Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Be Careful, Buy Smart

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Be Careful, Buy Smart

Article excerpt

Vani Naidoo

SHopping reporter

JEWELLERY checklist

Shop around, compare prices and ask friends and family for recommendations. If you find a piece that you like at a store you are comfortable with, before you buy:

Ask about the refund and return policy.

Check for appropriate markings on metal jewellery

Ask whether the stones or pearls are natural or manufactured and whether they have been chemically treated.

Make sure your sales receipt includes any information you relied on when making your purchase, like the gem's weight or size. Some jewellers may also give you a grading report.

If you are buying online, do your homework to make the sure the company is legitimate and get the details of the product and return policies before you buy. Get the number you need to call if there is a problem and test it.

JEWELLERY is one of those gifts that fit most occasions. There is a piece to suit styles and tastes whether you want to mark a special occasion, say an extra big thank you or reinforce a life commitment.

It used to be that buying jewellery was the preserve of men, an excited woman opening a velvet covered box to reveal the treasures within. But changing times have resulted in many women buying well-deserved delights for themselves and men also indulging in statement pieces like chains and rings.

The manufacture of jewellery, once a craft-honed secreted industry has been opened to mass production, meaning there are varying degrees of quality in both materials and craftsmanship.

The availability of jewellery at online stores has also added to the perils, making buying good pieces a careful task.

Of course jewellery needs to suit the purpose, but the first thing to probably consider is the choice of metal and the stones you want.

Gold a As it stands gold means 24 carat. But because 24ct gold is soft it is usually mixed with other metals to increase durability. The carat quality marking tells you what proportion of gold is mixed with the other metals. So for example, 14ct gold jewellery contains 14 parts of gold, mixed in throughout with 10 parts of base metal.

Most jewellery is marked with its carat quality. Solid gold refers to an item made of any carat gold where the inside of the item is not hollow. The proportion of gold in the piece of jewellery still is determined by the carat mark.

Jewellery can also be plated with gold in a variety of ways. Gold plate refers to items that are mechanically plated, electroplated or plated with gold to a base metal some other way. Eventually, gold plating wears away, but how soon depends on how often the item is worn and how thick the plating is.

Platinum a Platinum usually is mixed with similar metals or non-precious base metals. …

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