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Jewelry - Test-ing Time For The Buyer

Nov 3, 2007
Shopping for your jewelry can be sometimes confusing, as you are invariably stuck with one question that keeps cropping up in your mind - "am I buying authentic, good-quality jewelry?" This question may nag you every time you set out to shop for the perfect piece of jewelry to compliment your looks. Whether you are shopping in a lifestyle store or buying it online, you need to ensure that the jewelry you are buying is actually what it claims to be. There are certain parameters on the basis of which you can determine if the quality of jewelry is up to the mark.

Gold - The standard 24-karat gold is very soft and therefore needs to be amalgamated with other metals in order to make it hard and durable. Thus, gold jewelry pieces are usually sold with a tag that indicates its purity in terms of karat. However, law does not require such markings. The karat quality mark indicates the proportion of gold being used to make that particular piece of jewelry. If jewelry is marked 14k, it means that 14 parts of gold have been used with ten parts of base metal while making the jewelry. Along with the karat rating, you will see the name of the manufacturing company or its U.S. registered trademark, which is usually in the form of symbol, name or just initials. You must avoid buying if the trademark is not engraved on the jewelry. Gold plated jewelry is also very common that is usually made using 10K gold.

Platinum and silver - Platinum is much more costlier than gold, while silver is fairly cheap. Platinum is combined with other metals such as palladium, ruthenium, rhodium, and osmium and like gold jewelry; platinum also comes with quality markings indicating the proportion of platinum used. Markings however are based on parts per thousand, thus 900 platinum marking signifies that 900 parts out of thousand parts is pure platinum or the jewelry item is made using 90% platinum. Jewelry items made from less than 850 parts per thousand pure platinum will include markings indicating amount of platinum used as well as the amount of other platinum group metals mentioned above.

Silver jewelry that contains 92.5% silver is also called sterling silver and may be marked as 925 meaning 925 parts per thousand are pure silver. Like gold, silver plated jewelry is also very popular.

Gemstones - You may have the option of buying natural stones or those created in laboratories. Laboratory-created stones have the same physical, and chemical properties as natural ones and even look similar. They are cheaper versions of natural stones due to their easy availability and are your best bet if you are looking for an exact replica of natural stones minus the hefty price tag. On the other hand, imitation stones (made of glass, plastic or other materials) that are available in the market only look like natural stones and must not be confused with laboratory-created stones.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant about jewelry and diamonds. When looking for jewelry, we recommend you shop only at the best online jewelry stores for diamond gems, loose diamonds, diamond rings, fashion jewelry, fashion earrings, fashion pendants, engagement rings, wedding rings, and wedding bands.
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