Tuesday, April 17, 2012

10 Cost Saving Tips for Buying Wedding Jewelry

You want to take your time and get yourself educated when you search for wedding jewelry. It's a major investment and you want jewelry that will be super special for a super special person. After you  purchase wedding jewelry whether it be a diamond engagement ring, wedding bands, loose gemstones, hair pieces, brooches, necklace, bracelets, earrings, or even a tiara, it's always a good idea to take a photograph of the jewelry and get it evaluated and get it appraised. You should get insurance for the jewelry in the event it should ever get lost or stolen.

When it comes to your wedding dress and bridesmaid dresses you want a look of chemistry. All your jewelry should harmonize with the type of wedding dress such as a pearl or rhinestone choker would look stunning with a strapless bodice. From your head to your toes all jewelry should be made using matching metals and gemstones. The following are 10 tips for buying wedding jewelry.

Tip 1 - Learn the 4 C's of Diamond Buying
The first thing you need to do is learn the 4 C's of buying diamonds. You are shelling out a lot of money for a very special gift. There are many unscrupulous jewelers out there, you need to do your homework before you begin your search for a jeweler. By understanding the 4 C's of jewelry which are "cut", "carat", "color, and "clarity" you increase your chances tremendously of getting a beautiful diamond at a fair price and not be ripped off.

The first important factor is the "cut". The cut is the shape of the diamond, different cuts have different costs, a round cut tends to be more expensive than the other cuts. The second important factor is "carat". The carat tells about the weight of the diamond. A carat equals 200 milligrams. The pricing to weight on diamonds are not one to one. The pricing of diamonds tends to be tiered and bumps to a higher price once the carat weight reaches a specified threshold.

The third important factor of diamonds is "color" of the diamond. The clearer the diamond the more expensive. White is a little less expensive and the cheapest diamonds are yellow. Usually top notch jewelers have a special device that you can match up with the diamond to match what color it's graded at. This chart looks similar to a color chart dentist's use for matching with teeth color. There are exceptions to the rule of finding a clear diamond, for instance a blue diamond is a very valuable and very rare. The fourth important characteristic of diamonds is "clarity". Clarity is concerned with the absence or presence of flaws inside or outside the diamond. Typically the diamond should be viewed through a jeweler's loupe or jeweler's binocular microscope to analyze the flaws.

Tip 2 - Use an Independent Appraiser and Don't Buy a Diamond Without a GIA
It's all apart of buying diamonds. With most good jewelers, they will allow you to bring an independent appraiser to evaluate the diamond to get an independent opinion of the value of your diamond. It's best to not to use the jeweler's appraiser, they may be a little biased on evaluating the diamond. Look for an appraiser from another jewelry store and find one with a lot of experience, it takes lots of knowledge and find someone who has evaluated hundred of diamonds. Also be sure the diamond has a GIA certificate, GIA is an abbreviation of the Gemological Institute of America. The GIA certificate should go with each each diamond and maps out the characteristics of the diamond and includes information regarding the 4 C's of diamond buying. Always keep the certificate with the diamond or in a safe secure spot. Also when you buy a diamond make sure there is a guarantee, a good return policy, and the willingness of the jeweler to buy the diamond back for a specified period.

Tip 3 - Check Your Jeweler Out
Most jewelers are honest and will give you a fair deal but beware there are unscrupulous jewelers that may take you for a ride and rip you off. Check out the jeweler, check with the better business bureau to see if there are any complaints against a company or individual, good jewelers tend to have a nice website and they tend to keep their place of business immaculate, they tend to have an assortment of diamonds. You want a jeweler who is a licensed gemologist in appraising jewelry. Watch and see how the jeweler handles customers, does the business stay kind of busy and is the sales person informative, friendly, helpful, or are they pushy and manipulative. Be sure to meet with a number of jewelers before buying wedding jewelry so you have jewelry to compare with and get wedding jewelry at a fair price.

Tip 4 - Purchase a Setting Featuring Smaller Stones
If the budget is an issue, the size of the diamond is exponential in price. You can either buy a big diamond and pay a lot or you can buy much smaller diamonds that would be a lot less in price. You can save a lot of money if you buy smaller diamonds and you make intricate designs in your wedding ring. If the budget is an issue, create a wedding ring with smaller diamonds or have the wedding ring made of other gemstones that the bride also adores.

Tip 5 - Buy the Ring Together 
Many brides are picky, if you get a ring she does not adore, she may be very disappointed and always have that disappointment in the back of her head. Many brides are happy with almost any choice of a wedding ring but with some if you don't buy a ring she adores, your wedding might not get off to the start you were seeking. You have two choices, look at jewelry together, notice the gemstones, metal, styles of other jewelry she wears or spend some time letting her look at jewelry herself and take note of jewelry that she likes. The other choice is using a temporary engagement ring and go looking for an engagement ring or wedding ring together. When she chooses a wedding ring herself, you can be sure she is getting a diamond ring she really likes. Does she choose a round diamond, pear-shaped diamond, emerald cut or does she like the diamond into the shape of a heart? What type metal is the wedding band she likes? What type of mounting does she like, a lower mounting or a higher mounting? And what should be the engraving on the ring? Many grooms like to surprise the bride on their engagement or wedding ring. Sometimes it works out, but to be safe you are much better off buying rings together to be sure you are getting a ring she adores.

