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What to Look for When Buying Jewellery

When you’re buying jewellery, it’s important to know what to look for to get the most out of your investment. Whether it’s a gift for a special person or a treat for yourself, be sure you’re confident in your purchase.

The factors to consider when buying jewellery include:

1. Material

Familiarise yourself with commonly used materials like sterling silver, gold and platinum and learn how to identify the purity of each metal.

Each piece of precious metal jewellery will have a hallmark and every hallmark will note the type of metal and purity, for example 18 carat gold or sterling silver. With vermeil jewellery, it will often look gold and have a sterling silver hallmark. This is normal for vermeil as these pieces of jewellery are made mainly from sterling silver which is covered in a durable layer of gold.

For more information on hallmarks, visit our FAQs page.

What to Look for When Buying Jewellery

The Ecosilver bone bracelet and necklace.

2. Quality

Precious metals

Checking the metal type and purity is the 1st step of guaranteeing the quality of a piece of jewellery. Solid precious metal jewellery is highly sought after because it's valuable and durable. So if you can be sure you're buying a piece of solid precious metal jewellery by checking the hallmark, you've already made a great start on identifying the true quality of a piece of jewellery.

All Duxford Studios jewellery is made of recycled sterling silver, Fairtrade gold and other ethical metals and gemstones. 


The next step is to identify the gemstones that are in a piece. Many reputable jewellers will be able to evaluate a piece of jewellery, giving you the types of gemstones and carat weight that are included.

Gemstones are an important factor to consider when buying a new piece of jewellery as they often contribute to the largest proportion of values so it's vital to know what you're buying. It's a great idea to learn a little about all of the most common gemstones so that you can understand everything the valuer tells you when you have a piece inspected. 

Dealers and designers

Always do your research before buying from a new dealer or designer. You need to be confident that they have a good reputation so that you can relax and enjoy the buying process, safe in the knowledge that you get exactly what you pay for.

Buying Jewellery
A sneak peak at our jeweller's bench where all our jewellery is made.

3. Ethical sourcing

“We live in a one-size-fits-all world of mass production and fast fashion. Duxford Studios is the antidote." 
Esme, Founder

With so many retailers and designers in the jewellery industry, it's hard to know where to start. Here at Duxford Studios, using ethically sourced materials is at the heart of what we do and so we would advise that you always buy from ethical manufacturers. 

Do your research into the materials used by designers and always look for recycled, Fairtrade and conflict-free metals and gemstones. And there's also the interesting world of lab-grown gemstones!

For information on where we source our ethical metals, visit our FAQs page.

What to Look for When Buying Jewellery
Our founder, Esme.

4. Personal style

Whether you're buying a gift for a special person or a treat for yourself, it's important to consider personal style. Making sure that a piece of jewellery suits the style and personality of the wearer will ensure you've bought a future cherished heirloom. Here at Duxford Studios, we hope that our jewellery will live on long after the original owner, creating new relationships as it's passed down through generations. To learn more about our ethos, check out our story.

5. Don’t guess your ring size

Rings can be hard to buy, especially for other people. You need to do some detective work to make sure your gift doesn't end up a disappointment! Luckily, there are a few things you can do to make sure you're buying the right size.

  1. Buy a ring sizer or get in touch to request one. Then you can measure the ring finger to make sure you select the correct size.
  2. Find an existing ring that fits the finger in question and use a ring sizer app or a ruler to measure the diameter to find the size of the ring.
  3. Visit your local high street jeweller and ask them to measure the finger you're buying a ring for.  

6. Avoid nickel

Avoiding nickel is especially important for people with sensitive skin. Many people are allergic to nickel which can be found in some cheaper jewellery items and for this reason they can feel irritation when wearing jewellery. Always ask a designer if their jewellery is hypoallergenic or nickel free. 

7. Maintenance

It's a good idea to do your research and understand the best way to look after your jewellery. This way, you'll be sure to keep it looking shiny and new. Learn about how to look after your jewellery, and check out our jewellery care tips page. 

Duxford Studios creates wearable art inspired by the human form, modern culture and the sensation of touch. All of our pieces are cast from hand carved wax in recycled sustainable sterling silver, gold vermeil and other precious metals. Shop our full collection on our website, or get in contact about a custom jewellery design commission.

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