It’s difficult to find high-quality jewelry at low prices. So instead, you may decide you don’t want to spend $50 on a pair of gold-plated hoops because your local discount fashion store has cheap metal hoops for $5. But the problem with these cheap pieces is that they’ll wear out fast, plus they’re usually not made from sustainable resources. You’ll end up spending more money on 20 pairs of earrings that break and aren’t good for the planet either.
It’s better to invest in a few pieces that cost more initially but will last a long time. Silver, gold, and platinum fine jewelry are the most coveted materials but may be prohibitively expensive. Luckily, there are many nice options between the $5 earrings and $50,000 earrings.
Look for Plated Jewelry
Plated jewelry is a great way to start collecting high-quality pieces with a lower price point. Plating simply means that base metal, such as copper, brass, or nickel, gets coated with a thin layer of a higher-quality metal like silver, gold, or platinum.
The fact that’s it not a solid piece of an expensive metal makes the jewelry much more affordable. And, because the base metals used are strong, the piece won’t bend or break the way a softer material like gold does.
Regardless of whether your personal style leans more trendy or classic, there are many stylish silver or gold-plated pieces available. Begin building your collection with a few more classic pieces with a twist, like gold hoop earrings.
These days, you can buy almost anything online and fine jewelry is no exception. During your search, you may find places that sell gold, silver or platinum jewelry for deeply discounted prices. However, as the saying goes, “there’s no such thing as a free lunch.” Often these pieces are mass-produced by machinery. Mass-produced pieces may be of lesser quality or use up additional precious resources. Some websites may charge excessive amounts for shipping because their product prices are so low.
To get the most value, look for handcrafted jewelry that will support local economies and artisans. Read reviews, find out where the pieces are manufactured, carefully select your pieces, and make your purchases from there.
Budget for a Jewelry Subscription Box
If you like to stay on trend but are on a tight monthly budget, jewelry can feel like a big splurge. That said, expanding your jewelry collection is still possible, especially with the new trend of jewelry subscription boxes.
Consider creating a budget that allows you to spend $10-$30 per month (or even bi-monthly) on a few trendy pieces of jewelry. Plus, you’ll get the perk of having them delivered right to your door! These pieces aren’t likely to be plated or made of genuine silver, but you’ll get the fun of trying out new jewelry anyway.
Scour the Clearance Rack
Some of the best jewelry deals can be found in the clearance section. When you’re in a store, check out the red tags in the fine jewelry section first to see if there are any great markdowns on high-quality jewelry. Sale jewelry is even easier to find online, as most stores have a specific “SALE” section on their websites.
Also, be on the lookout for coupon codes that give you free shipping, or consider combining orders to get the minimum shipping amount required for free shipping.
Spend More on the Classics
One good strategy when you begin collecting jewelry is to start with the classics. Classics are things that will never go out of style. They’ll also go with any outfit.
Items like strands of simple pearls and diamond studs that can dress up any outfit are always great choices. Hoop earrings are another go-to classic look for anyone. A simple chain with a pendant also matches with everything.
It’s worth spending a little bit more on these items because you’ll want to keep them forever. Think of them as pieces you can pass down to a younger relative.
No matter what your budget, it’s possible to start investing a little bit in jewelry. Start small, look for deals, and select plated jewelry to get the most value for your money.