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How to buy the best jewellery for you

Jewellery buying guide

Choosing what jewellery is best for you is not as easy as you might have thought it was going to be, especially if you are buying your jewellery online. With so many choices, it can be daunting. This is why The Mysterious Jeweller has created this blog, to help make buying jewellery online clear and effortless.

You've been in lockdown for over a year now, you are ready to go out and socialise, finally. You want to buy something new, maybe reinvent yourself. After all, you have money saved up as you have not been allowed out due to Covid-19. You decide its finally time to spice things up and invest in some jewellery. You decide a ring will be a perfect addition to your new look. You type 'men's ring' into google. 1,630,000,000 results in 0.80 seconds. So many options, 925 sterling silver, Stainless Steel, Gold, Tungsten Carbide, Titanium. You may be asking yourselves what is the best silver to buy for jewellery or what brand of jewellery is most popular? The seemingly endless bombardment of options makes you overwhelmed and you give up.

Thankfully, your journey has brought you here. You have come to the right place. I will guide you on this journey for buying your first piece! Before deciding what kind of jewellery you want to wear it is important to understand all the different types of material that jewellery is made from. I will breakdown the most popular material used in jewellery and the pros and cons so you can make a confident decision in buying the perfect look.

 

925 Sterling Silver

925 Sterling Silver simply means that the alloy metal contains 92.5% of Silver and 7.5% Copper. This combination is due to pure silver being soft, causing it to bend easily, not making it suitable for jewellery, so it is mixed with another metal to strength it up. A 925 Sterling Silver piece of jewellery will have a certification stamp such as 'S925' 'Sterling' so you know it's real. (as seen on the Ibis ring).

An image showing the certification stamp of sterling silver 'S925' of the ibis ring

 

It is typically hypoallergenic as Silver alone does not cause allergic reactions. However, due to the 7.5% of copper it can be easily tarnished, which means the copper will oxidise over time causing it to darken and lose it colour. But on the bright side tarnish is easy to remove, so it just requires a bit more maintenance such as an anti-tarnishing cloth which can be purchased from The Mysterious Jeweller.

Pros:

  • Durable
  • Wearable in everyday environments
  • Beautifully bright, shiny and metallic
  • Hypoallergenic 

Cons:

  • Easily Tarnished 
  • More expensive than Stainless Steel
  • More susceptible to damages such as scratches

 

Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel jewellery is usually the product of carbon and iron. In addition to Chromium, which makes it corrosion-resistant. Due to the hard alloys stainless steel jewellery is perfect for everyday use, offering a higher scratch resistance than sterling silver. An example of a attractive and affordable stainless steel chain can be seen below.

One of the most attractive things about stainless steel is the environmentally friendly method that is used to make the product. It is one of the most eco-friendly materials, as little energy is used in production with little waste product, in addition to it being recyclable.

Due to stainless steel's hard alloys it should be noted that it can cause scratches to softer jewellery such as your sterling silver pieces. However, an easy way round this is storing the stainless steel jewellery in soft pouches such as the ones provided with our products.

A downside of stainless steel is that it may contain nickel in its alloy. If you have high quality 316L steel, it is safe for hypoallergic individuals. If the product contains nickel, stay away from it!!!

Pros:

  • Durable
  • Affordable
  • High variety 
  • Environmentally friendly 
  • Low maintenance 
  • Trendy

Cons:

  • Difficult to resize
  • High rigidity

Gold 

Buying Gold jewellery can be the intimidating to first time buyers as there is a many different options. First we will distinguish the difference between 10K,14K,18K and 24K. K stands for 'Karat' which is different from Carat (CT) which is used to describe the depict weight of a diamond. Karat describes the purity of gold in the content.

24K

100% gold content and is the most brightest yellow. 24K is not the most suitable material for jewellery as it is soft and malleable.

18K 

75% pure gold. It is mixed with other alloys to make it more suitable for Jewellery. This would be the highest purity found in jewellery therefore making it expensive. In addition, it is least likely to cause allergic reactions as it has a small percentage of alloys. 18K gold can be recognised by stamps such as 18K, 18ct, 18kt, 0.75 and 750.

