Want a hassle-free way of buying gold jewelry on the internet?
Good! You have come to the correct place. Here, you are going to learn a lot including:
- Why you should buy gold jewelry online
- 5 steps of buying gold jewelry online
- What red flags should you look out for
- And a lot more!
In this Guide
- Why Buy Gold Jewelry
- Steps of Buying Gold Jewelry Online
- Step 1. Get a Trusted and Reputable Online Retailer
- Step 2. Know the gold purity
- Step 3. Look for certification and hallmarks
- Step 4. Understand the gold jewelry language
- Step 5. Check for return policies and warranty
- How to Save Money When Buying Gold Jewelry Online
- Stay Away from Chain Stores
- Look for Deals
- Check Extra Costs (Like Sales Tax)
- Best Places to Buy Gold Jewelry Online
- James Allen
- Blue Nile
- Red Flags When Buying Gold Jewelry
Purchasing gold jewelry is a one-in-a-lifetime investment. Given how technology has advanced over the years, the jewelry industry has seen more online gold jewelry retailers offering products at reasonable prices. All you need to do is click a few buttons here and there to choose your preferred gold pieces at the comfort of your home or office.
But is it easy to buy gold jewelry pieces online?
In this article, you will read about the best practices when purchasing gold online. You will get some tips to save money, the best online shops, warning signs, and a lot more.
Why Buy Gold Jewelry
Gold is one of the most expensive metals to buy, especially if you are buying from local jewelry shops. You even get a better chance of finding the kind of gold you want since these stores have large collections of gold, rose gold, white gold, and yellow gold rings. Unlike local shops, online jewelry vendors help save a lot because of the absence of overhead costs. The advantage of cost-saving is almost entirely shifted to the customer.
Online jewelry sellers are well aware of the fact that customers like to see and feel any expensive thing they are going to spend their money on. Some of these retailers get people to buy what they have not seen but have invested in high-tech cameras and certification reports.
Steps of Buying Gold Jewelry Online
Step 1. Get a Trusted and Reputable Online Retailer
Whether you are buying earrings made of gold, a gold necklace, a gold engagement ring, or jewelry made of gemstones online, I highly recommend that you head over to Blue Nile or James Allen. The reason is these jewelers specialize in online jewelry vending, including vintage gold and silver gold pieces.
Step 2. Know the gold purity
Karats is the measure of how pure gold is and will in turn reflect in the gold price. There are 24-karat gold pieces in the market! This is the purest of all the gold jewelry and is measured in 24 parts, hence its name 24K gold. In layman’s language, 24 karat is 99.9% gold, but it is hard to make gold using this purity level since it is extremely soft.
Jewelers use alloys (gold and other metals in one) to make the overall jewelry stronger. So, you find that a 22-karat has only 91.67% gold content while an 18-karat has only 75% pure gold content. These metal alloys are the best choices for making gold chains, gold bangles, and gold bracelets.
I like the 18K and 14K gold for my everyday wear bangles, and bracelets. Feminine chains are usually delicate and the soft nature of gold puts it at risk of breaking when snagged.
RECOMMENDED: 10k vs 14k vs 18k vs 24k Gold Explained
The low quality of gold (14K) is common in stone-studded jewelry pieces such as diamond necklaces, diamond earrings, and diamond rings. With that in mind, search for gold jewelry that ranges from 14K to 22K when buying online.
Check out the video below to know how to spot fake gold jewelry.
Step 3. Look for certification and hallmarks
The hallmark is the single proof that the gold is as pure as it is claimed. You need to look at this mark to make sure that it matches exactly what the product description states. In general, the hallmark is always the karatage. You may also find the gold purity percentage engraved on some part of the jewelry that is not so visible.
In addition to the standard hallmark, there could also be other marks engraved on the metal. For example the mark of the jeweler, the year when it was marked, purity code, mark of the testing center among others.
Step 4. Understand the gold jewelry language
You have an online jeweler in mind and are armed with one or two things about gold purity, but you still struggle to understand the terminologies used in the product description. Before committing to a purchase, you should ensure you understand what all the strange jargons mean to make an informed choice.
For example, there is a big difference between gold-plated jewelry and gold-filled jewelry. Gold plated pieces have a thin layer of gold-coated on top of another metal. Gold plated jewelry that has low price tags will tarnish faster to leave the base metal exposed. Some gold plates like vermeil are laid on top of specific base metals. Vermeil is crusted on sterling silver and works best for people who react to nickel.
On the flip side, gold-filled jewelry pieces are filled with gold and a minute content of metal alloys to strengthen it.
Step 5. Check for return policies and warranty
Buying gold jewelry online is a big investment on its own, and it is only fair that an online vendor backs its items with a convenient warranty. Although some jewelers choose to add the warranty to the final price of the item you are buying, I think it is worth it. In some instances, what you see online is what you will get exactly and in some cases, the retailer decides to enhance the color somehow.
This is exactly where the return policy becomes important. The majority of the online gold sellers give a few days to return jewelry with full refunds. Some online gold retailers don’t have the return option, so it is important to know what the vendor has to say about jewelry returns.
