Monday, August 10, 2009


For this edition of Splendor Sidebar I gathered up some information providing tips on buying certain types of jewelry like vintage or gold jewelry. I hope the information will be of some help.

There are several factors to keep in mind when purchasing vintage jewelry: quality, condition, manufacturers, and for whom you are buying the jewelry. An article by Pamela Wiggins from gives some helpful information on getting the most for your money.

Buying gold jewelry is a bit more straightforward. 24-karat gold is the purest and most expensive as there are no additional metals mixed in. There are varying opinions, however, on the durability of gold this pure.

Eighteen-karat gold is considered the most durable because it contains 18 parts gold, and 6 parts of one or more additional metals, or 75% gold; while 14-karat gold contains 14 parts gold, and 10 parts one or more additional metals, or 58% gold, which is believed to be not as durable.

Trying to determine which type of gold-coated jewelry is more durable, however, can pose a particularly frustrating conundrum. Check out Carly Wickell's article from on buying all types of gold jewelry, which includes the durability, and pros and cons of gold-filled, gold vermeil, and gold-plated jewelry.

Of course developing a better understanding on how to care for gold-coated jewelry can extend the life of the jewelry. In purchasing gold and gold-coated jewelry, it is also a good idea to know if you have allergic reactions to the metals mixed with gold, as well as the metals coated with gold.

Like gold, the purest silver is soft and is mixed with other metals to provide durability; unlike gold, however, silver is more affordable. For an item to be considered sterling or solid silver, the US Federal Trade Commission requires that it must be composed of 92.5% silver (or .925).

Copper is frequently combined with silver to provide durability, but the downside is copper causes silver to tarnish easily. Due to this, some jewelers are now mixing platinum with silver that makes for shinier, tarnish-free jewelry. For more information on silver, read Carly Wickell's article at

If you love diamonds and pearls, offers helpful tips on buying both kinds of jewelry. Lastly, for those of you considering buying jewelry online, check out's tips on how and why to purchase jewelry from internet shops.
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