5 Things You Must Consider Before Purchasing Jewellery *

-This post is in collaboration-

Whether you’re buying jewellery as a gift or simply treating yourself, there are a number of things you must consider before going ahead and making that purchase.

  1. Where Does The Jewellery Come From? 

One of the most important things you should be aware of when purchasing jewellery is where it comes from i.e. its source. It’s especially important nowadays to look for recycled, fair-trade pieces of jewellery. With this in mind, do your research and opt for ethical manufacturers, such as Duxford Studios, who pride themselves on using only ethically sourced materials. 

You also want to ensure that you are buying ‘conflict-free’ stones. ‘Conflict diamonds’ refer to the stones which are sold on the black market by rebel or terrorist groups, so that they can fund their illegal activities. Therefore, make sure you’re buying from a legitimate seller and their diamonds have been produced in line with the International Kimberley Process. 

  1. What Is The Purpose Of The Purchase?

When choosing your jewellery, ask yourself a few questions - why am I buying this? Will I wear this daily or is it for a one-off event? 

Opting for wacky designs or choosing a style on trend at that time is a great idea when you are shopping with one specific event or season in mind. But if you’re looking for a long-lasting piece you will regularly wear with most of your outfits, you might want to go for something a little more simple that will go with everything. 

A good trick to determine whether you’ll get enough use out of the jewellery is to try and picture at least 5-10 outfits you can wear the piece with before deciding if you should buy it. If you do manage to picture these, you’ll know it’s actually worth an investment – especially if it’s a bit on the pricier side. There’s nothing worse than spending a hefty amount of money on something that you’ll wear once then ends up collecting dust at the back of your jewellery box. 

  1. What Materials Do You Want?

You should also be thinking about the materials you want. Familiarise yourself with commonly used materials like sterling silver, gold and platinum and learn how to identify the purity of each metal via hallmarks. 

Each piece of precious metal jewellery will have a hallmark stamped into the metal which is basically a legal guarantee of the precious metal content of your jewellery. For example, 925 represents sterling silver (92,5 % silver, 7,5% other alloys) while 999 is fine silver, which is very soft and prone to scratching.

Silver is the most affordable precious metal and is best suited to occasional wear such as fashion accessories. Vermeil gold looks gold and has a sterling silver hallmark, as they are mainly made from sterling silver which is covered in a durable layer of gold.

Gold is a little more expensive than silver but much harder wearing. Gold comes in a number of different colours: white, yellow and rose gold. It also comes in different purities – from cheaper 9K gold to more expensive 18K gold.

Platinum is the toughest precious metal of them all, however, it is also the most expensive. Platinum is perfect for heirloom jewellery, such as engagement, wedding and eternity rings.

If you have sensitivities, it’s important to avoid nickel, which is most commonly found in cheaper jewellery items. Always check that the jewellery you’re purchasing is hypoallergenic or nickel free. 

  1. Don’t Guess Your Size

This is especially important if you’re looking to purchase a ring. This is because rings are hard to buy (especially if you’re buying for other people), and can easily end up in disappointment if they don’t fit. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to make sure you're buying the right size:

  1. Measure the ring with a ring sizer. 

  2. Find an existing ring that fits the finger in question and use a ring sizer app or a ruler to measure the diameter to find the size of the ring.

  3. Visit your local high street jeweller and ask them to measure the finger you're buying a ring for. This is probably the best option if you’re buying for yourself. 

  1. Think About Skin Tone

Did you know that the undertone of your skin is one of the best factors to determine whether or not your look will be complimented or drained by wearing a certain type of metal. 

Take a look at your skin tone and determine whether you are cool toned (pinkish or rosy-red undertones) or warm toned (yellow or golden-apricot undertones). If you’re cool toned, you are generally more suited to silver and white metals such as silver, white gold, platinum, stainless steel, and titanium.  If you have a warmer skin tone, brown and yellowish metals like yellow gold, brass, pewter, and copper will be better suited to your skin.

Written by Kate on behalf of contemporary wearable art creator - Duxford Studios.