Tip 6 - Avoid Brand Name Jewelers
The brand name jewelers tend to have huge markups on their jewelry. Big name jewelers include Kay, Jared, Zales, and Tiffany. Often you will see brand name jewelers appear on television commercials. Yes they have beautiful jewelry and they have very experienced staff. The thing you are overpaying on the jewelry they are offering. When you buy their jewelry you are helping to pay for all their advertising, you are paying for all their overhead in their beautiful store, and you are paying for corporate overhead. Most cities have a jewelry part of town in which there are numerous jewelry businesses. You should find good jewelers there and you can buy your wedding jewelry that are a lot less expensive. Find a jeweler that has been in the business for a significant amount of time, runs an organized store, are certified, and is in good standing.

Tip 7 - Buy a Wedding Band to your Affordability
You have a number of choices when it comes to wedding bands. Remember you are buying a wedding band that you expect to be worn for the rest of your lives. You should try to find a wedding band that fits comfortably on each of your fingers. You want a wedding band that is fashionable, will fit in with the type of lifestyle you lead, such as an adventurous type, or someone that enjoys the beach or scuba dives. The wedding band should be able to withstand the environment a person is exposed to a lot.

As with the material of the wedding band, the most expensive is platinum. There also is yellow gold and a little expensive than that is white gold. Generally these metals are available in 9k, 10k, 14k, and 18k. Wedding bands are also made with sterling silver, titanium, tungsten, and stainless steel. To get a good deal you might consider buying wedding bands online from a reputable company and buy your diamonds and gemstones separately and then find a jeweler who will mount the stone on a wedding band for you. Some reputable companies that sell wedding bands are www.weddingbandswholesale.com , http://www.iweddingband.com/ , and weddingbandsuperstore.com .

Tip 8 - Look for Jewelry from Estate Sales and Pawn Shops
Buying jewelry from estate sales has many advantages. Often you can find extraordinary rare or antique jewelry or antique jewelry at wholesale rates or at heavily discounted prices. Estate sales are usually advertised in newspapers and invetsment buyers flock to the event in the hopes of finding exceptional pieces. Often estate sales happen when the owner of a house dies and the assets of the home are sold and the pieces are liquidated for inheritance of family members. Also estate sales happen with owners who are down sizing and moving to a small property or find themselves in a financial crisis, needing money quickly and to need to sell items such as jewelry quickly, and sometimes pieces of jewelry might be sold at unbelievably low prices.

Buying jewelry from a pawn shop, you can find jewelry that is often inexpensive, but you need to learn the fine art of haggling, one must learn the basics of what jewelry is worth and what the market rates are. Certain pieces of jewelry you can analyze online and look at comparable pieces from other jewelry stores. Many times you can bargain back and forth on the price of a jewelry piece. Pawn shops sometimes have discount sales, ask the store if they have discount sales coming up. Pawn shops and the police have teamed up in recent years to team up to share information of pieces purchased by the pawn shop in order for the store to be protected from thievery and bringing in hot items. Pawn shops put much of their pieces in good storage to protect their valuables to retain the value of their assets.

Tip 9 - Use a Jeweler's Loupe or Jeweler's Binoculars to Evaluate Jewelry
A jeweler's loupe is simply a specific type of magnifer used in the jewelry industry. It is an invaluable tool to check for diamonds and gemstones for scratches and chips to examine inclsions on these stones more closely. The loupe becomes more valuable as you learn how to use it. The gemologists recommend using the "triplet" 10x which magnifies the stone 10 times. You can find loupes at many optical supply stores, many loupes can be purchased between $5 and $40 cost. When using the jeweler's loupe it is recommended to keep the loupe about one inch from the eye and one inch from the object and to examine the object at various angles and turning the object slowly. A good jeweler would be more than happy to teach you how to use the jeweler's loupe. If you are in the search for a beautiful diamond it's a wise investment to pick up a jeweler's loupe in the search for your perfect diamond for your honey. A jewelers binoculars is very similiar to use such as a microscope.

Tip 10 - Create your Own Wedding Jewelry
If you want your wedding jewelry unique, why not create your own wedding jewelry. First you need a concept of what you want your jewelry to look like. You next want pictures or sketches of the jewelry you want to create. You then want to find a jewelry designer to create the jewelry, next you want a wax model of the wedding jewelry and finally from a cad image create the jewelry using the metals and gemstones you have decided to go with. There is a recommended website called http://www.jamesallen.com/ that can help you out a lot creating your own wedding jewelry.

When you are buying wedding jewelry, it's similar to buying a car, you most often can bargain down the price, sometimes it's not buying wedding jewelry the first day you go to a jewelry store, sleep on it. Make sure you find a good dealer and then find a good appraiser to evaluate the jewelry you are interested in. When you buy good wedding jewelry, remember you are also buying an investment. If you learn all about wedding jewelry and learn the 4 C's of diamond buying, you aren't throwing away money, you are buying an investment and investing in a happy marriage.

See you on the other side!

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