Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Quality Jewelry


I purchase a lot of jewelry and “knock on wood” I’ve had few problems with construction. I’ve heard horror stories so I know that I am lucky. The worst stories that I’ve heard involve losing a diamond from the setting. This is a problem that can break a woman’s heart. Usually the diamond is from a wedding or engagement ring and to lose it is not only expensive but depressing. Who wants to lose part of a symbol of your love?


While a delicate chain can be attractive, how strong are the attachments?
Buying quality jewelry can alleviate some of the problem but not always. Damage can occur at any time regardless of the money spent. What you want to do is know the signs of quality. While I dislike too many prongs on a ring they do make sense. Prongs are what hold the stone in place. These prongs can take a lot of abuse so it’s wise to get them checked regularly to make sure they’re still holding. Softer metals such as gold can wear quicker than silver or platinum so a mounting made entirely of 18kt gold can create its own problems.


Inspect the links and check for gaps
Expensive metals and diamonds do not necessarily make for quality jewelry. I’ve seen wonderful craftsmanship using stainless steel and cubic zirconia. I’ve also seen rings made of gold that were so thin their ability to hold anything, including their shape was called into question. Delicate jewelry is fine but you have to ask the question of whether or not it will hold together.  While you should always buy jewelry you love, wider, solidly built jewelry does have durability on its side.


Beautiful workmanship, Gabrielle Bruni Blue Topaz Bracelet
I’ve found over the years that good craftsmanship trumps precious metals and stones. Look at the finish, is it smooth? Do the pieces fit together without gaps, do decorative features line up? Are the stones centered, is the piece evenly weighted? Generally a close inspection can and will reveal flaws in construction. If a piece feels flimsy it probably is and won’t meet your expectations. You don’t need to be an expert to determine if a piece of jewelry will stand the test of time. Careful inspection and common sense can weed out poor manufacturing and shoddy workmanship every time. Just take your time and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

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