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Is it weird to buy yourself jewelry?

It used to be very uncommon for a woman to purchase fine jewelry for herself. However, it is now considered normal for women to buy themselves fine jewelry. A recent survey (conducted by MVI Marketing) shows more than 51% of women purchase jewelry for themselves and only 18% said their spouse or partner purchases jewelry for them. 

The motivation of women purchasing fine jewelry for themselves included being able to buy exactly what they want, rewarding themselves for a milestone, commemorating an event or “just-because”. There is also an increasing number of affordable e-commerce and direct-to-consumer fine jewelry brands that cater to women of all ages and are normalising wearing fine jewelry everyday because they are able to offer their pieces at similar price points as some costume and semi-fine jewelry.  

More and more women are also turning away from costume or fast fashion, “throw-away” jewelry because of its negative environmental impact and are opting for solid gold, silver or platinum jewelry that are significantly more durable and can be passed down for generations. They are also less likely to fade or tarnish and allow the possibility for repair, unlike plated and other fashion jewelry. 

What is the difference between fine jewelry, demi-fine jewelry and fashion/costume jewelry? 

Fine jewelry is made of solid gold, sterling silver or platinum. Solid gold pieces are usually mixed or “alloyed” with other metals (silver, copper, nickel) to increase their strength and durability. The amount of pure gold in a piece of jewelry is expressed in karats. A karat is a measurement of the content of gold in a piece of jewelry. Pure gold is 24 karats. An 18 karat gold ring contains 18 parts gold and 6 parts alloyed metals (18+6=24). For a piece of jewelry to be considered “fine jewelry” in the United States, it needs to be at least 10 karat gold, but this varies in other countries.

is it weird to buy yourself jewelry gold karats types of fine jewelry chart

Fine jewelry is much stronger than fashion jewelry and does not tarnish with proper care or cause skin discolouration. Fine jewelry can also be repaired if needed which means it can be kept for many years and even passed down through generations. Fine jewelry does come at an elevated price point but due to its longevity and its ability to retain its value well, it can be well worth the investment.

Vermeil or “semi-fine jewelry” as it is also called, refers to jewelry with a thick gold plating on another less valuable precious metal, usually sterling silver. The purity of the gold layer must be at least 14 karats. It is less durable than solid gold pieces but because it is still made of precious metals, it may be possible to repair it or replate it if needed. Gold vermeil is also more likely to tarnish than solid gold especially if not well looked after, but it also comes at a significantly lower price point.

It is important to note that to expert jewelers, vermeil or “semi-fine” jewelry is still seen as costume or fashion jewelry because the material used is the most important factor when determining what is fine jewelry. However, if you find that you are more comfortable with the price point of vermeil pieces then this is the next best thing, in terms of longevity and quality to fine-jewelry.

Fashion jewelry includes gold plated and gold filled jewelry, and is the most prone to cracking and tarnishing. Gold plated jewelry is made mainly of a base metal like stainless steel with a thin gold layer that is electroplated on top. The layer is usually so thin that it wears faster and can tarnish more easily over time.

Gold-filled jewelry is usually made of a base metal like brass or copper with a thick gold plating on the outside. The layer of gold plating is much thicker than gold plated jewelry so it is much less likely to rub off or need re-plating. However, it is almost impossible to repair once broken. This is because the level of heat that is needed to solder the base metal pieces back together would make the gold or silver plating go black and therefore be ruined. 

is it weird to buy yourself jewelry gold karats types of fine jewelry chart

Which type of jewelry should I buy?

If you are comfortable with the higher price point, then solid gold, silver and platinum jewelry is a much better choice than “semi-fine” or fashion jewelry for many reasons, the most important of which include durability, reparability and easier maintenance.

The chart below lists the pros and cons of each type of jewelry in more detail. However, if you want to purchase jewelry that is suitable to travel with so you don’t have to worry if it gets lost, stolen or damaged, then semi-fine jewelry would be a good choice. 

Solid Gold

Vermeil

Gold Filled

Gold Plated

Affordability

Easy to recycle

Hypoalergenic

Water Resistant

Durability

Doesn’t Fade

Tarnish Resistant

Easily Repaired

Easily Repolished

When is the best time to buy fine jewelry?

If you are a savvy shopper and you want to get the best deal on your fine jewelry collections, there are a few times in the year when the price of fine jewelry is generally lower than it usually is or jewelry brands are more inclined to have discounts and offers. 

Most people think that the January sales are a good time to find deals for fine jewelry, however due to Valentines day being right around the corner on February 14th, jewelers see this as a key time in the year for sales volume because of the increase in partners and spouses buying gifts for their loved ones. Therefore, January is not the best time to buy

The key times in the year to buy fine jewelry include the months of April and May. You should be able to find some good deals around this time, as retailers know that people have some extra cash in their pockets due to the end of the tax year and the tax returns, so you may see some good deals to try and entice more people to buy jewelry. If you’re not from the USA, just check when the tax season ends in your country and this should give you a good idea of when to look around. 

The second, and perhaps the best time to buy fine jewelry are the months of July and August. This is when jewelry brands try to make up for their slow down in sales due to the majority of people having other priorities like summer vacations and preparing for the upcoming school year. 

The final best time to buy is Black Friday, it’s important to wait until at least that week in November when all the fine jewelry brands are competing with one another to try to get their brand noticed by people for those extra sales in the run up to Christmas. And if you are watching a few pieces specifically beforehand then you could find some really great deals. 

Is it weird to buy yourself a diamond ring?

Similarly to gold and silver jewelry, it is becoming much more common for women to buy themselves diamond rings and other diamond pieces. The confusion comes from the fact that diamond rings are seen as symbols of marriage but in reality there is no one and only situation where buying yourself a diamond ring is appropriate.

It has become popular for women to purchase diamond rings for themselves for multiple reasons; It has become much more fashionable to wear diamonds on a daily basis for formal and casual situations. Buying a diamond ring is an investment opportunity and is also an increasingly popular way for women to gift themselves, commemorate an event or celebrate an important occasion.

is it weird to buy yourself a diamond ring

So if you have been hesitating to purchase a diamond ring for yourself because you are unsure if it is normal or not, then you can rest assured that it has become a very popular thing for women to do. I hope you found this helpful. I would love to see how you use the tips in this article to enhance your style so please please tag me on Instagram, Tiktok or Pinterest or you can or send me a message because I would love to see! 

About the author 

Mish has a Masters in Fine Art and she has an interest in classical design, history and culture. She loves to analyze fashion and style through this lens to help people develop authentic personal style.