Jewelry Store 101: 5 Basic Tips for Buying Gold Jewelry

It turns out 2014 may be a good time to get a great deal on gold jewelry. According to a recent report by CNN, gold prices have dropped around $360 per ounce in the past year, and economists predict gold will become even more affordable as the year goes on. But before you hit the Jewelry Store, make sure you’re knowledgeable enough about buying gold jewelry to get your money’s worth. Here are some tips to help ensure you’re making a wise purchase.

Look for a Trademark

According to the Federal Trade Commission, you should always check gold jewelry for a manufacturer’s trademark. This will appear as a symbol, name or initials after the karat quality mark. If you don’t see a trademark, don’t buy the piece.

Buy Online, But Be Careful

You can get some wonderful deals on gold jewelry through online vendors, but shop smart. Check with the Better Business Bureau to make sure a company is in good standing before you buy, and try to stick with established businesses. For example, is one experienced jeweler that is accredited by both the Gemological Institute of America and the Better Business Bureau. Try to stick with jewelers with similar credentials.

Beware of “Gold Washed” Jewelry

Be wary of jewelery that is labeled as “gold flashed” or “gold washed”. According to the Federal Trade Commission, these terms refer to a microscopically thin electroplating of gold that will wear away quickly. You’re better off investing in solid gold or something that is gold plated.

24-Karat Gold May Not Be The Best Choice

Although 24-karat gold is the purest gold available, it is also the most malleable. This can make it a risky choice for jewelry that you expect to wear frequently, because it’s softness can cause it to become misshapen. 24-karat gold is best left used for plating on delicate, ornamental pieces of jewelry. 14-karat gold is a far better choice for rings, earrings and necklaces.

Watch Out for White Gold

If you have allergies or sensitive skin, try to avoid white gold. The chemicals in this alloy are far more likely to cause an allergic reaction in people with metal sensitivities. Stick to yellow or rose gold pieces from the Jewelry Store instead.

Gold prices are reaching new lows, so it’s a great time to purchase gold jewelry. Keep the tips above in mind to make sure you’re buying a quality piece.