium, copper or cobalt. A unique aspect of this metal is that it is hypoallergenic, meaning that it doesn’t react to skin, thus making it the metal of choice for men and women with sensitive skin. It complements diamonds beautifully and together make for beautiful jewellery. Platinum is slowly making its way into the Indian market, which was earlier consumed by gold.
Precious metal buying tip: While investing, precious metals (especially gold), are the preferred option because they have a high resale value compared to precious stones.
Now that you’re in the know, get started with online jewellery shopping here.