How to purchase Jewellery in 2023
Purchasing Jewellery in 2023 do you get more VFM ( Value for money ) if you have your Jewellery made, buy from the high street, or purchase online?
Unlike other purchases you may consider buying, a jewellery piece is much harder for consumers to determine if they are getting something for a great price.
Excluding watches and fashion jewellery like Pandora and Swarovski, comparing the Cost of diamond or diamond and gemstone jewellery is almost impossible as there are so many permutations to consider, such as the diamond 4C’s precious metals the overall weight of the piece.
Your Jeweller buying options
You can buy from an online jeweller, a High Street jeweller, or a Jewellery designer. Let’s explore all your options in more detail.
The explosion of the internet
I am all for healthy competition, and if you are not looking for expert help and advice, then the Internet proposition might suit you.
It’s a straightforward model; you research how to choose a diamond, possibly a Lab-Grown diamond or coloured Gemstone, and make your selection from a long list of stones with many options. You then select your preferred settings from images with precious metal options.
They will then set your stones into your setting, call it Bespoke, which in my opinion, is misleading, and ship it to you. You have a 30-day returns policy which they have to offer by law.
But if this is your chosen route, please don’t be swayed when many sellers say they hold the most significant amount of GIA-certificated diamonds or are the cheapest, claims that are impossible to substantiate.
High Street Jewellers
Jewellery has, and will always be, an emotional purchase that requires interaction between the jeweller and their clients. Therefore, It is unsurprising that most people still buy their Jewellery this way.
Hatton Garden remains the most famous jewellery shopping street in the Uk, with over 50 retail establishments. Unlike the internet, you will receive expert help in most shops, but you have to remember they aim to sell you what they have in stock and, if possible, upsell you. You will have the opportunity to haggle with them on price because of their competition. Some offer a bespoke service, and if you are looking for Antique and reproduction jewellery, you will find that there too.
Bond Street Jewellers offer originality, such as Tiffany’s, probably the most famous jeweller in the world and synonymous with love. Let’s be honest; nobody can compete with the little blue or red boxes if you shop at Cartier. But shopping with them and the remaining luxury-end jewellers comes with an inflated price. Up to 50% more expensive than a comparable handmade jewellery piece made to the exact specification.
Provisional high street jewellers have a bond with their community. They offer a personal service, whether changing a watch battery or selling a piece of Jewellery. They will look after you on price the best they can, but you might be limited in choice. And some in larger towns might offer a limited bespoke service.
H Samuels deserves a special mention as part of the Signed Group of Jewellers; the group also owns Ernest Jones on the high street and online jewellers Blue Nile and James Allan. So they are well-placed to compete with online sellers.
H Samuels is the group’s start-out high street jeweller, and they are heavily into showing large original selling prices and sales with significant discounts. The quality of the stones and the material they use are at the lower end.
Genuine bespoke Jewellery does not exist, and you will start with a blank canvas. Bespoke has many advantages over off-the-shelf such as visual aids, 3D CAD, and printing has removed the premium price previously associated with bespoke and allows you to see your design evolve.
One piece of advice I would give is that whichever bespoke jeweller you choose to work with is that they have traditional making and CAD skills for making your Jewellery.
A further advantage is exploring all the materials used in your design. You could even consider using a family heirloom. And when it comes to choosing your stones, you will select from hand-picked stones and not long lists.
Lab-grown diamonds will save you a lot of money over natural diamonds, but are they right for you, and what is the difference? You will get expert help and advice to decide.
Coloured gemstones have a fantastic array of colours; you must see them to appreciate them. A service you will get with bespoke.
Precious Metals is about choosing the right colour and considering your social and work lifestyle. Again something you can discuss with your jeweller.
Remodelling, There is something extraordinary is remodelling a family heirloom into a new piece of Jewellery. You keep the memories alive and save money. And it is good for the environment too.
The Cost of Bespoke. And finally, everything will be tailored to or below your budget so you can confidently make your Jewellery. You will wear a jewellery piece only you will have, you would have helped create it, and it comes without paying a premium.
So, in summary, you have more choices than ever when buying a jewellery piece for that memorable occasion. Please don’t be fooled into thinking that an online purchase is the cheapest or that a bespoke piece is the most expensive because neither statement is true.
If you can find the exact jewellery piece you have been looking for at the price you wanted to pay, my advice would be to buy it. And if you can’t, plus you want something unique bespoke is the option for you.
About the Author
I am David Law, and I have been designing and making Jewellery for four decades for retailers worldwide and since 2006 as Your Personal Jeweller for private individuals.
My unique bespoke experience continues to evolve, and if you would like to discover what sets me apart from my competitors, how I can turn your dreams into reality, or to ask me a question, please click on the link.