Buying Jewelry for Mothers Day
or How To Buy The
Perfect Gift for Mom
Without Getting Ripped Off
By Sam Serio
Jewelry can be the perfect gift for mom on Mothers
Day, but there are pitfalls, especially if you rush at the last minute. Procrastination
and a lack of knowledge can be rewarded with overpaying for a piece of jewelry or even
worse, being ripped-off.
A gift of jewelry can be expensive. Asking friends, family
and co-workers if they can recommend a website, brick and mortar store or local crafts
person can help. Checking with the better business bureau is also a commendable approach.
When you are shopping, ask the salesperson to write down
any information you might rely on to make your purchase and before you buy, ask for the
stores refund and return policy. When ordering online, keep printouts of the web
pages with details about the transaction, including refund and return policies if
youre not satisfied.
Six Smart Shopping Tips for Mothers Day and Beyond
Theres a big difference between 14 karat gold and
gold-plated jewelry. Fourteen karat (14K) jewelry contains 14 parts of gold, mixed in
throughout with 10 parts of base metal. Gold-plated describes jewelry with a layer of at
least 10K gold bonded to a base metal. Gold plating eventually wears away, depending on
how often the item is worn and how thick the plating is.
If youre buying a watch, determine whether you
want one that runs on a battery or one that must be wound daily. Ask if a warranty or
guarantee is included, how long it lasts, and what parts and repair problems it covers.
Also ask how and where you can get the watch serviced and repaired.
Know the difference between laboratory-created gemstones
and naturally mined stones. Stones created in the lab are visually identical to stones
mined from the earth. The big difference is in the cost: laboratory-created stones are
less expensive then naturally mined stones. But because they look must like stones mined
from the earth, they must be identified as lab-created. If you want a naturally mined
stone, ask if it has been treated. Gemstone treatments such as heating, dyeing or
bleaching can improve a stones appearance or durability. Some treatments are
permanent; some may create special care requirements. Treatments also may affect the
Ask whether pearls are imitation or real. Real pearls
are made by oysters or other mollusks; imitation pearls are man-made. Cultured pearls are
made by mollusks with human intervention; and irritant introduced into their shells causes
a pearl to grow. Real pearls that are not cultured are fairly rare and expensive. The cost
depends on the size, usually stated in millimeters, and the coating or nacre
on a real pearl, which gives it its iridescence.
When youre buying a diamond, consider four
criteria: cut, color, clarity and weight, usually stated as carats. Each factor affects
the price. Color is sometimes graded on a scale. However, scales are not
uniform: a D may be the best color for one scale, but not for another. Make
sure you know how a particular scale and grade represent the color of the diamond
youre considering. A diamond can be described as flawless only if it has
no visible surface cracks or other imperfections when viewed under 10-power magnification
by a skilled diamond grader.
One final tip, Moms love longer (i.e. 24")
gold or sterling chains with gemstone pendants. And you can almost never go wrong with the
very popular omega-style chains in various widths in sterling silver or gold.