Ways to Save Money When Buying Birthstone Jewelry
When the tradition of birthstones began, there was wide spread belief in the power of gemstones. Different stones were assigned to planets as well as months. Anyone could benefit by wearing a gemstone during the time when its planet gave it power. However the person born then received greater benefit.
Would you like to collect all the birthstones?
Or only the one that is a symbol of your birthday month or zodiac period?
Birthstone jewelry is beautiful, but it can be expensive. You can find affordable birthstones. Here are some suggestions on how to save money.
The birthstones are gemstones. Some are obviously more expensive than others. The birthstone list currently used in the United States contains less expensive alternates for most months.
There are many other lists:
Astrological charts use different time periods that combine months.
Old historical lists often assign the gemstones to different months and may substitute a few different stones.
Different countries have their own lists.
You can find these birthstones charts in our Learn About Beads section.
The term genuine gemstone simply means that the stone has the necessary characteristics for its identity. The quality of color and clarity affects the price. Inclusions of other materials decrease clarity. The more visible the inclusions, the lower the price.
We have some affordable gemstones with inclusions that actually make the stone more interesting.
Today many gemstones are color enhanced. Heat treating, diffusion, radiation, oiling, and dyeing are means of improving color. The gemstone industry assumes that these processes have been used, and sellers often do not volunteer the information. Ruby, sapphire, topaz, tanzanite, aquamarine, citrine, and others are routinely heated. Emerald is oiled. Beads may be dyed.
Assuming other qualities equal, natural color gemstones will be the most expensive. Dyed stones will be the least expensive.
We offer beaded jewelry with precious birthstone gemstones in either natural color or dyed color.
Gemstones are sold by weight. The larger the stone, the higher the price per carat. One carat total weight of several small stones will cost less than a one carat single stone. Do not compare weight of different kinds of gemstones. They have different densities. A 1 carat ruby is not the same size as a 1 carat diamond.
When rough gemstone material comes out of the mine, the highest quality is set aside for cutting into loose stones for settings. The lower quality is used for beads. Why? Because drilling a bead hole wastes valuable weight.
Birthstone beaded jewelry is a good buy. The difference in quality is not always obvious.
The best quality gemstone beads are often tiny faceted rondelle shapes. The more valuable gemstones, such as ruby, emerald, and sapphire are seldom made into large beads, unless they are dyed or contain many inclusions.
If you want natural color birthstones, we have them in beaded jewelry at an affordable price.
Lab Created or Synthetic Gemstones
They have the same characteristics as natural gemstones, but not the same inclusions. The process contains similarities to the natural creation, but time and quality are controlled by man. These high quality stones are expensive, but should cost less than the same quality mined gemstone.
They may be other less expensive gemstones that are dyed. Howlite is used to imitate turquoise.
Other inexpensive man made materials, such as glass, are used for fake gemstones. The price should be much lower than genuine gemstone jewelry.
Swarovski crystal is a popular substitute as a birthstone. The colors are named after gemstones. You can order our custom made Swarovski jewelry.
Pearls are organic gemstones created by oysters (salt water) or clams (freshwater). Natural pearls found by diving are rare and most expensive.
Today almost all genuine pearl jewelry is cultured on pearl farms. The clam or oyster is induced to create the pearl. Pearls are sorted according to quality, size, and shape. Lower quality freshwater pearls may be dyed. These characteristics determine price.
Freshwater pearls usually cost less than salt water pearls. Take a look at our handmade pearl jewelry .
Imitations are man made, usually by coating glass, crystal, or plastic. Faux is a French word for false and indicates imitation. Again, quality will determine price
The cost of gold and silver has increased drastically. They are also sold by weight. Heavy ornate settings, clasps, or large beads will increase cost of the jewelry.
Different kinds of metal are priced from high to low in this order: gold, vermeil (gold plated sterling silver), sterling silver, gold filled (heavy plating), gold plated, silver plated, gold or silver tone base metals.
Beaded birthstone jewelry has other options for lower prices.
Tiny spacer beads reduce the number of birthstone beads needed. They can be silver, gold, inexpensive gemstones, or glass seed beads.
Look for other less expensive beads in the design, or just a few birthstones as focal points.
A larger number of small birthstone beads will show better than a single gemstone set in a ring or pendant of the same price.
This term can raise the price. Designer jewelry implies special talent, design experience or education. In reality, anyone can advertise as a designer. Jewelry that carries the name of a well known store, name brand, famous designer, or celebrity may cost more. Endorsements are expensive.
If fashion jewelry containing imitation gemstones and base metal is sold in a well known or upscale clothing store, it can cost more than jewelry with genuine gemstones sold on a website.
We design our own unique jewelry, but we do not increase the jewelry prices.
Birthstone jewelry that requires extra time, new design, buying new or unusual materials can increase cost.
Instead use our existing designs with substitution of in stock stones or beads.
The number between the mine and the jewelry seller is one of the biggest factors affecting price.
A hobbyist who buys materials from a retail store adds a middleman.
Because we make the jewelry sold on our website, we eliminate several middlemen.
We buy some of our beads directly from a cutter. Distributors are eliminated, and information about the gemstones is reliable. We pass the savings on to our customers.
Sellers have to pay many of these business overhead costs: store, warehouse, office; employees; business records; website design and upkeep; photography; advertising.
Buy from a business that is run from a home. Look for information on the About Us page.
Mass Produced Jewelry
Large volume selling can mean cheap prices. Materials are bought in large quantities. Even handmade items are produced by a large number of workers repeating the same design. Usually the jewelry is imported from countries where labor is cheap. You can find this jewelry in chain stores, large websites, discount stores.
Few or one of a kind jewelry cannot be offered.
Quality may be affected by time deadlines, boring repetition, or inexpensive materials.
Because we design and make the jewelry we sell, we take pride in our quality.
Shipping and Packaging
It is never free. Websites that advertise free shipping must include the cost in overhead.
Flat rate shipping is easiest for the seller, but may not always be the cheapest. For small packages USPS first class is usually less.
International shipping is highest. If you buy directly from a country where labor costs are low, the savings may be offset by high shipping.
Handling costs can vary. Fancy boxes and other packaging affect the total cost of the jewelry.
We usually ship first class using inexpensive durable packaging, unless our customer has a special request.
If you do comparison shopping, be sure you are comparing the same quality birthstone jewelry.
Be suspicious of low cost items that cannot be returned easily, worthless guarantees, deceiving imitations.
If the price is too low to be true, it probably is not a bargain.
Save money, but do it intelligently.
Do not copy this post.
I recently submitted a different version of this article to several free article directories.
Find out more about our online jewelry store. See the home page. www.handmade beaded jewelry.org