You know it’s the holidays and Black Friday when you start seeing ads that scream:
Huge doorbuster sales…
Open at 4 a.m.
It’s the biggest baddest after-thanksgiving sale ever!
But the real question is:
Are they worth it?
I won’t deny that the prices seem great. You can save tons of money… But then again, you have to spend money as well.
So after looking at all the jewelry ads, viewing all the titles, descriptions, pictures and disclaimers of the sales ads, fliers and catalogs this Thanksgiving, I’ve come up with a list of items to watch out for.
Things you may need to know before purchasing those great holiday bargain deals.
Maybe, as long as you are happy with these…
Single cut diamonds:
You read the disclaimer: Many items will include single cut diamonds – Single cuts are small diamonds with only 17 or 18 facets on them. They have less sparkle and brilliance than a normal diamond. And if put side by side with a full cut (normal) diamond, they aren’t going to match.
This disclaimer says: Gems are lab created unless specified – Most of these doorbuster gemstones are lab created (made by man).
These gemstones look similar in color (except rubies tend to look pinkish), but they all end up looking more like glassy, transparent, colored plastic to me. And they look way too perfect.
Gemstones with no inclusions in them tend to look fake. So if you want to buy genuine gemstones… Make sure you ask for them.
Heat treated disclaimer:
Gemstones are heat treated to enhance appearance and treatments are not permanent. – So if you buy a blue stone today, in a year from now that blue stone could look pale or washed out.
Watch out for gems that don’t last.
Not permanent is not a great stone.
Grades will vary:
Diamond grades will vary – I laugh at this one, because they don’t even list any diamond grades (color or clarity) in the ads.
What this really means is that a diamond pendant (or whatever item) you may buy could have I clarity diamonds in it, or it could have SI clarity, or VS??? You just don’t know. Plus, they probably wouldn’t even be able to tell you.
Always ask what the true color and clarity is of the diamonds you’re buying. It’s a must!
Carat weight disclaimer:
Carat weights will vary by as much as .08 carats. .07 carats is the average leeway in jewelry stores, but .08 carats (8 points) or more is pushing the envelope.
A lot of places could have up to .07 carats variance, so don’t be too alarmed. Just make sure you know what the real carat weight is when you buy it. Try to buy the pieces that have the most carat weight in them (or at least what’s shown in the ad). Because if you’re paying for .25 carat diamond earrings and only getting .18 carat diamond earrings, then you’re not getting such a good deal after all.
The key is to read all the fine print. Understand the lingo and terminology.
Jewelry is cheap for a reason.
Here are some other things to look out for when shopping this holiday season:
Thin, dainty, and frail mountings:
Rings that are extremely thin and sharp will leave painful indentations in your finger.
They will bend easy and break easy; beware!
“That’s a mighty fine chain!”
Some chains sold on pendants and necklaces are so fine and frail that they’ll break in just 2 minutes.
Proceed with caution.
Keep an eye out for hoop earrings that are so hollow, thin and lightweight that you can squish and dent them with your fingers.
The point is, cheap jewelry lacks in the metal, gemstone and diamond departments. Manufacturers have to cut something somewhere to get the price down…
Cheap jewelry is cheap for many reasons
Do you want to know why most jewelry sold as doorbusters are CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP?
Most inexpensive jewelry is 10kt (just because 10kt is cheaper than 14kt – it has less gold content).
The good thing is, 10kt looks pretty much the same as 14kt gold. I Love that. But a lot of woman are allergic to the alloys used in 10kt gold (find out before you buy). You may have to purchase jewelry that’s solid 14kt gold instead.
Tons of cheap jewelry is made with sterling silver. Sterling silver (.925) looks great for a white metal, but it’s also a softer metal. Which means it can bend and break easily. It’s not good for holding in gems or diamonds. Plus, sterling silver can tarnish and leave black stains on your fingers, arms, neck and clothing.
Cubic zirconia is everywhere. It’s cheap. It’s shiny. It’s a diamond look-a-like. But CZ’s are brittle and will dull and will lose their shine over time. To me, they just look fake and glassy. Not really worth it.
