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Having a hard time finding the perfect gift for someone - or for yourself?

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Jewelry online bargains

More than one quarter of holiday wish lists include jewelry, according to the National Retail Federation.

Online sales of jewelry has risen 20% a year over the last five years, while in-store jewlery sales have risen only about 4% a year, report an industry analyst. Online jewelry sales are expected exceed $2.2 billion this year, up from $1.7 billion in 2004.

When hunting for jewelry, either online or in-store, there are several things to consider before making a purchase:


Find out the fair value of the piece of jewelry you want. Learn what you can about the stone.


Shop from reputable and known merchants. While some smaller dealers might have a great bargain, their reputation should also be examined. Compare prices.


After your jewelry arrives, take it to an independent appraiser- not a jewelry store. Get a second opinion. The appraiser may charge for their advice. But for big purchases, it is a secure way to know the item you bought is authentic. As for gem certification cards for you rpiece.

Jewelry on Your Gift List?
Tips to Ensure Its Beauty
for Years to Come

Jewelry will be the gift of choice for many holiday shoppers this season, but unlike digital cameras or MP3 players, it rarely comes with an instruction manual. It should, according to Tom Adelmann, of Neenah, Wis.-based Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company.

Whether you're the recipient or the giver of jewelry, Adelmann offers the following tips to ensure your gift will be safe and retain its sparkle for many holidays to come.

Safety and security

Bedrooms and jewelry boxes are terrible hiding places. They are the first places a thief will search. "Rather, choose a place that's easy to remember, but won't be obvious to a thief," said Adelmann. "An example might be a linen closet, or an attic or basement rafter for jewelry that isn't worn often."

A safe is strongly recommended to secure jewelry. It should be immobile or weigh at least 150 pounds, and should be out of sight (but not in a bedroom closet).

Cleaning Your Jewelry

Clean your jewelry frequently to avoid dirt build up, which may hasten wear. Diamonds may be cleaned with ammonia-based cleaners or rubbing alcohol. A soft brush can be used to loosen any dirt around prongs. Rinse and dry with a soft, clean cloth.

Pearls require specialized care: Avoid direct contact with chemicals such as hair spray, perfume or cosmetics. Apply these items first, before putting on pearls. After each wear, wipe with a soft, dry or damp, clean cloth.

Have jewelry cleaned professionally once a year. At this time, your jeweler can inspect for any loose stones or settings.


Water sports are notorious for causing lost jewelry. Fingers constrict when they're cold, so rings that fit comfortably under normal conditions can slip off easily. If you participate in such activities, choose a safe place to store your jewelry.

The metal from washing machines, dryers, sinks, faucets, and grocery carts can scratch or gouge jewelry.

For more information about the care of jewelry, visit http://www.jewelersmutual.com/ . Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company is the only nationwide insurer that specializes in protecting jewelry businesses and individuals' personal jewelry. The company was founded in 1913 in Neenah, Wis., by jewelers who needed more affordable insurance. Today, Jewelers Mutual is licensed in all 50 states and insures $1.5 billion of individuals' jewelry and more than 10,000 jewelry businesses. The company's strong financial position is reflected in its continued A+ rating from A.M. Best.



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