Pros:

  • Highest percentage of Gold
  • Most Valuable
  • Richer colour
  • least likely to cause allergic reactions

Cons:

  • Less durable than 14K and 10K
  • Most expensive

 

14K 

58.3% pure gold. This is the most popular content of gold due to its warm yellow colour and it being affordable. It is also more durable than 18K due to the high percentage of other metals. 14K comes with more variation as there are four different colours: yellow gold, rose gold, white gold and black gold.14K pieces can be recognised through the stamps 583, 587 or 14K

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • More durable than 18K
  • Colour variation

Cons:

  • Not as prestigious as 18K
  • Less valuable 
  • Duller than 18K

 

10K

41.7% pure gold. It contains 52% silver and 6.3% copper. The cheapest and usually the least desired form of gold. Not many high quality jewellers use 10K due to it being able to tarnish quickly. It is the dullest colour of gold almost being white colour. However, due to the high percentage of alloys mixed it is the most durable form of gold.

Pros:

  • Most durable
  • Very affordable

Cons:

  • Dull colour
  • Most likely to tarnish
  • Can trigger skin reaction
  • Uncommon

 

Gold Plating

Gold plated jewellery is not gold. It is usually jewellery that has a base metal of copper or silver and a thin layer of gold that is plated chemically or electrically. Gold plated jewellery has become widely popular due to its affordability and shiny look. If you are looking for a gold look for everyday wear then 18k gold plated jewellery is for you. 18k gold plated chains are affordable and give you the gold look you are looking for. You would pay between £5- £50 for 18k gold plated jewelry and if the plating is well done, the colour should last around 2 years.
men's affordable cheap 18k gold plated chain jewellery

Pros:

  • Extremely affordable
  • Real gold look
  • Strong and durable

Cons: 

  • It will tarnish 
  • Susceptible to scratches
  • Not suitable for water

Titanium 

If you are looking for a cheap, minimalist piece then titanium might be the one for you. Titanium is known for being lightweight and strong and has become popular for wedding band rings.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Affordable
  • Hypoallergic 
  • Durable
  • Easily engravable
  • Does not lose its colour

Cons:

  • Hard to resize 
  • Difficult to create complex designs 

 

Tungsten Carbide

Tungsten Carbide is a composition of Tungsten and Carbon making it heavy, hard and durable. A scratch resistance ring with a permeant polishing look which means it is a ring requiring low maintenance.

Tungsten Carbide material is not seen as a suitable ring for a long term use such as marriage rings compared to gold and platinum. However it is a fashionable, affordable choice for the everyday man. The Tungsten Carbide stamp can be seen on the inside of a ring.

Stamp

Pros:

  • Extreme scratch resistant 
  • Affordable
  • Durability
  • Hypoallergic 
  • Heavy
  • Permanent polish look

Cons:

  • Cannot be resized 
  • Prone to breakage  

 

The Mysterious Jeweller recommends:

If you are in the market for a chain and your budget is low, The Mysterious Jeweller suggests to you to buy a stainless steel one. The reason being, you can still acquire that high standard look for a fraction of the price with a guarantee that it will last a long time. In addition, you can purchase stainless steel jewellery with the piece of mind that you have not contributed to poor environmental practices.

For the individual looking to purchase their first ring. The Mysterious Jewellers suggestion would be a sterling silver ring. Personal experience and fantastic reviews highlight silvers soft properties as some of the best. Some sterling silver rings are easily adjustable and often come with a one size fits all property, so you do not have to go through the trouble of worrying about buying the correct sized ring. Although sterling silver is slightly more expensive then other materials you can get a fashionable long term piece for £20.

 

There we have it my mysterious readers; these are the 6 most important types of materials found in jewellery. You are now equipped with a clear understanding of the type of jewellery you want to purchase. The new you awaits and is only a click away. 

The Mysterious Jeweller. 

 


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