Finding good deals for jewellery: a few resources

14 April 2009

Readers moob over at HUKD wants to buy his wife a gift to celebrate the birth of their son recently (congratulations!). He’s thinking about getting her an eternity ring and wants to know about good online jewellers who operate in his price range (around £300). So here are a few suggestions from us and your fellow readers.

The Basics: Know what you're getting into

When it comes to buying jewellery, the first thing is to make sure you know what you're getting yourself into. You want the best quality jewellery for your money. A few tips to start with include:

* Doing your homework and ensuring a company is legit
* Taking online prices offline to try 'price matching'
* Knowing the refund and return policies before you buy
* Getting a grading report
* Checking for markings on metal jewellery
* Asking the right questions

However, this is not meant to be a guide on avoiding jewellery scams, but a starting basic compilation of the better online resources for jewellery purchase.

Here are a few recommended jeweller retailers from your fellow readers:

1.Beaverbrooks: Beaverbrooks was founded around 100 years ago when three brothers with a suitcase full of silverware took to the streets, later opening a store in Belfast. With over 60 stores in the UK and an Internet store, HUKDer macdoona said “don’t shop at any other jewellers.” The shop is still run by descendents of the original proprietors. As a side note: they’re hiring. According to their website, stores in Braehead, Exeter, Glasgow Fort, Luton, Meadowhall, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford, Silverburn, Telford, Wakefield, Westfield London, and York are accepting applications for employment.

2. The Jewellery Channel: The website was suggested as a place to get good prices, particularly if you bid live. TJC’s website has "falling price auctions", a cool concept where you set the price you want to pay and the price of the item basically falls until it hits someone’s bid. Bidding early is “safe,” since everybody pays the final lowest price. They also have rapid drop auctions where they drop their price steeply once, and it’s first come first served from there. You can bid over the Internet, or with your mobile or landline phone. (thanks, Longbowassassin!)

http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/26/fleetjewellery15165546.jpg3. Sheila Fleet: recommended as a unique jewellery designer. She lives in the Orkneys and takes inspiration from her surroundings. Fleet spent 26 years as a designer before opening her own shop 15 years ago. Even her more traditional ring designs are set apart from the rest with some unique twist she has added to the design. (thanks, hellfire)

http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/7893/11112757mover15107543.jpg4. Tiffany & Co.: deserves a mention in any thread, seeing that it's a favourite with the ladies (over here on razta's deal request thread). Beware of fakes.

5. Finally, XSpoiltPrincessx has three further suggestions, the first being Ernest Jones, a chain with 190 stores that considers itself Britain’s “diamond and watch Specialist,” stocking brands like TAG Heuer, Armani, Omega, and Longines, and Rolex in some stores. Her other suggestions are H. Samuel, and good old Amazon.

Neither Moob nor razta have reported back on whether they have chosen a gift for their partners yet. But getting a full night’s sleep in a house with a new infant is probably a higher priority. Have you purchased jewellery before? Please share your jewellery purchase experiences with us, good or bad, in the comments below.

[HUKD]

9 comments

  • Robin
    The biggest online jewellery retailer is bluenile so you can do some good price comparisons there. If you want to get competitive prices on products you can physically hold and see then try going to a Jewellery quarter in one of the big cities - e.g. Hatton Gardens in London, 'The Quarter' in Birmingham etc.
  • Robin
    If you're buying bracelets / necklaces or other jewellery that is more metal than precious stone then take note of the price of gold (or Platinum if you're buying Pt) on the day you are going shopping and work out the market value of your purchase first. Today's prices mean it's about £15 per gram for 18 carat gold. A 25% markup is good value, above 50% and there's room for haggling.
  • Scott
    I bought a ring from Tiffany's and got a good reaction. For a major brand the ring was a bit different much like the missus and she loved it. Ended up getting our wedding rings (due to marry in November) from http://www.weddingrings-direct.com/ Its one of the very few places that I've seen offer such simple wedding rings yet with plenty of options. Managed to get some light weight palladium rings which we never saw anywhere else. Not sure how the prices compare with others but the option to order samples made the decision much easier. :)
  • Robin
    In the past i have bought jewellery from: H Samuel - Cheap and cheerful Goldsmiths - Very overpriced but great with 4x£ Tesco vouchers Jewellery Channel - Decent quality, good prices (try buying after midday as there is less of an audience due to freeview finishing at 12) SWAG - Good quality but limited to London / South East Independent stores - Great for unique finds or old style jewellery, ideal targets for a good haggle
  • chris
    By far and away the best bet is antique jewellery from your local auction. Much of it is better made than new items and often goes for little over, or even less than the scrap value. There were some lovely diamond solitaire 18ct rings last week at my local auction, all of which went for under £150 - three times that at least in a jewellers.
  • The B.
    I hate bloody jewellery, ended up getting the wife’s engagement and wedding ring from Tiffany’s (I told her it was chivvy but she wouldn’t have it)
  • Superfran
    Just don't get it from argos haha! No woman has ever put out for elizabeth duke!
  • mick
    Can't see by gems tv's prices and quality ,my wife loves her jewellery,and so visit here for birthdays,anniversaries+christmas pressies. Give the website a try, you get a 10 day moneyback return,but don't think you'll need it!!! Can also watch live on internet as prices fall everyone pays the lowest price.
  • Invicta ".
    Refreshing reading on Finding good deals for jewellery: a few resources | BitterWallet and getting other people's point of view.

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