Fine Jewelry Buying Tips That Are Worth Their Weight in Gold

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Embracing costume jewelry trends like statement earrings or big chains can be fun and an easy way to update your wardrobe without spending a lot of money. But there's something to be said for investment pieces like diamond studs, bangle bracelets, and pendant necklaces that'll last a lifetime. And as conscientious consumption begins to catch on—and people become more interested in acquiring accessible luxuries as a means of living a more sustainable lifestyle—fine jewelers say they're starting to see an uptick in interest from millennials looking for forever pieces.

"It's amazing to see more young women invest in quality over quantity—opting for sustainable and enduring purchases, as opposed to multiple small, fast fashion items which quickly add up to the same dollar amount in the end," says Vanessa Stofenmacher, founder and creative director of  Vrai & Oro, a direct to consumer jewelry brand.

For first-time fine jewelry buyers, Stofenmacher recommends shopping with longevity in mind as a way to lessen your impact on the environment and suggests diamond hoops as a casual, minimal, everyday investment item. She also loves an infinity or signet ring as a symbol of modern energy that'll outlast any trend cycle.

Similarly, Elizabeth Doyle, a GIA-certified gemologist and the co-founder of Doyle & Doyle, a New York boutique and website that specializes in estate and antique jewelry, thinks earrings are a good initial fine jewelry purchase. Specifically, she believes that no collection should be without a classic pair of studs and a pair of hoop earrings. "These are the go-to's that you will mix and match day after day with both your staple and statement pieces."

That doesn't, however, mean you have to buy both at once. Instead, Doyle recommends building a fine jewelry collection over time. (Her biggest tip is to go for quality—even if it means compromising on size a bit.) "These are staples that can be worn every day either alone or stacked with other pieces," she says, "They're great at every age and never go out of style," which is why there's no rush. Wait until you find the ones that truly suit you. One way to pace yourself is to save up and buy pieces to commemorate important life milestones or because they hold some personal significance. Doing so will mean you're creating a collection that has value—both monetary and sentimental.

Investing in fine jewelry doesn't have to mean spending your whole paycheck (or more) on a single item, either. It's totally possible to find forever pieces for under $100, starting with these solid gold ones

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