Whether you’re a newcomer to the gem world looking to add color to your wardrobe, or a veteran gemstone wearer fine-tuning your look, finding the right gemstone jewelry is a key way to express your own personal style. But this doesn’t have to be a grueling decision. Here are some practical tips for selecting gemstone jewelry that works best for you.
Developing Your Own Style
First of all, any gemstone jewelry you select must be comfortable. For instance, make sure necklaces hang at the “right” length for you and lay well around your neck. Experts offer similar advice for earrings: with dangling styles, make sure they hang at a comfortable length, fit well against the ear and don’t tip forward. Likewise, bracelets and rings should fit comfortably and shouldn’t slide off with a simple shake of your arm or hand.
Next, the jewelry must be appropriate for your personality and lifestyle. A glitzy necklace that would dazzle for a night out on the town probably wouldn’t work for someone with a more casual outlook. Intent is important. Are you looking for a fashion accessory to match certain outfits, a particular season/event or a specific function, such as jewelry for work? Or are you looking for a piece you will wear everyday? Obviously, things like fashion, price, versatility, durability and other factors will play differing roles in your buying decision, based on your intent.
As for which color best suits you, one way to determine this is to take stock of what’s already in your closet. What clothing styles, colors, materials, lengths, etc. are most prevalent? This will give you important clues about the specific gemstone jewelry that will work best for you. In addition, look at your makeup, scarves, hair accessories, and current jewelry for more cues about the jewelry colors and styles most appropriate for you.
Finally, consider your physical features: body type, face shape, finger/hand length and width, hair/eye color, complexion and other characteristics. These factors also will play a key role in determining which gemstone jewelry will look best on you.
Once you’ve got the style down, you want to be assured of the quality of any piece you’re interested in buying. Keep in mind that quality determines the value of a stone. Like diamonds, gemstones are judged by the “Four Cs” of color, clarity, cut and carat weight, with color the most important consideration, by far. The better the color, the higher the price. Better clarity and better cut also cost more – and generally, the larger the stone, the more it will cost per carat. Even to an untrained eye, many of these kinds of differences can be seen when similar stones are examined side-by-side.
Other factors that may influence the price of a gemstone include whether it is readily available on the market or subject to supply limitations; whether it’s a “hot” color or stone right now, or for various reasons may be unpopular; whether it’s a single stone or part of a matched set, particularly in special shapes or cuts; and sometimes, its origin (for every stone, there is a particular location known for producing the finest quality variety of that stone – and often, you’ll pay more for a stone from that prized region because of its reputation).
But quality extends beyond simply examining the stone. You need to pay special attention to the setting, as well. Make sure the metal holds the stone firmly and squarely in place. Check prongs to make sure they are tight and sturdy. Look at the finish – is the metal well-polished with no pockmarks or other imperfections? Also, turn the piece around and examine the back – a well-made piece of jewelry will have a good finish on both front and back. If the piece is gold, check for a karatage stamp, as well as a company trademark stamp. This means the company is standing behind the product and assuring you the karatage is as stated. As for bracelets or necklaces, check the clasps, as well. A quality piece of gemstone jewelry will have sturdy, quality clasps.