I have discovered that the reason I have had so little success at buying jewelry for my wife in the last 16 years is that there is so much I do not know about jewelry and how to shop for it. This is a short list that scratches the surface of what I learned recently in the book “His Guide To Her Jewelry.”
1. Shop all you want but never buy without her. This is rule #1! If the occasion is important and the expected price tag is high, always take her along to make the final purchase. If you want to surprise her give her a gift certificate to her favorite jewelry store for the amount your research deems appropriate jewelry for women. If you don’t, like my wife, she will either not wear it or take it back. Right guys?
2. There are only three occasions that jewelry is the best (and maybe the only) choice to give that special someone. They are Valentine’s Day, her birthday, and Christmas. These are also the three occasions we need some guidance to make sure we buy the right thing, that we don’t over or under spend, and we don’t express the wrong sentiment.
3. Learn about precious metals. All precious and semi-precious stones are set into precious metal settings. Knowing not only what the metals are, but how they are graded as to value, is very important. The four precious metals that are used in jewelry are sterling silver, gold, platinum, and titanium.
4. Choosing a jeweler who has a reputation for honesty is very important when buying a serious piece of jewelry from a jewelry store. How do you know? Well, ask others who have shopped there, ask the jeweler what kind of documentation of authenticity and credentials (like cut, clarity, etc.) he provides, make sure the store’s reputation is a long standing and solid one in the community, and get a report on it from the Better Business Bureau.
5. What techniques were used in the making of the jewelry? The jewelry manufacturing techniques have a great effect on its beauty and durability. Things to consider are how many prongs hold the stone in place, room underneath the stone(s) for easy access when cleaning, the condition of the solder joints, and much more.
6. Warranties and guarantees. Getting these promises in writing is your guarantee that an item will last a long time and be replaced if lost.
7. What to give to whom. Women of different ages like different things. They wear jewelry that befits their ages. Don’t buy a toe ring for grandma (unless you have seen yours wear them of course.)
8. Consider personalized jewelry for that special woman in your life. Personalizing it makes it more special because it is just for her.
9. Shop on the internet. The internet has revolutionized all kinds of shopping. It saves time and the expense of driving from store to store and the increased choices of places to buy lends well to finding the best deal.
10. Take the time to learn the terms used in the industry. What difference does karat quality of gold make? What do the quality markings on platinum mean? Gemstones may be measured by weight, size or both; what difference does it make? What are the four criteria that a diamond’s value is based on? Lots to learn.
It would be nice to have a guide to study before and to take with when men shop for women’s jewelry. I think I found it in “His Guide to Her Jewelry.”