Important Factors To Consider When Buying Jewelry

Written By Allie Perry January 26, 2023

How do I find the right jewelry?

Choosing jewelry can be really fun, but sometimes it can also be a little tricky. When it’s a gift for someone you love, you obviously want to make sure they’re going to like it, so you have to consider form, function, and especially fit! As someone who’s been working in the jewelry industry since the days of ultra low-rise jeans and dial up internet, I’ve complied a list of things you should consider when buying jewelry for yourself or someone else. 


1. Personal Style: Whether it's classic, trendy, minimalist, or bold, choose jewelry that suits your taste! If you’re shopping for a friend, take note of the things they like to wear- a little bit of sleuthing can go a long way!


2.  Comfort: It doesn’t matter how pretty a piece of jewelry is if isn’t comfortable! No one wants to wear a necklace that pinches the little hairs on the back of their neck, or scratches their skin. This is always an important consideration, but it’s extra important when buying jewelry that is intended for every day wear!


3. Handmade vs Mass-produced: If you’re looking for a trendy item that you’ve been seeing everywhere, you’re likely looking for something mass-produced. But if you want tomato a statement with a one-of-a-kind piece of art, handmade is the way to go! They both have their pros and cons, like cost or originality, so make sure you’re selecting the one that fits your needs,


4.  Lifestyle: Are you super active? Do you use your hands a lot or spend your time digging in a garden?  Something super dainty may steal your heart when you see it, but it’s probably not the right fit for you. Always consider the lifestyle of the person who will be wearing the jewelry when choosing jewelry, because not all pieces will be appropriate for all people or occasions. 


5. Metal Type: Determine the preferred metal type, such as gold, silver, or platinum. Color is generally the first thing people take into consideration when choosing metals, but some people have specific metal allergies, so it's essential to consider that as well. No one like a gift that will make them itch or turn their  finger green. Durability and heft are also factors when choosing metals. If you like heftier, long-lasting jewelry, platinum may be the perfect option for you. If you love the look of a natural grey patina on your jewelry, choose silver!


6. Gemstones: A birthstone, a favorite color, or a cool pattern are great ways to find a stone that matches your taste. Each gemstone can portray different meanings, represent something symbolic, or carry a tradition- or superstition!  Gemstones vary greatly in durability, so this is another opportunity to evaluate lifestyle or intended use of the piece; some gems are great for every day wear, while others are best suited for celebrating special occasions. 


7. Occasion: Think about the occasion for which the jewelry is intended. A piece for everyday wear might differ from one intended for special events or formal occasions. Softer and more delicate stones are perfect for special occasion pieces.


8. Size and Fit: Ensure that the jewelry is the right size and fits comfortably. Did you know the fingers on your left hand are different sizes than the fingers on your right hand?  Now you do!  Pay attention to ring sizes, bracelet lengths, and necklace dimensions. If you’re not sure how to find your jewelry size, click here and I'll teach you!


9. Quality: Consider the quality of the materials used. Check for hallmarks, especially when purchasing precious metals. Look for genuine gemstones and assess the overall craftsmanship. Costume jewelry may be appropriate for the occasion or even the age of the wearer, but some people may have allergic reactions to non-precious metals.


10. Budget: Set a budget for the jewelry purchase. There are beautiful pieces available at various price points, so it's important to find something that aligns with your financial constraints. Please do not stretch the budget to a point that is uncomfortable! 


11. Versatility: Opt for versatile pieces that can be worn with various outfits and for different occasions. Some jewelry can be layered for a casual look, some looks best when it’s the center of the show. Stones in neutral colors will go seamlessly with many outfits, and diamonds go great with everything! 


12. Meaning and Symbolism: Choose jewelry with meaning or symbolism. It could represent a special milestone, relationship, or carry sentimental value. Many traditional wedding gifts are centered around certain stones or metals. Lots of people think jewelry has to have a serious connotation, but inside jokes make for great jewelry designs!


13. Brand Reputation: If purchasing from a specific brand, consider their reputation for quality and ethical practices. Research reviews and customer feedback to ensure a positive buying experience. At Allie Perry Designs I’m committed to using ethically sourced metals and stones. I use recycled metal in my work, and I do my best to support US based independent lapidary artists when purchasing the cabochons I set in my jewelry.  When you support my small business, you’re often supporting many small businesses.


14. Maintenance: Consider the maintenance requirements of the jewelry. Some pieces may require special care, cleaning routines, or storage solutions. If you have questions about a specific piece of jewelry that you find on, always feel free to reach out and ask! At the very least, grab yourself a polishing cloth to keep your jewelry looking shiny!


15. Durability: There is a lot of jewelry out there that has been machine manufactured to be incredibly thin to save on production costs.  While this initial savings may seem enticing, ultra-thin jewelry is incredibly easy to bend out of shape or break completely. It’s also known for having gemstones fall out because there isn’t sufficient metal holding the stones in; even worse, the stones may have been glue in! There are stones, like marcasite and pearls, where gluing to set them is the industry standard, but most stones should never be glued in.


16. Repairability: If the wearer breaks their jewelry, can it be fixed? It’s best to buy pieces that can be repaired instead of having to be replaced.


17. Customization Options: Sometimes you can get your jewelry customized! Personalized jewelry can add a unique touch and make the piece more meaningful. Be aware, though, that customization finalizes a purchase, so make sure the design is something the wearer will love and that you have all of the dates and spelling correct!


Finding a jeweler you can trust, and whose style you like, is a great first step when it comes to buying jewelry. If you need help, I can make recommendations that work for you or your recipient, and I’m always happy to answer any questions you have about all the things I mentioned above.  Once you trust an expert, please listen to their advice!  I can’t tell you how many times over my career I made jewelry suggestions that were ignored, only to have the client come back days, weeks, or months later saying they wish they’d listened to me! 



Allie is the owner and goldsmith behind Allie Perry Designs.

Learn more about her here, or connect with her on Instagram!

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