Gone are those days when you had to spend hours at a jewellery store. And the time it took to go from store to store in search of that perfect piece of gold! Back then, people relied on local jewellers who offered them only limited choices. But now, the Internet has changed the way we shop. Shopping is as simple as pointing and clicking. Online retailers in India and around the world spoil you for choice when it comes to buying jewellery. The prospect of being able to shop from the comforts of your home only adds to the joy of shopping for gold jewellery. Ah! The joys of living in a world of technology!
A Beginner's Guide to Online Jewellery Shopping
As obvious as the attraction of gold is the distraction it causes. It can make you overlook important aspects necessary to ensure you are buying it right. Buying gold jewellery online is undoubtedly the easiest way to shop. Or is it? You have a dizzying range of choices, whether it's in terms of style, quality, and price points. The increasing number of online jewellery retailers is proof of people's changing buying habits. The wide variety of sellers and the choices can make the experience a liberating one. However, if you don't know the basics of online jewellery shopping, the experience can be quite confusing. That's why we give you a rundown of the top tips and tricks for buying gold jewellery online. Keep these golden rules in mind and you will get the best jewellery and the most out of your investment.
Learn the Basic Language of Gold Jewellery
First things first! What is the most important thing to remember while shopping for gold jewellery online? The answer is simple - you should know what you are getting into. This means you must familiarise yourself with the terms and lingo used in jewellery. It would be rather imprudent to buy gold jewellery without even knowing what the term carat means. Likewise, you should also know what qualities you are looking for in your jewellery. Are you planning to buy diamond-studded gold jewellery from an online jeweller? Then it is mandatory that you learn about the four Cs, namely clarity, carat, cut, and colour.
Understand the Standard of Purity of Gold
The purity of gold in any piece of gold jewellery determines the major portion of the price you will pay for it. Carat is the measure of gold purity and the purest form of gold is 24 carat. You will hardly find jewellery made with 24kt gold as it's too soft to mould. The most common purities used to make gold jewellery are 22kt and 18kt. If a piece of jewellery is made of 22kt gold, it contains 91.67 % pure gold. The term 18kt gold implies 75 % pure gold with 25 % impurities in the form of other metals. With a sound understanding of the purity standards, you can make better decisions. Plain gold ornaments are typically made of 22kt gold. Jewellers use 18kt and 14kt gold to make stone-studded gold jewellery such as diamond earrings, rings, necklaces, etc.
Know Your Size
Imagine that you are buying gold rings or bangles. When you go to an offline store, you can wear the piece and see if it fits. This, however, is not possible when you buy jewellery online. So it's important that you know the size of your finger or wrists. Likewise, when you buy earrings online, keep the shape of your face in mind. And choose a pair that best suits your face.
Look for Hallmarks and Certification
A hallmark on any piece of gold jewellery is the promise of the purity of the metal. Whenever you buy jewellery and wherever you are buying it from, always look for a hallmark certification. In India, the Bureau of Indian Standards or BIS is the official agency that certifies gold quality and purity.
Is Buying Gold A Good Investment
Gold plays an important role in shaping the economies of nations. That's true for India's economy too. It has been a valuable commodity for a long time in history. Gold was the universal trading currency for over 6000 years in history. The worldwide recognition of its value led to the development of the gold standard. The gold standard was used as early as 1500 years ago, during the Byzantine Empire. Until recently, the world reserve currency was gold. In 1944, the status of the world reserve currency went to the dollar. Although gold is not a primary form of currency anymore, it's still a strong, long-term investment option. Many countries still use gold to back up their domestic currencies.
Gold is important to the modern global economy. This is evident from the fact that major financial organisations hold almost one-fifth of the supply of all of the world's above-ground gold. This includes the prestigious International Monetary Fund. Many central banks around the world are also making efforts to add to their current gold reserves. It's true that there were downswings and fluctuations in the gold market in the recent years. But gold's intrinsic value makes it retain its status of a stable investment, whether it is in the form of tiny gold nose pins or gold coins. It's a valuable addition to your investment portfolio if you evaluate its pros and cons.
Pros of Buying Gold as Investment
Amidst economic and political uncertainties, it's quite normal to wonder if buying gold is a good investment. There are many advantages that make gold a popular investment. Here is a list of factors that makes the yellow metal an ideal option for investment:
Liquidity: The first is its liquidity. You can convert gold into cash almost anywhere around the world. Even if you have bought your gold earrings, rings, necklaces, or any other trinkets from India, it has the same value all over the world. Besides cash, gold's universality and its liquidity are unmatched. Gold also holds its value and maintains it over time. It is important to note that the price of gold doesn't indicate its value. This means that even when gold prices decrease, its underlying value doesn't change much. Unlike gold, which is a great physical commodity, currency doesn't hold any intrinsic value.
Inflation: Gold is also one of the best hedges against inflation. When inflation hits and prices rise, gold's value rises as well. This means that during inflation, gold offers a more stable form of investment as compared to cash.
Diversity: Another advantage of buying gold as an investment is the diversity it adds to your portfolio. Having different securities in your portfolio lowers your overall risk. Also, gold's inverse relationship with currency and stock values makes it diversify your portfolio well.
Universal commodity: The fact that gold is a universally desired investment makes it a universal commodity. Many securities of nations around the world are affected by the political chaos. Such factors, however, doesn't affect the value of gold.
Never-ending demand: Another advantage of gold is its never-ending demand around the world. Its use in different products, such as jewellery and electronics, ensures great demand. This demand for gold stabilises and further improves its price. Also, as the demand increases, the markets can drive its price higher. Gold gets the financial spotlight for all the right reasons. Perhaps that's why many investors consider investing in gold a sensible choice.
What are Making Charges in Gold jewellery
When you fall in love with a piece of gold jewellery, and decide to purchase it, you don't just buy the piece, you invest in a design conceptualised by the designer, the effort and the artistry that it takes for the craftsmen to shape, polish, cut and mould that gold into the design you choose.
Pure gold in its raw form is quite soft and needs to be made strong enough so that intricate designer jewellery can be crafted from it. This is usually done by combining the gold with specific metals - each of them make it stronger (and therefore more durable), and they are also used to colour yellow gold into rose gold or white gold.
So, with making charges, you're not just paying for the design, you're getting a stronger, more durable piece, with gemstones (if any are used, they are cut to the shape that best brings out the design). The purity of gold (whether 14KT, 18KT or 22KT) and the weight of the gold, all go into determining the cost of the making charges. Naturally, if the design element is more intricate, there will be a greater time investment and artistry that goes into its making, and so, the making charge for it may also vary accordingly.
Why do I have to pay Wastage Charges?
Crafting jewellery pieces out of a gold bar requires melting gold, cutting it and shaping it into the jewellery piece, in the process it's possible that some amount of gold gets 'wasted'. Studded jewellery created also could result in a small amount of gold getting wasted. Traditional jewellers always keep a margin for the amount of gold wastage usually charged to customers at a percentage.