One thing Kate Middleton of Britain and Kate Sharma of Bridgerton have in common is their love for colored gemstone jewelry. The now famous royal blue sapphire and diamond engagement ring has inspired countless engagement rings all over the world. And binge-watching Bridgerton has ignited a global love for tiaras, brooches, dainty necklaces, rings and bangles (who can forget that wedding scene) in multicolored gemstones. It seemed only apt that we took a look into the appeal of colored gemstones and if, like us, you want to buy yourself some kaleidoscope bling, here is what we found.
It always helps to understand what you are getting into while buying colored gemstones. While not as expensive as diamonds, colored gemstones can cost a pretty penny because they are just as durable and twice as appealing. There are a lot of sellers on the internet, and it can get difficult to understand how to choose one. Finding retailers whose quality of work and aesthetic appeal to you can be quite daunting if you are a rookie at buying gemstone jewelry online. If you are trawling the internet trying to find the best website to buy jewelry from, here are a few things you should look for.
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1. Check the Credibility of the Seller
When you come across a seller whose work you like, feel free to check their website or page for customer reviews. When you ask the store employees or customer service executives for their opinion, they may be biased towards the brand or store as they work for them. However, customer reviews tend to give a clearer picture of what the shopping experience with the brand would be like. And if you want to be sure your shipment will get to you, you can check out jewelry shipping insurance.
2. Always Ask for Videos
You may be wondering about this point. Why videos? Well, with a still image, it is difficult to gauge the actual size of the gemstone jewelry. Pictures tend to make pieces of jewelry appear larger or smaller and the color can vary in photos depending on the settings of your screen. A video will allow you to see the product from all angles and give you a better idea of the size. Speaking of images and videos, beware of any seller who has stock photos of products. Always ask to see photos and videos taken in natural light.
3. Know the Jewelry Jargon
While buying colored gemstones, it is always helpful to understand what the terms mean, so you can communicate clearly what you want and understand what you are paying for. Colored gemstones are graded according to their color, cut, clarity and carat weight.
Color is further understood in terms of hue, saturation and tone.
- Hue—Refers to the most dominant pure color on the color wheel which is seen in the colored gemstone.
- Tone—Refers to the amount of white or black in the color of the gemstone. This can be interpreted as the lightness or darkness of the color in a stone.
- Saturation—Refers to the opacity or intensity of the color in the gemstone.
Transparent gemstones are cut and polished in facets that are calculated to maximize the color. Other gems like opal, onyx and coral are usually polished and shaped into smooth, dome-like cabochons.
Clarity refers to how light moves through a gemstone. The fewer the inclusions, the better the shine of the gemstone. Inclusions can be tiny trapped air bubbles, cracks or even mineral particles trapped in the stone. Clarity affects the price point of the stone. More inclusions usually will cause the price to drop.
Gemstone weight is calculated in terms of carat weight. One carat is roughly 0.2 gm, and knowing both the carat weight and the size in millimeters will help you understand the specifications and price point of the gemstone.
Gemstones that have naturally rich colors are valued very highly. In some cases, however, gemstones are subjected to external treatments to enhance their color quality. Enhancement refers to any treatment the gemstone has undergone other than cutting and polishing. There are many processes by which the characteristics like color, durability or clarity of a gemstone can be enhanced. Irradiation, waxing, oiling, heat and pressure treatment, dyeing, laser treatments, filling, bleaching and coating are some ways in which a gemstone can be enhanced.
4. Know When the Price Is Right
Be wary of very high prices and very low prices. Survey as many websites as you can to understand what is the best quality of gemstone you can buy in the budget you have in mind. Very high prices mean that the brand is charging you for all their overheads, and very low prices mean that the gemstone quality or the sourcing of the stone has had a few corners cut and the quality may be compromised. If you are not careful, you may even be sold a fake or resin gemstone lookalike! Keep multiple tabs open on your computer, check and compare the prices on each seller’s website and then decide what works best for you.
5. Website Security and Safe Payment Options
Make sure the website has an SSL certification. This means that the website has a stamp of authenticity and has an encrypted and secure server connection. An easy way to spot if a website has an SSL certificate is to check the URL. If the website is authenticated by SSL, it will show ‘https://’ instead of ‘http://’. Since you are going to be entering your personal information and card details while processing the payment, make sure the website has a secure payment method.
6. Check for Authenticity Certificates
Valuable jewelry comes with authentication certificates and hallmarks. These guarantee the purity and quality of the metal as well as the gemstones used. A jewelry certificate should mention the metal, gemstone weight in carat and the quality of the gemstones used.
7. Delivery, Returns and Exchange Policies
Make sure you read through the return and exchange policies of the online store, in case the jewelry item does not meet your satisfaction or does not fit you. Read through the warranty the store offers. Sometimes online stores back up their product with lifetime warranties for services like cleaning and polishing or they may offer it for a limited amount of time. Before you checkout and pay for the product, inform yourself about when the product will be delivered. Make sure you get a tracking ID from the website, so you know where your package is in real-time, and when you need to be at your address to receive it.