How to choose the right jewelry

Buying jewelry is always a small celebration. Someone has been preparing for it for a long time, gradually forming the image of “their” jewelry and carefully choosing the manufacturer and seller. Well, someone just in the mood goes into a jewelry store and pampers himself (or another person) with unexpected joy. In both cases, it is important to remain satisfied and not be disappointed with the acquisition.

It’s impossible to “change your mind”

According to the Law on Consumer Protection, jewelry of good quality is not refundable (for more details, see our article on regulatory regulation of jewelry turnover). If the jewelry didn’t fit you in size or simply “lost your liking”, then you may be legally refused to return it. True, there are two exceptions:
1) if the purchase was made remotely (in the online store), then you have at least 7 days to return the jewelry without giving a reason (for more details, see the article on how to buy jewelry in online stores).
2) some jewelry chains and stores voluntarily set a time period during which the jewelry can be returned. When buying, you should ask the seller about this.


Not all “product features” will be explained to you

Unfortunately, the level of knowledge of sellers of jewelry stores about metals, stones and jewelry technologies is often at a low level. The staff turnover is also to blame, and the fact that management does not always attach importance to the importance of consultations and full disclosure of product information. If the seller was friendly and helped consider everything that interested you - this is already good. For the rest, you better count on yourself, trying at least at a basic level to understand jewelry terms and carefully study the product tag. And you can learn more deeply all jewelry secrets from professional masters (for example, visiting jewelry exhibitions), or on our portal in the sections Metals, Stones and Technics and styles.
The purchase decision has been made. How to save?
Before buying, be sure to ask sellers about discounts. An active marketing policy is an integral part of the jewelry business, so in stores almost any kind of promotion takes place. Usually, sellers themselves inform buyers about this without reminder, but if they did not say anything, ask.
If you know exactly which jewelry store you’ll go to, look at them on the website and on pages on social networks in advance. Often, special discounts are offered to subscribers.
Almost all jewelry chains after the first purchase provide the customer with bonus accumulative or discount cards. Some have a discount on their first purchase; on others, starting on the second or a purchase for a certain amount. Check with consultants (especially if you intend to purchase several jewelry) - it may be more profitable to first buy an inexpensive product, get a card, and only then buy a second one.
What to look for at the time of purchase of jewelry?
Brands on jewelry
All jewelry made in Russia must have:
an imprint of the state assay mark of the Russian Federation (“assay”), which indicates the content of the precious metal in the alloy and confirms that the product complies with the declared parameters. The marking of the assay stamp must have a clear image of all the elements of the mark and the outline of the frame
imprint of the "name" of the manufacturer or individual entrepreneur. The nameplate is applied when checking the product by the state assay inspection of the Russian Federation. It contains the cipher of the state inspection, year of manufacture of the decoration, and the code produces

Myths about natural stones

Many buyers are specifically looking for jewelry with a certain gem. Someone believes in the magical or healing properties of this stone, others select the insert "according to the horoscope." Yes, and all of us, at the sight of the word “garnet” or “turquoise” on the product’s tag, immediately imagine a mineral mined in the bowels of the earth that has been processed, cut and inserted into a ring, which we are trying on right now. However, in practice, most stones go through additional processing steps, which are called “refinement”. Most often, this is heating or radiation, as a result of which the color of the stone can radically change or intensify (more about gentrification of precious stones). For example, experts estimate the volume of imitations of turquoise on the market from 80 to 95% (for more details, see the article on turquoise mining).
Ring with aquamarine - pinterest.comVery many stones that fall into the retail are not natural and are “synthesized” (grown with preserving the structure like a natural stone) in production (more about synthetic stones). A clear advantage of all these manipulations is a more attractive appearance of the products, and an affordable price. The downside is the fact that manufacturers and retailers do not inform us about how the insert was received. There is no information on the tag about how the stone was “improved”. In the best case, it may be indicated that it is synthetic (by the way, it will soon be required to indicate the unnatural origin of the stone on the tags by law).
The way out in this situation is the following. If the natural origin of the stone in the decoration is extremely important to you, then it is better to buy it separately and order the manufacture of jewelry in the workshop. You can also buy the finished product directly from the master who made it (for example, at a jewelry exhibition). We would advise other customers to pay attention to the aesthetic properties of the entire product, including the insert - and buy if you like.


