Newman's nuggets on selecting quality jewelry


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1.  When selecting jewelry, ask jewelers to rate the quality of the craftsmanship and explain their rating. Jewelers that sell well-made jewelry like the opportunity to show why their mountings and settings are better than those of competitors. Their answers will help you learn to judge quality and select a competent jeweler.

2.  Look at the back of the piece. If it looks smooth and cleanly finished, chances are it's well-constructed.  

3.  If there's a clasp, verify that it works. Try to open and close it by yourself a couple times. Listen for the click. Then pull at the clasp gently to see if it comes apart or remains secure.

4.  Check for rough and sharp edges by rubbing the piece lightly against your skin and clothing. 

    5.  Select sturdy mountings for everyday rings and bracelets. Rings that are very thin and bracelets that can bend and dent do not last long. Platinum mountings can normally be thinner and more delicate than those made of gold and silver. This is because platinum is more dense and stronger than most gold and silver alloys.

    6.  Get a detailed receipt. The receipt should include:

      * The identity and purity of the metal(s)

      * The identity and shape of the stones

      * The carat weight of any major stone and the total weight of any smaller stones of each gem type.

      * The treatment status of the major stones---Are the color and clarity natural?  

    7.  Check to see if there’s a karat stamp or fineness mark and a trademark on the piece.  Even though these marks aren’t necessarily a guarantee that the metal content is as stamped, they’re an indication. If you ever decide to resell the piece later on, these marks would be important. To accurately compare prices you must know the gold, platinum or palladium content.

     The trademark is a mark that indicates the manufacturer, importer or seller of an item. In the USA , trademarks must be registered with the Patent and Trademark Office. Any item that has a quality mark should have a registered trademark, which indicates that the manufacturer stands behind its quality mark. If you’d like information and photos on how to read and interpret metal quality marks, consult Newman’s newest book—Gold, Platinum, Palladium, Silver & Other Jewelry Metals. Newman Gem & Jewelry Series Book Links


© Copyright 2020 by Renée Newman

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