Lifestyle trends have changed drastically in the last few years, and with it, working and shopping trends as well. Remote working options coupled with the grip that the digital space has over our daily lives have lulled us into doing everything from the comfort of our couches. With daily screen time on the rise, digital influencers are making the most of it by targeting advertisements and encouraging online commercial activities.
Shoppers are now getting used to the idea of buying virtually. From groceries and clothes to food and medicines, everything can be ordered online. These days, even jewelry can be ordered online. While clothes, books, and other consumer goods do not require much research, it takes a certain amount of prep before you can buy jewelry online, and we are here to help you with it. Sticking to a brand that has a customer-centric policy will definitely help. Gemstone jewelry brands like the Angara not only readily offer exchanges when you aren’t satisfied with your purchase but also provide attractive discounts to ensure each buy is affordable for you.
It is wise to proceed with caution and make sure you have understood the specifications of the piece of jewelry and get what you have paid for. Here are five things you have to do before you click on that ‘add to cart’ button. But before that, let us take a look at why online jewelry shopping is a good idea.
Why Even Consider Buying Jewelry Online?
If you are skeptical about buying jewelry online or are a rookie in the subject, let us present a few key points to consider. Since jewelry is a big investment, you might want to go the traditional route of touching and feeling it before you commit. But did you know that this is adding to the cost price of the jewelry? For starters, actual stores have a lot of overhead costs, and this means they have higher markups for their products.
Online jewelry stores have something called drop shipping, which means they will use images of the products on their website, and only when a customer places an order, that design is sent to production. This lowers the necessity to stock up on inventory that may or may not get sold and reduces the need for secure storage spaces. Therefore, online shopping is truly a made-to-order product that you get. Bottom line is, that online jewelry buying reduces the overall cost of your product.
As with all online shopping, the greatest appeal is convenience. Forgot to stock up on eggs and bread for breakfast? Place an order, and by the time you’ve showered, it’s at your doorstep. You can look at jewelry online anywhere, at work, at a coffee shop, at home in your pajamas, without having to step into an actual store. This opens up where you can buy from.
Even if the seller is miles away, you can still safely purchase the product you desire. Online stores also have chat and online customer support options to make sure all your queries are answered before you place the order.
If this has bolstered your confidence in buying jewelry online, keep the following points in mind!
1. Check Metal Type and Metal Purity
The type of metal you choose and its purity determine the price of the product. Therefore, it is a good idea to check the metal purity stamp. This is where it helps to know what you are looking for and where to look for it. In order to understand the standard of purity of the precious metal, you first have to check the karat stamp of the product. If the product details say that the ornament is 14K, that means it is made from 14 karat gold.
It can also say that the product is made of 18K or 22K gold as well. The higher the karat stamp, the higher the ratio of the precious metal to alloy. Karat stamps can also be printed as 585 for 14K gold, meaning the metal is 58.5% pure gold and the rest is alloyed, 750 for 18K gold, meaning it is 75% pure gold and the rest is an alloy or it could be 916 to indicate 22K gold, which has 91.6% pure gold in it.
You also need to know where to look for these karat stamps. Rings have it on the inner surface of the band, bracelets on the clasp, necklaces on the tags at the end or on the clasp, and earrings will have it on their posts or rods.
2. Check Stone Specifications
You have all heard of the 4 Cs, right? They stand for cut, color, clarity, and carat. You must have a clear understanding of the specifications of the gemstones being provided in your piece of jewelry. The higher the quality of the gemstone you choose, the higher the return on investment.
- Carat refers to the weight of the stone, which influences the size.
- Clarity refers to the inclusions or flaws in the stone. Inclusions occur naturally when the stone is being formed. Greater the number of inclusions of flaws, lower the cost of the stone.
- Cut refers to the stone’s internal surface proportions and how they have been polished and what symmetry they have. This has a direct significance on the stone’s brilliance, the way it disperses light (fire), and the sparkle of the gem (scintillation).
- Color refers to the hue, saturation, and intensity of a gemstone. Purer the color of the gemstone, the higher its value.
3. Check for Hallmarks and 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 content, gemstone weight in carat, and the quality of the gemstones used. For diamonds, always look for a Gemological Institute of America (GIA) certificate, and for colored gemstones, look for the American Gem Society (AGS) certification. Always purchase your jewelry from a website that offers a certificate of authenticity along with their jewelry pieces.
4. Check the Fine Print
These are things that may escape your attention but will help establish the authenticity of the jeweler you are buying from.
- Make sure you read through the return and exchange policy of the online store, in case the jewelry item does not meet your satisfaction or does not fit you.
- Make sure 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.
- A trustworthy online jewelry store must display its contact information. An authentic store must display all forms of contact details like a number to text and call, their email address and their postal address with their location.
- 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://’.
- Always ask for photos of the product or stones you want to buy. Never accept stock photos and make sure you mention that you require non-edited or color-corrected images. It would also help if they placed the items next to a scale and sent you the pictures, so you have it documented.
5. Check the Tax, Shipping, and Delivery Charges
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. It is common to be charged a certain amount for shipping, and you will be charged taxes as well. Since jewelry comes in smaller packages, the shipping cost will be negligible. However, the taxes will depend on what state you are in, and can add up real fast if you are not careful!