Shopping for jewelry can be fun and exciting, but it can also be a bit confusing and stressful. You may need to decide what you are looking for before heading to the mall. You should also set a budget so you can let the jeweler or clerk know not to show you items you are not prepared to buy. Sticking to a budget is important so you do not feel any buyer's remorse. Once you have an idea of what type of piece you want and how much you are willing to spend, you need to decide whether to go to a large, jewelry chain store or a privately-owned jeweler. Each type of establishment has its advantages and disadvantages. Here are a few things to keep in mind before deciding on where to shop.
Chain Jewelry Store
When you are looking for a simple piece, perhaps something you saw someone else wearing, and are not worried about anything more than the way it looks, a chain jewelry store is your best option. While these establishments also carry special, unique items, that are of high quality, most of the clerks there are not professional jewelers. They can only tell you the information that is in any literature about the item.
They may not be able to tell you what the different terms mean as far as quality and value, and cannot test or examine the piece. However, these stores may have a certified jeweler who works in the store or comes in regularly to help out. You can always ask to set an appointment with this person if you are interested in a piece but have questions about it.
When you want a truly unique piece, maybe even one you design yourself, a jeweler is your best option. This person can take different settings and stones, put them together, and create the item you have in your mind. They can also be sure to use the quality gems you want and are ready to explain what to look for in the different stones. Jewelers can examine and test stones and precious metals and provide you with an appraisal for your own use and to give your insurance company.
Only you can decide what type of jewelry you want to wear or give as a gift. If you have the time, you may want to visit both a chain jewelry store and a private jeweler to get the piece that will make you smile when you look at it.