How to Buy Gold Jewelry

Whether you are shopping for a special occasion or treating yourself, purchasing gold jewelry can be a delightful experience. Gold is a precious metal that retains its value. It is also durable and will last indefinitely with proper care. However, buying gold jewelry can also be expensive. The price of gold varies greatly, depending on weight, karat and where you make your purchase. Because this special purchase is an investment that can last a lifetime, learning how to buy gold jewelry will help you find quality pieces that will bring years of enjoyment.

Steps

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    Research and understand the karat amounts in gold jewelry and how that will affect the price and durability of each piece your are considering for purchase.
    • Gold is measured in karats, with 24 karat gold being pure. However, gold in its purest form is soft, so it is commonly mixed with base metals such as copper, silver, nickel or zinc to make jewelry.
    • For example, 10 karat gold is 10 parts gold and 14 parts base metal. Most jewelry is made in 10, 14 and 18 karat measurements. Higher karat weights are more expensive, and also softer.
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    Familiarize yourself with karat markings. Most pieces of gold jewelry are stamped with the specific karat quality, called a hallmark.
    • The hallmark is usually found on the inside part of each piece, and will indicate the gold content. For example, 14k for 14 karat gold.
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    Consider the weight of gold and how that effects the cost and durability before purchasing gold jewelry.
    • Gold jewelry is usually weighed in grams. The higher the gram weight, the more expensive the piece.
    • Heavier, thicker pieces of gold jewelry also withstand daily wear and tear, especially in rings and bracelets.
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    Decide on the color of gold jewelry you prefer before shopping for gold jewelry.
    • Though yellow gold is very popular, you can also find gold jewelry in white, rose and even designer colors such as brown, green and blue.
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    Visit different shops to find pieces you may want to buy.
    • Though jewelry stores are the most common places to shop for gold jewelry, nice pieces can also be found in pawn shops and by shopping online.
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    Ask the jewelry or salesperson about return policies and certificates of authenticity when purchasing gold jewelry.
    • This will protect you as the consumer should you need to return your jewelry.
    • In addition, having a certificate of authenticity ensures that you are purchasing a quality piece of solid gold jewelry. It should also indicate the value of the piece.

Tips

  • When learning how to buy gold jewelry, keep in mind that higher karat quality makes the pieces more vulnerable to damage with regular wear. Pieces such as rings and bracelets that are likely to be bumped and scratched are sturdier when purchased in 14 or 10 karat gold.
  • Gold jewelry may also be plated or filled. Keep in mind that this is a coating of gold over base metal, and is not solid gold jewelry. Solid gold refers to any piece that is of a specific karat weight.
  • Jeweler's scales are available to check the weight of gold pieces. If you are shopping for gold jewelry at pawn or thrift shops, consider purchasing a jeweler's scale to take along with you to help you to determine gold weight and the appropriate prices.

Warnings

  • It is not required by law for gold jewelry to have a karat quality stamp or hallmark. If your selection is not stamped, ask the salesperson or jewelry to guarantee that it is solid gold. Do not purchase the piece if you have concerns about its authenticity.
  • When shopping for gold rings, do not purchase pieces that have very thin bands. Wear and tear can cause breakage on delicate pieces worn on the hand.

Things You'll Need

  • Jewelry shops
  • Jeweler's scale

Article Info

Categories: Personal Accessories and Jewelry