All that glitters isn't only gold. As someone who appreciates fine jewelry, my tastes run the gamut from precious stones like the traditional white diamond or green emerald to gemstones that stray from the mainstream such as amethyst and tanzanite.
Then there are the myriad of metals that jewelry can be made from. Beyond the typical silver, yellow and white gold, more people are opting to select pieces that contain lesser-known metals such as titanium, tungsten and palladium.
Shopping for jewelry can be an exciting yet daunting prospect. Jewelry is an investment that requires patience and careful research in order not to pay more than you can realistically afford. The markup on jewelry is considerably high, some say as high as 300%. When you are ready to splurge on the next jewelry purchase for yourself or as a gift for someone, here are five ways to do it for a lot less.
If you don't mind buying jewelry that isn't new, estate sales can be a great source of beautiful jewelry that offer a range of design styles from the modern to vintage. Usually an estate will advertise a sale either online or in the print edition of your local newspaper. If you find a piece that fits the bill but it doesn't come with certification, you will be in a stronger position to negotiate the price.
The idea of shopping online for something valuable like jewelry may unnerve you but there are many reputable online jewelry stores that offer a large selection to choose from. Well known online jewelry stores will offer a satisfactory return policy, a pleasant customer experience and generally list lower prices than a traditional jewelry store. You can also decide to design a custom piece of jewelry instead of purchasing from an online inventory, so inquire with the online retailer on their sale and return policies.
Designers and department stores need to make room for new inventory, which results in a clearance sale. Sometimes you will find drastic mark downs on jewelry if you're patient enough to hold out until a sale is advertised. Another option on getting a steal of a deal is visiting a local jewelry designer or store that is going out of business. They are looking to quickly liquidate their merchandise and will offer cut rate pricing. Don't be afraid to negotiate in order to drive down the list price.
Outlet & Factory-Direct Stores
Many retail stores offer outlet locations that include an array of jewelry reduced by as much as 50% off the retail price. Some stores also provide coupons you can receive via e-mail that can be combined with an outlet store purchase for even deeper discounts.
Many jewelry stores don't make their own jewelry. Dealing directly with a manufacturer, by purchasing from a factory-direct location, cuts out the manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) markup and can save you a lot of money.
If you are planning to purchase a ring, pendant or bracelet that may contain gemstones, consider purchasing loose stones and placing them in a setting. Buying a loose stone from a wholesaler can save you potentially hundreds to thousands of dollars. You may have silver or gold that you are not wearing and can have it melted down for use in a new setting to save money.
The keys to a successful jewelry purchase is knowing your criteria, the essential properties of the gemstone(s) you prefer and respecting your budget. With any jewelry purchase, verify the item's authenticity with an expert appraisal and insure the jewelry against loss or theft.