questionsbuying jewelry online... safe? or no?

vote-for23vote-against
vote-for8vote-against

I prefer to buy jewelry in person. It's far easier to tell the actual quality of the stones and metals when you can examine it yourself. I'm not saying it's not safe, but I feel more confident that way.

vote-for6vote-against

My personal rule is: buy expensive jewelry in person, but it's OK to buy "everyday" jewelry online. Blue topaz & silver earrings would be a pretty safe online purchase. But something like a 1/2 carat diamond ring should be bought in person in order to evaluate the quality.

vote-for5vote-against

Shadora has good deal, so does JTV~I have bought LOTS from them.

vote-for4vote-against

@devexityspace: I love jewelry. I love it a lot. The earrings you point to at Amazon seem nice enough, but I've never ever heard of the company doing the selling. I used to trust Amazon feedback for storefronts, but having seen how easily it's gamed, I have no confidence in strangers.

You're not really talking about diamonds, and Blue Topaz is pretty, and very common. It's just nice enough to be pretty, and common enough that it's easier to give you a real stone than a fake one. On the other hand, I thought December was Ruby, so I went to the canonical source (Wikipedia):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birthstones

What ever you get will be wonderful, of course.

For comparison, here are some lovely blue topaz earrings from Blue Nile.

http://www.bluenile.com/gemstone-jewelry/gemstone-earrings/blue-topaz-earrings

[Edit] Sorry, didn't really answer the question. I think my answer is, it depends. Take a look at the two or three pairs on the Blue Nile page that are set in silver.

vote-for4vote-against

@shrdlu: Ahh I see ruby is also a december birthstone.. I had checked this website:

http://www.bernardine.com/birthstone/december.htm

I know her favorite color is blue, so chose that as the stone... I don't really care for the blue nile earrings (and wow they are really expensive lol); but It does look like a more reputable dealer

vote-for4vote-against

I've only bought one item on line..It was a 1930's white gold diamond ring. It was my size and loved the style. Paid $650.00. Had it appraised. $2400.00. I was lucky. Got it on E-Bay but a different connecting site. Collectorsweekly.com. You can narrow your search that way. Maybe you can find a treasure too...

vote-for4vote-against

@devexityspace: Most of the earrings on that page are set in 18k gold, and the gold's the thing that makes them so costly. There were a few on that page that were set in silver that were similar in price to the earrings from "FineJewelry" on Amazon.

I personally prefer sterling silver over gold plated (or platinum plated) metals, since you don't know how long the plating will last, and for earrings especially, the constant contact with skin will wear it down in places. I'll try to think of other sites (than just Blue Nile) that I can recommend, but I have other distractions for now. I will also try to remember that you are looking to spend $50 (or so), not $500 or $5000, and not even point you at Tiffany's. :-D

vote-for4vote-against

All you can do is set a personal threshold on how much you're willing to spend on something that may end up being terribly disappointing in person. I've bought my wife all sorts of blue topaz over the web (she's a December birthday and loes the stuff) but I don't think I'd ever go above $100 for anything I couldn't see in person ahead of time.

My suggestion if you want something special would be to buy something from a local jeweler. Maybe there's a jewerly district in your area where you can get a good deal. Avoid department stores.

Topaz is pretty inexpensive, and it's not hard to find really cheap deals at sites that have daily jewelry deals, so if you ever see a deal for $20 or less for a pair of earrings or a pendant, go ahead and get them and hold on to them for when you just want to surprise your wife. The surprise gifts, even the cheap ones, can be more meaningful for the expensive ones when the recipient is expection them. (And this is cheaper than flowers!)

vote-for4vote-against

Maybe it's just me but I don't think most women like the hokey heart shaped stone. They like something unique, not the common designs. Wherever you buy it, don't buy the same thing every other woman is getting for their birthday. Try a local place that sells estate jewelry.

vote-for2vote-against

Plated items are generally a bad idea. If it gets some use, the plate will rub off and will look cheap and fakeee. I learned my lesson a few years ago when I bought a white gold plated bracelet. It now looks bronze in a lot of areas.

vote-for2vote-against

Studs are a classic, heart shaped gemstones, not so much. I'm not a huge fan of gold plated. I would prefer either all silver or 10k if I am being budgety. A good starting size for studs would be 2 ctw (carat total weight). I personally feel very comfortable buying blue topaz online. I use Shadora quite a bit.

Take a look through her jewelry box. See what cut of stones she prefers. For example, my personal preference for gem cut is the emerald or asscher, so if anyone bought me that, I would be very happy.

I like the blue topaz. A majority of them start out as colorless topaz that are treated with irradiation. True blue topaz is rare in nature. The longer they are in treatment, the darker the blue.

http://www.thediamondalternative.com/top-3-cut-shapes-for-diamonds-and-gemstones-engagement-rings/
http://geology.com/minerals/topaz.shtml
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gemstone_irradiation

vote-for3vote-against

There are plenty of reputable online jewelry stores, like Bluenile, as well as jewelry stores that have both brick & mortar stores and online shopping, like Tiffany and Cartier. Plus, if you are looking for vintage pieces, there are websites that offer pre-owned pieces, like Portero.

I would avoid buying diamonds sight unseen, though, unless you really know your stuff. Macy's had a "sale" on a pair of 1ct. diamond stud earrings last year. The generic photos on the website looked pretty, but I went to see them in person at the Macy's store near me. They were junk - huge black inclusions, cloudy, zero sparkle, even under the fluorescent lights. Sure enough, a month or so later when everyone who ordered the earrings started to receive them, the reviews on Macy's website started rolling in about how low quality the earrings were.

vote-for3vote-against

I've bought a fair amount online... My criteria are pretty simple: I only shop at online stores that have a liberal return policy and a phone number I can call and actually talk to someone if I want. Only got burned once at a site I should have known better - no phone, nothing "about us," no return policy, etc. Have returned 1 or two items (out of maybe 12) bought from more 'credible' sites - mostly just for stylistic reasons (e.g. Mrs. J didn't "like" it - nothing "wrong" with it). No problems with that.

Oddly enough, over time I've found I can usually tell just by spending a few minutes on the site. There's just a feel to a "professional, real" site versus "we'll take your money, sucker"... Does it sound like a real business, or someone's hobby: "Super Mega Jewelry Cheap Deals"? Does it look like someone's 13 year old nephew designed it, or someone with a clue? Does it look nice with large detailed pictures, or lots of jumbled 'shtuff' everywhere? Subjective...but works for me.