Once again Blue Nile and James Allen have friendly return policies.
How to Save Money When Buying Gold Jewelry Online
Stay Away from Chain Stores
There could be a jewelry store a few blocks from where you stay, but I don’t know if you will be comfortable buying a gold piece from them if you learn that they set abnormally high prices for their products. The prices can go as high as 700%! This is outrageous especially if you consider the prices at online stores given that they are small retailers selling the same kinds of gold jewelry.
For the best prices, you are still stuck with James Allen and Blue Nile. They do not incur extra overhead costs and there is no pushy sales staff. This is why their product prices are significantly cheaper than the physical store next to your home. You, however, need to be on the lookout not to go lower than is normal, some online vendors may not stick with their low prices.
Look for Deals
Online stores normally have flash sales and discounts on a regular basis. Most online jewelers have several deals throughout the year. Aside from the traditional deals offered on Black Fridays and national holidays, you can land on discounts when purchasing your favorite jewelry piece online.
However, not all discounts being offered are the best. Some discounts apply only to particular products or sometimes the discount can be too low. The best way is to compare the deals with various online jewelers to know who has the best offer. This prevents you from being an easy target.
Jewelry stores like Clean Origin do not provide deals at any point, so shopping here guarantees you of getting the best price all the time.
Check Extra Costs (Like Sales Tax)
Buying gold jewelry is much more than just the gold purity which may vary from one retailer to the next. If you really want to save money, you should be aware of other services that may make the price go up.
- Gold bullion rate: This is the market price for gold, but it keeps changing frequently. A trusted online jeweler has a page on their website that shows the routine bullion rates for 24K gold. Gold that is not pure is measured in grams.
- Stores that sell designer jewelry: Jewelry stores that sell pieces designed by Cartier, Bulgari, and other high-end designers sell their gold items at extremely high prices. Designer gold jewelry carries price tags that are more than ten times the price of normal jewelry. The prices are high since there are costs that cover the quality of the product, designer characteristics, in addition to the name of the brand.
- Custom-made pieces: Most online sellers add a charge to jewelry pieces that are designed with customers’ specific preferences. So, you will not pay for the jewelry only but for the design too.
- Sales tax: Because of the high jewelry prices, most states charge an extra fee in sales tax. We have articles that explain how to avoid paying tax on Blue Nile products and ways of saving sales tax when buying from James Allen.
Best Places to Buy Gold Jewelry Online
You most probably already know the best place to buy since I have highlighted those numerously in this article. I am not promoting them in any way but my opinion is they are doing a good job of proving the best customer experience when buying jewelry made of gold.
The jewelry industry keeps changing and these reputable stores are here to give you a different shopping experience from the one your parents had several years back.
James Allen is the best place to shop, they have a vast collection of jewelry pieces. This store does not only sell gold jewelry but has a variety of jewelry types in their collection and has 360-degree visualization for every item. The HD videos are very handy, especially when making such huge investments. It is good to see how the jewelry looks like before you buy.
Going through the inventory at James Allen is not an easy task. No section is dedicated to gold jewelry, you have to search or filter manually to get jewelry made of gold only. Stone-studded jewelry always attracts high price tags.
In short, James Allen has been in business for almost two decades and their website is great. Shopping with them is not risky.
Blue Nile is known to offer high-quality gold jewelry at competitive prices. Most of their products can be viewed using the 360-degree technology and have authenticity certificates. Their website has a “precious metals” section so finding gold jewelry should be easy for you. The section is further classified according to the types of jewelry.
The gold jewelry at Blue Nile is not so wide and because of this, you can reserve your preferred jewelry for a maximum of 48 hours. This gives you enough room to decide if you still want the product or not. Because of their reputation, Blue Nile is a trusted store to shop at, you only need to confirm the fine prints before committing to a purchase.
Apart from selling diamonds, Whiteflash has expanded to selling other metal jewelry too. However, the gold varieties are limited and in some cases, you will need to order and wait for a customer service representative to call you. If you are looking for pure gold jewelry, not necessarily stone-studded items, this may not be the best online store.
Whiteflash is known to sell high-quality diamond jewelry but they don’t have much when it comes to gold pieces. Whiteflash’s inventory is smaller than that of Blue Nile.
Red Flags When Buying Gold Jewelry
Shopping online for jewelry is a good option, but there are red flags that you need to look out for.
- Do not buy any gold jewelry that does not have hallmarks. You will come across online vendors that will try to sell gold to you that has no engravings. Unless you have extensive knowledge about gold, do not purchase such pieces, you will have trouble reselling if you so wish.
- 24K gold is not the best choice for jewelry. It is the purest gold you can find, but also the rarest. Jewelry made of gold is malleable and can break easily if you expose it to rough environments.
- Avoid buying any jewelry that has few images or has stock images. Gold jewelry does not need more of the 4C’s, but you need to look at what you would like to order first. The images need to be real and high quality and represent the actual dimensions of the product. This prevents you from getting ripped.
- Be on the lookout for fake jewelry. If possible bring along a magnet to use. Real jewelry will not be attracted by a magnet, fake gold will.