Shopping for Jewelry

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The Fashion Frugalista

The Best Source for Cheap Jewelry?

Christmas is around the corner and my husband always buys me jewelry. Do you have any hints for getting the best deal on jewelry purchases. Online, warehouse, etc.?
Hilary J.

Look for Cheap Jewelry in Pawn Shops

My husband and I had our own jewelry store for 20 years. We manufactured and repaired all types, so I am somewhat of an authority. You can get good deals at pawnshops, if you know what you're looking for. If not, stay away as many things are worn or need repair. They usually have great deals on diamonds.

Find Cheap Jewelry on the Internet

This year, already, most of my Christmas shopping is done thanks to Internet buying and!

For jewelry purchasing on the Internet, there are many reliable stores. If you know what you are looking for, go specifically looking for that. If not and you are 'just shopping around' I go to E-bay and type in 10k or 14k and look at what comes up. Make sure though to check out the feedback and shipping/handling information. A good rule of thumb from personal experience is to ask the person some extra questions and see what kind of a response you get. There are some things that I would really like but will not purchase if: a) I don't like their shipping policies or b) negative feedback. I have even e-mailed past customers and asked them their opinions.

Some friends and relatives of mine are all getting jewelry this year. I had lots of fun getting the items, paid from .10 cents (yes, ten cents for a lovely pendant + 4.95 s&h) to about 12.00 and best of all, the item is sent right to my doorstep. It has been a great way to get unique items also...vintage linens etc. My motto is "I would rather buy good used than cheap new".

Cheap Jewelry Deals at Pawn Shops

I have found that the very best place to get quality jewelry at a reduced rate is at some of the local pawnshops that have been in business for quite a few years. They test all the jewelry they take in on loan, so that they are accurate in the maximum loan amount they are willing to offer (which is usually $.10 on each $1.00). When the person who left the collateral doesn't come back, they have the right to sell it, and often do so for considerably below market.

Have them show you the test to prove the level of gold. They can also prove the weight of any piece, and usually have a jeweler's loupe to allow you to inspect the stone. If you go in on a regular basis, you can get to know one or two of the owners, and they will tell you which pieces they think are good. I have a bracelet appraised at over $3,000 which I paid $450 for and a ring appraised at over $2,000 which I paid $350 for.

You Can Find Cheap Jewelry at Department Stores on the Weekends

I had wanted a sapphire ring for a long time but did not want to pay $1000.00 for a nice quality one I saw in an antique store. I was eating in a restaurant one day and noticed our server was wearing a very pretty emerald ring. I told her I thought it was beautiful and she happened to mention that she used to sell jewelry. I asked if there was any place she would recommend to buy inexpensive yet quality jewelry and she said "Yes, at department stores on the weekend." I asked why and she said, "They can buy in large quantities and they often discount up to 60% off".

I dragged my husband to Boscov's and noticed a nice ring for $229.00. I also noticed the 60% off discount sign. I asked the cashier to scan the tag to see how much it would be with the discount and she said $97.00. I told her I would take it. But there was more. They had the registers programmed to give an additional 10-40% off of the 60% discount! I walked out of the store with a nice sapphire ring for only $76.90!

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