Your online guide to buying women's jewellery for 2012
It’s an official (err, maybe…) statistic that women’s collections of pendants, necklaces, rings, bracelets and bangles grow at a rate of 2 items a week (well, if you’re anything like us anyway) – we just love to have something to suit every mood and clothing combo possible and, as ladies, we kind of feel it’s our fashion prerogative. Fine and costume jewellery is a staple on designer catwalks and cheap online jewellery shops and the options for upgrading your jewellery collection are plentiful.
If you’re feeling a little lost with all that choice then we’re here to be your fairy godmother and guide you through your options to find your perfect piece. Have a read of our style notes before heading over to our shopping pages where you’ll find the latest fine and costume jewellery styles to suit your look and budget. And don’t worry if you end up buying more than you planned on; diamonds are a girl’s best friend after all….
Tips for choosing jewellery
Consider whether you want your jewellery to be a focal point or simply an accent in your outfit. Costume jewellery is a great option for eye-catching pieces whereas fine jewellery and classics such as pearl earrings or a diamond bracelet are understated and classy an great for adding subtle bling.
Also have a think about where you’ll be wearing your new jewellery. Will it be investment designer jewellery to wear to work? Or maybe you’re looking for something to go with your Saturday-night look?
Do you have a lot of certain coloured clothes? Consider going for colours that will complement your wardrobe.
Shop within your budget. You needn’t take out a small loan for an instant accessories-update. Cheap jewellery and costume pieces can be inexpensive and fun to play with. Use them to create new looks and reference new season trends. Stack cheap rings or pile on multiple bangles to give an outfit an edge.
On the other hand, designer jewellery will cost more but will often also last longer too and will be a classic for years to come.
Costume vs. fine jewellery
Costume jewellery is usually considered the cheaper, disposable sister of fine jewellery. It is thought of a fashion-led, throw-away buy that you’ll replace as and when the latest trends come into fruition. They are often made of cheap metals and materials such as glass or plastic and will often be statement pieces as opposed to delicate or ornate. Fine jewellery on the other hand is often more expensive and made of precious stones and metals. It is often considered an investment buy or a keepsake.
Gold vs. Silver
Gold or silver? It's totally a subjective choice but gold and other warmer toned metals (such as rosegold or copper) look best on warmer skintones. Silver, platinum or white gold look good against cooler skin tones. But don’t let this restrict you too much – the fashion rules were made to be broken after all!
Enhancing your look with your new jewellery
A necklace that falls below the bust and above the waistline will instantly give you a taller appearance. Chokers have the opposite effect and will make you look shorter.
Earrings should flatter your face shape. If you have a round face steer clear of hoop or circular earrings. Rectangular and long faces should avoid long, dangly styles and square-shaped faces should opt for round or hoop-shaped earrings. Heart shapes should stick to square styles to balance out their features.
Wide band rings look best on long fingers whereas delicate rings with small stones looks better on shorter fingers. Similarly, delicate bracelets suit thinner wrists whereas ladies with bigger wrists should opt for a wider band.
A delicate necklace or bracelet looks gorgeous on a petite frame whereas it would get lost on a larger frame. Likewise, big, bold jewellery will be lost on a smaller frame but looks fabulous on a voluptuous lady.
If you have big facial features go for bigger statement jewellery. Those will smaller features should opt for more elegant pieces to complement their facial structure.
If you have a large bust go for a necklace that is bold with big embellishment. This will help balance you out.
A guide to buying diamond jewellery
The 4 Cs are crucial when it comes to deciding what diamond to go for on your new jewellery (or ifyou’re buying for the special lady in your life!). Here we explain them:
Carat weight This refers to the unit of weight for a diamond. One carat equals 0.20 grams.
Clarity Clarity is used to note how clear each diamond is and is determined by a number of factors including number, size, nature and location of any imperfections on the diamond.
Colour Refers to the colour or flecks of colour in a diamond. Coloured diamonds are often more valuable than a clear diamond.
Cut Refers to the shape and facets of a finished diamond. Poorly cut diamonds will be cheaper than well-cut ones.
Ring size guide