11 Essential Jewelry Buying Tips

September 5th, 2017 | Ali Brownrigg


Hey, we can’t know it all. Everyone needs a cheat sheet sometimes, especially when it comes to making a significant purchase such as an engagement ring or a piece of fine jewelry.

Read on for easy tips and tricks to making the right choice for yourself or your lucky giftee.

Diamond Tips

Petite Cathedral Solitaire Engagement Ring in Platinum

Risks of High Prong and Pavé

A diamond set on a high prong is most at risk for damage, as are delicate pavé or micro-pavé settings. Consider a bezel setting if you have an active lifestyle.

Not Indestructible

While a diamond ranks as the hardest of the gemstones on the Mohs scale of hardness, diamonds are not indestructible and can be damaged or scratched by sharp blows.

Backing that Stays Put

When shopping for diamond earrings the backing of the earring is key to keeping those earrings safe. Blue Nile provides two kinds of earring backs (friction or Guardian backs) to ensure the earrings stay put when being worn out on the town.

Pearl Tips

Freshwater Cultured Pearl Wrap-Around Necklace - 100" Long

Silk Strings and Knots

Pearl strands are generally strung on silk thread, and knotted between each pearl. The softness of the silk and the knots ensures no friction between the pearls—and no scratches.

Start with Freshwater

Freshwater pearls are a great starter set. They are significantly less expensive due to their higher availability, but have the same timeless appeal.

Wear them Often

The natural oils in our skin help keep pearls lustrous, so wear them often, but be sure that the pearls are treated with care. Because they are relatively soft, and can be easily scratched, pearls should be stored in a soft bag when not being worn.

Gemstone Tips

Emerald and Diamond Teardrop Earrings in 18k White & Yellow Gold
Emerald and Diamond Teardrop Earrings in 18k White & Yellow Gold

Color, Not Clarity

While clarity is a large factor when buying diamonds, color is more important when considering a gemstone. A stone with inclusions, but a spectacular color, is considered desirable.

Consider Others

Sapphire, emerald, and ruby are the most well-known gemstones, but there is universe of other gemstones, in myriad colors and price ranges, to consider if your budget won’t allow for one of the big three.

Hardness is Clutch

A gemstone’s hardness determines how well the stone holds up to wear and tear. Emerald, for example is relatively soft (a 7.5-8 on the Mohs hardness scale), which make them a good choice for special occasion jewelry, rather than everyday wear.

Metal Tips

Low Dome Comfort Fit Wedding Ring in 14k White Gold
Low Dome Comfort Fit Wedding Ring in 14k White Gold

White Gold and Rhodium?

White gold is yellow gold combined with white colored alloys and plated with rhodium, an extremely hard metal related to platinum. The rhodium plating may wear off, requiring a simple re-plating to restore the white finish.

Don’t Wear It Down

Remove your jewelry when doing everyday activities like gardening and dishes, as well as strenuous exercise, sports and heavy labor. Be sure to store your jewelry in a safe place when you’re not wearing it.

September 5th, 2017
Ali Brownrigg
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