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Jewellery Buyer's Guide

Created on March 2010 - by EditPlace Jewellery Buyer's Guide

All women love jewellery and there is one to suit every woman. Whether you wish to buy it as a present or just to please yourself, here at Kelkoo’s, you have a multitude of shapes, styles and materials to choose from. What kind of woman are you? What kind of woman are you going to gift this piece of jewellery to? It is essential to ask oneself these questions before selecting a piece of jewellery. Classic or modern? Are you looking for something original or would you rather go with something simple and elegant?

To choose confidently, learn to recognise the features of a piece of jewellery. You must understand the hallmarks and carats before gifting a silver ring or a gold set. This guide helps find answers to all your questions on jewellery and select the right piece.

1 - Jewellery to highlight your style

For a refined and classy look that will never go out of fashion

If you are (or she is) rather traditional, choose jewellery in gold or silver set with precious stones such as sapphires, rubies and of course diamonds, which match all kinds of outfits. You could also (she could) use these jewels for all occasions and enjoy their never-dying charm. A necklace of natural pearls or diamond studs can be worn with everything and elegantly enhances your look. For something more discrete, you can decide between a gold chain with a classic pendant like a solitaire or a pendant with a cultured pearl to match the earrings.

  1. Diamond rings
    From £32 Compare Prices »
  2. Diamond earrings
    From £11 Compare Prices »
  3. Necklace with cultured pearls
    From £24 Compare Prices »

Brushed metal, vintage silver: glittering fashionista

If you have more style and your wardrobe follows what’s in fashion, you can opt for jewellery in silver or in white gold. They are less classic than gold jewellery and they’re always in vogue. A simple silver bracelet is an indispensable accessory to bring some glamour into one’s look. You can team it with a ring with synthetic stones to go with your outfit. Furthermore, lightly oxidised silver has a vintage touch which is always in fashion. There is also brushed metal jewellery, such as round or square rings that can be adjusted to fit the finger size. Simple and elegant, they add a modern and original touch.

  1. Silver bracelets
    From £2 Compare Prices »
  2. Silver earrings
    From £3 Compare Prices »
  3. Silver rings
    From £2 Compare Prices »

Elegant adventurer, ethnic jewellery

These pieces are made with handcrafted materials and are often characteristic to a region. They are perfect if you are looking for natural accessories for an ethnic and relaxed style or an adventurous style. There is a whole range of ethnic costume jewellery made out of coconut, ebony or bones, sometimes set with coloured stones. You can also find some premium jewellery in silver, like Tuareg earrings, or chokers to wear with tunics. They are generally a product of fair trade and are classified by regions of origin: South American, North African or Vietnamese jewellery, like the gorgeous Hmong’s.

  1. Oriental bracelets
    From £3 Compare Prices »
  2. Wood earrings
    From £5 Compare Prices »
  3. Wood necklaces
    From £4 Compare Prices »

Dazzling with colour: costume jewellery

Costume jewellery is available in a great variety of colours and you can find some which match your clothes perfectly. Costume jewellery is a basic accessory which can be worn everyday, without hesitation. These pieces are simple with no stones or precious metals. There are a multitude of forms, styles and materials used: long strings of beads, charm bracelets, buttons, and fabric, glass imitation gemstones, Swarovski pearls and coloured lead glass, there are costume pieces for every taste. You can play around with costume jewellery more than other types of jewellery and it allows you to be creative. In general these pieces are delicate and are worn through a specific season or event before adapting to newer styles.

  1. Costume rings
    From £1 Compare Prices »
  2. Costume necklaces
    From £14 Compare Prices »
  3. Costume bracelets
    From £3 Compare Prices »

2 - Tips for buying the right jewellery

From materials to carats: all you need to know

  • - Gold or button? Material :

    Numerous materials are used in making jewellery for women, from the most traditional materials like gold and silver, to the more creative, like buttons. Wood -ebony for example, is used in combination with different metals and is often used to make rings. Precious stones (Rubies, emeralds, topaz, diamonds), semi-precious stones (amethysts, turquoise, agate, or obsidian) and pearls add a traditional charm to jewellery. Though these are less formal, certain materials like buttons, acrylic, aluminium, leather, brushed metal, even rubber are used in necklaces, rings, earrings, or costume bracelets.

  • - All about hallmarks :

    They only pertain to jewellery which weighs more than three grams for gold and more than 30 grams for silver. A piece of jewellery must have two hallmarks: The sponsor’s mark with the initials of the manufacturer. The diamond shaped mark indicates that the jewellery was made in France or in the European Union. The guarantee mark mentions the percentage of gold or silver in the piece of jewellery.

  • - From carats to fineness :

    For precious metals like gold and silver, carats indicate the degree of purity of the piece of jewellery. Fineness are used to indicate the percentage of pure gold present in the piece of jewellery on 1000. For example, a piece of 18 carat gold jewellery contains 75% of gold or 750 fineness. Jewellery of 9 carats, sold under the name “gold-alloy” contains about 375 fineness of gold or 38% of pure gold. It is not possible to make jewellery out of 100 % gold because it will be too delicate.

Little things that count

  • - Hypoallergenic jewellery for sensitive skin :

    Some people are allergic to metals commonly used in costume jewellery. Gold and silver jewellery of 14 carats or more reduce the possibility of allergic reactions, very much like surgical steel... some designers specialise exclusively in making hypoallergenic jewellery, both designer and creative.

  • - Adjustable jewellery, adaptable lengths :

    The size of jewellery varies according to the style. There are long necklaces which can be used as a long string of beads or can be rolled several times around the neck. The size of rings and the dimensions of earrings essentially depend on the style of the jewellery. Delicate rings are more traditional and hanging earrings are generally more modern. Certain necklaces are adjustable: they can be worn long or closer to the neck. There are also adjustable rings: the open ring can be tightened or loosened to fit your finger size. Bracelets are also often adjustable, whether they are flexible or made of one single piece of metal, to suit different sizes.

  • - Individual pieces or sets :

    Jewellery can be sold as individual pieces or as a set, which generally contains a complete set, that is: matching necklace, earrings, ring and bracelets. In this case, the pieces complement one another: the material or the stones form a harmonious whole that plays on the various elements.

  • - From transparency to brightness: colour

    This is another important factor while choosing jewellery. It is advisable to choose pieces that suit your wardrobe and your skin tone. Semi-precious stones can be coloured artificially, resulting in a very vast range of colours. As for precious stones, they retain the charm of their natural colour. Jewellery can be more or less shiny, by playing up the effects of transparency or playing down a matt effect and bold colours.

3 - Constant elegance: Accessories

Jewellery cases

There are a great variety of jewellery cases where you can keep your jewels. Wooden or bamboo cases for ethnic jewellery, or a velvet case for natural pearls, there are as many styles of cases as there are jewels. There are also cases for rings or bracelets which are by themselves very decorative.

Display stands

You will find specially designed decorative objects to keep your jewels without hiding them. Jewellery trees, ring stands or small mannequins which can be used to hang necklaces, pendants, earrings and other finery.

Key chains

Very elegant, they come in various shapes and styles: fancy or natural. Leather or stainless steal key chains can beautifully complement a set of jewels.

4 - Learn more

Buyers Guide

Which jewellery is right for you?

Which jewellery is right for you?

The Complete guide to help you choose the right jewellery for your self or as a gift: may it be gold, silver or costume jewellery.

View buyers guides »

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