Jewelry techniques and products “in style”53

Some traditional jewelry techniques (for example, filigree or filigree, as well as blackening) are “by ear”, but not widespread enough to immediately find out if it is for sure. Using this superficial acquaintance of buyers with technicians, sellers can call their names cheaper methods of decoration, thereby increasing the value of the product in the eyes of the client. True filigree is made only by hand by unfolding a pattern of thin wires and baking in an oven. In jewelry retail, “filigree style” products are more common — less delicate openwork items made by casting (for more details, see the article on filigree technique).
Blackening is also a time-consuming and "spot" procedure, in contrast to industrial techniques for dimming products (the same oxidation or rhodium options). If you understand the technique of blackening, then a real blackened product can be easily distinguished by eye (for more details, see the article on blackening silver).
Another similar area is enameling: not everyone immediately distinguishes hot (more labor-intensive, expensive and “wear”) enamel from cold. It makes sense to understand the properties of different types of enamel jewelry to at least buy what suits you best (more about hot and cold enamels).
Manufacturer and place of manufacture
On the market you can find many brands that sell jewelry under the famous Soviet or beautiful Russian names. It seems that the products continue to be produced at the same domestic enterprises as before, but this is not always the case. If you prefer the jewelry to be made in Russia, carefully read the information on the manufacturer on the product tag. Often in Russian-sounding manufacturers order jewelry manufacturing in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and other countries.
Product Authenticity
Jewelry manufacturers supply their products to various salons and retail chains for sale. On the sites of some jewelry factories, a barcode check is implemented. It is enough to drive the numbers from the barcode on the jewelry tag, and you will be provided with complete information about the decoration parameters.
Documents when buying jewelry
When buying jewelry in ordinary salons or online stores, you must provide the following documents:
cash receipt
the sales receipt on which should be: the name of the goods and the details of the seller, the sample, type and characteristics of the gemstone, article, sale date and price of the goods and the signature of the person directly selling the product
the jewelry itself with a tag (label) attached to it. The tag is a kind of product passport, and its filling is regulated by regulations. The tag must be attached to the product with a thread and seal
Will they give a certificate for a stone insert?
Unrefined (i.e., not included in jewelry) faceted diamonds made from natural diamonds and faceted emeralds are sold only with a certificate for each stone or set (lot) of stones sold.
For any stones in the jewelry, a certificate is not required, it is replaced by a tag. Certificates can be ordered by the gemologists themselves jewelry enterprises, but this procedure is not cheap, and this is done infrequently.


Precious metal coatings

Metals (especially silver alloys, due to their natural tendency to interact with the environment), coated with other, more stable metals, are very common on sale. Coatings are also made to give the desired properties and shades to the product. Examples of such coatings are gilding, silvering, rhodium or oxidation (in the latter case, instead of metal, an oxide film obscures the product).
The first thing you need to find out about such a product is the thickness of the coating. It can vary from 2 to 15 microns, depending on the applied metal. For example, for silvering, on average, 7-8 microns is more often used. Naturally, the thicker the coating, the better - otherwise this layer can come off pretty quickly. For example, a wired white gold engagement ring will turn yellow instead of white in a year. Care for such products is also necessary without the use of aggressive care products, so as not to erase the coating layer. The coating can be restored in the jewelry workshop, but this is a new waste. It is also necessary to consider how exactly the coating layer depends on the “covering” metal. The most expensive metals (for example, gilding) have a thinner layer, otherwise it will too affect the price of the product. Example: the Spanish brand of jewelry UNOde50, according to representatives, for silvering products use a layer thickness of 15 microns, and for gilding - 3 microns.
The second thing you should pay attention to is whether the coating does not “stand out” for a more expensive decorative technique, for example, oxidation - for “blackening”.
Read more in our article on chemical methods of metal processing.
Quality jewelry
All jewelry produced in Russia must meet the requirements of the industry standard OST 117-3-002-95. The standard is quite voluminous, but if you briefly state its essence, then all products must be done carefully, without visible defects (cracks, scratches, chips, seams on the outer surfaces) and sharp edges. The inserts must be securely fastened. For example, we quote the requirements for enamel products:
“Enamel coatings of products should be smooth, shiny, without chips, cracks, gaps, gaps, spots and metal defects visible under transparent enamel. In addition, enamel coatings should not have scratches, bubbles (inclusions), pores, sagging edges and partitions. At the same time, no more than one bubble (inclusion) is allowed in the form of a point and two minor scratches on the enamel coatings of the products, slight waviness of the enamel, as well as the presence of a hairy feature of the enamel joints with partitions and edges. ”
We advise you once to find this document on the Internet and at least look briefly. And before buying jewelry, carefully examine it, and if you are confused by anything regarding the quality of workmanship, contact the seller.

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