Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, as a classic adage said. Diamonds and other gemstones are great gifts to woe women from all social classes. Through time, humankind regarded jewelry and gemstones with high value. According to records, the earliest forms of jewelry are different from what people wear today. In the past, feathers, bones, shells, and colored pebbles were regarded as jewelry. It was only in 1300 when people in Europe learned how to cut diamonds to show off their brilliance.
To date, the most expensive jewelry in the world is the Hope Diamond. It is a 45.52-carat bluestone, which owes its bluish glow to its boron content. Originated from France, the Hope Diamond has a current value of $250 million. This is followed by the Peacock Brooch, an exquisite brooch containing 120.81 carats of white, yellow, blue, and orange diamonds. Made by Graff Diamonds, the Peacock Brooch has a current value of $100 million. The third most expensive piece of jewelry is the Pink Star diamond by De Beers. It is worth $71.2 million.
What makes jewelry expensive? How does inexpensive jewelry differ from expensive ones?
Not all diamonds are created equal. Some are more pricey than others. The pricing for a gemstone depends on three factors:
- The gross weight and volume, as well as the quality of metal, used.
- The grade of diamonds or gems
- Creativity and craftsmanship
The gross weight and volume, as well as the quality of metal used.
Part of the overall cost of the jewelry is the precious metal that holds the gemstone. If you are looking to buy a diamond wedding band, you should know the differences between metals. Platinum, white gold, gold, silver, and palladium are common precious metals in jewelry. It also depends on how much precious metal is used for the entire jewelry. A 14K white gold band definitely costs lower than a 24K variant.
The grade of diamonds or gems
Diamonds may currently be the most expensive gemstones. However, diamonds are still classified in different grades based on their original form and their crafter’s skills. Jewelry enthusiasts created the 4C’s as the benchmark to examine diamonds and decide how much value it has. The 4C’s refer to the color, clarity, cut, and carat weight of the diamond.
Creativity and craftsmanship
Diamond crafters and distributors may explain the cut used in the gemstone. Some diamonds are cut above the rest of the gemstones in the shop. Some are meant to ‘outshine’ other jewelry items.
What about inexpensive jewelry? Aren’t they worth a penny at all?
Not at all! In buying jewelry, we should remember that we are using our eyes and heart to judge whether a piece is worth a penny. We bought jewelry simply because its beauty captivates us, its beholder. In that way, it holds value to you. You think that it completes your outfit despite its low value.
However, there is a catch in buying inexpensive jewelry. For one thing, these pieces are not judged on any concrete baseline, such as what we have previously learned. They may have captivated you, but they may get damaged easily and may not the test of time. But of course, it is impractical to wear expensive jewelry every day. And it is on these casual occasions at work or an event with friends and family where you can wear and appreciate the value of inexpensive jewelry. Meanwhile, expensive jewelry is meant to be worn during a special occasion such as weddings. Some precious pieces are also inherited as heirlooms and will continue being regarded as precious and ‘forever.’
If you are not yet a connoisseur in choosing jewelry, try remembering these tips the next time you go to a jewelry shop.
Be mindful of the hallmark in each piece. The hallmark refers to an official mark or series of marks that indicate its kind of grade of metal used. Feel the jewelry in your palm and assess its weight. You should also closely look to determine which one has a higher value. The prongs and mountings also matter in jewelry selection. Prongs and mountings refer to the metal projection that holds a gemstone in place. Finely crafted prongs with intricate bezel surely have more value.
Whether it is expensive or not, the sentimental value of the jewelry matters the most. And no matter how cheap it is, it will always hold greater value when given by a dearly loved person to remind you how precious you are to them. At the end of the day, its value is decided on its symbolism and relationship with the giver.