Gold plated and gold filled:
All this means is that the pretty (but usually overly colorful) yellow gold plating will rub off, wear off and eventually turn white.
Not a pretty sight.
Low diamond quality:
Poor clarity and poor color is a given with cheap merchandise. Cheaper jewelry uses low quality diamonds (they have to). Almost every single diamond is going to be I clarity stone (most border on I3 clarity or industrial diamonds – not used in jewelry).
Some diamonds will be so bad they’ll look like a piece of yellow salt.
Customers say it looks like globs of glue.
Either that, or the diamonds will be littered with huge eye-visible black carbon spots that look like pepper. Pass these up.
Diamond accent jewelry:
They are called “diamond accents” because there’s only a pinch of diamond in the piece. They throw a tiny, low quality diamond into the mounting just so they can pass it off as “diamond jewelry“.
It doesn’t work.
It just adds to the price.
Cheap gemstone jewelry is often very pale in color and hue. Stones like amethyst and tanzanite are supposed to be dark in color. Not pale like colored water. Pale washed out stones are not desirable.
Other things that make jewelry cheap:
A small diamond set into a big plate of white gold. It gives the “illusion” that a diamond is big, but it really isn’t.
Invisible set mountings:
A puzzle of diamonds that make it look like one huge diamond is called invisible set. Invisible set diamonds fall apart and you’ll end up losing your stones in no time (especially in cheaper jewelry). Beware!
Clusters are commonly found in ladies cocktail rings (you know the ones – ten thousand diamonds – forty thousand prongs – really gaudy looking.)
Be careful of these.
These diamonds are often very low grade. The prongs are usually rough and will snag. And the mountings are extremely thin.
I would greatly advise you avoid buying diamond cluster mountings.
Crazy carat weights:
1/7th of a carat is nothing (seven points).
Don’t be fooled by carat weight terms and percentages that sound good. A lot of people don’t understand carat weights and will be fooled into thinking that it’s a good diamond weight.
If you understand points and carats and are fine with it… No problem. But usually low diamond carat weight jewelry is not worth the purchase. You get very little diamond and the clarity and color is usually bottom of the bucket.
Now, let’s look at some actual items that I would advise you to steer clear from…
In other words…
Don’t buy these!
(You’ve been warned.)
Herringbone necklaces and bracelets.
Don’t buy anything herringbone.
Herringbone kinks, bends and breaks way too easily.
I just saw in the paper that those lovely 3 strand, tri-colored (rose, white, yellow gold plated, just like this junk here.) Herringbone braided necklaces are making a come back… Run away!
Don’t buy them!
You’ll only regret it.
San marco chains:
Another horrible chain (pictured left) that I thought fell off the radar years ago. They’re back.
These necklaces look like little macaroni links. The joints and hinges in these types of chains always pop out and break off.
San marco necklaces and bracelets turn into an ugly mess and the jewelers have a hard time fixing them.
They don’t last.
Pass them up.
Diamond tennis bracelets:
They’ll get caught on everything and ruin your clothes. The diamonds in these are crappy and look like round balls of yellow snow.
They fall apart and will break in a month or two.
Plus most cheap tennis bracelets have very tiny diamonds in them (if you can still call them diamonds), that are only 1 point each, or even less (half of one point each – .005 ct).
Do not buy them.
It’s like throwing away your money.
($125 for a 2.00 carat tennis bracelet? I don’t think so.)
Also note that a lot of cheap jewelry is now being certified.
That’s right… Low quality diamonds and gemstones are now being certified.
Stores are trying to make the pieces and merchandise “sound better” and “look better” by making them certified.
It doesn’t mean squat.
Don’t be fooled by the glossy laminated paperwork.
Being certified does not mean the jewelry is high quality.
The best advice:
They are cheap for a reason.
Taking a closer look will show you why the prices are so low. It can really help you make a better decision to buy or not to buy.
So is it a doorbuster, or a wallet buster?
If you’re happy with the quality, go for it. But many will say “No way.”
It’s your money…
Consider yourself warned.
If I were you, I would wait and buy better quality.
Spend a little bit more money and get yourself a better piece of jewelry that will last you a lifetime.
You’ll be much better off in the end.
14k Wheat Chains
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