How to get more dazzle for your dollar – buying jewellery online

Buying jewellery online can be quite a daunting task. Some people may still feel that purchasing via the net implies a degree of uncertainty. But, in today’s world of digital commerce (eBay for example) we buy everything from electronics to clothing at the click of the button, most of the time without barely a second though.

However, there are some common-sense standards that you can use. These apply particularly to purchasing decisions of high value, such as jewellery. Online shopping isn’t risky if you do your research. So, what should you look out for to get more dazzle for your dollar?

Sterling Silver

Silver has been traditionally viewed as second best. But, when it comes to its actual colour you’ll find that a lot of people prefer a white metal to a yellow. It depends on your sense of style and for some it’s a matter of what suits their complexion.

Silver is a less expensive, yet still durable option which is often very attractive and provides a delicate touch. Just think of stacks of silver filigree bangles or a fine silver chain. Silver is a fresh look that is perfect for summer, sitting nicely against tanned skin, and white cotton attire. It’s also perfect for those who prefer a minimal and sophisticated style.

The thing to remember about silver is that it needs to be sterling. Stamped 925, sterling silver is 92.5 percent silver mixed with alloys to keep it strong. Just like gold, sterling silver has a market value. Unlike silver plating, genuine sterling silver won’t wear down. That’s what makes it such a practical option. A pieced of sterling silver jewellery can be worn every day without the fear that it must be thrown out after some time – which is often the case with costume jewellery.

Synthetic/Stimulated Jewellery

Although not produced by geological forces earth of the earth, synthetic and stimulated gemstones (interchangeable terms) exhibit the same qualities as their natural/mined counterparts – at a fraction of the cost. A synthetic gem is grown in a laboratory. And, while it not be anywhere near as rare as a traditional gem it will have the same hardness, lustre and colour. So, you are basically getting the same thing for a much cheaper price. In fact, at about 20 to 30 percent cheaper.

When you think about it the only difference between natural stones and their synthetic/stimulated equivalents is the story behind them. This can be a massive plus as they are guaranteed to be conflict free. This is a much harder thing to be sure about with mined gemstones, especially when it comes to diamonds. Keep in mind, however, that you need to make sure you a purchasing a lab-made gem when you are looking at piece labelled synthetic/stimulated. Don’t be fooled by the term ‘imitation’ which means it could be made from almost any old thing (probably plastic/resin and most likely made in China).

Cultured/Cultivated Pearls

There’s no denying that a string of pearls can be simply stunning, especially when paired against a classic little black dress, in true ‘Breakfast at Tiffanys’ style. However, the single perfect drop of incandescence that we admire as a pearl often comes with a price that equals more than just the ticket value. Natural pearls are items of rarity located at deep-sea level that must be dived for –  they require extreme danger and sacrifice in their acquisition.

Cultured/cultivated pearls provide an alternative that negates such risk, difficulty and potential loss of life. They are farmed using a tissue graft from a donor oyster. The process results in a pearl that has the same properties as a natural pearl. In fact, over the last two years the production method has been refined and improved so now cultured/cultivated pearls are often as large, round and perfect as their natural equivalents. It’s the same product –  just a smarter and cheaper option. Cultured/cultivated pearls provide a great option for those with a budget who are still looking for a durable and beautiful option.

Lloyds Auctions have regular online Jewellery auctions, for more details on the upcoming sale click HERE

Matt Kalinski

Head Of Valuations

Qualifications & Affiliations

American Society of Appraisers Candidate Member

Certified Practicing Valuer AVAA


Matt has been in the valuations space for many years and has extensive experience in the space across an abundance of various industries. He now leads the valuations teams for Lloyds Auctions with a passion for encouraging his team to set and achieve high goals and produce great results for the company whilst growing the team’s skills starting with a great culture and team mindset.