Despite what you might think you don't need a huge amount of money to buy quality jewellery from Australian jewellers. It's true that luxury jewellery brands expect customers to spend a pretty penny for their pieces, but you don't need to shell out large amounts of money to add a stunning piece your collection. Instead, all you need is a good strategy and some savvy jewellery know-how.
But what exactly is a good strategy? How can you ensure that you purchase long-lasting, beautiful pieces from quality Australian jewellers?
Keep reading and we'll key you in on 5 top tips to help you find the best jewellery in Australia.
1. Don't fall for high price tags
Now, this doesn't mean that a steep price tag is never justified. For larger solid gold or platinum pieces, high value gemstones or labour-intensive jewellery made by a highly skilled artisan you will definitely need a larger budget - and for good reason.
The most important thing is to be aware of the quality that your budget can justify. You should be aiming to get what you pay for: the quality of materials, the level of craftsmanship and the uniqueness of design that you can afford. From there, you can work out which pieces are really worth your money while you're shopping.
While big name jewellery brands may seem like an obvious place to start shopping, don't forget that the brand name itself incurs additional costs. Despite a brand's fame and hefty price tags, they may not necessarily use the highest-quality stones or the best craftsmanship. Some of the money you put into their pieces will go into big advertising campaigns and operational costs that go well beyond simply paying for skilled work and quality materials.
Well known jewellery outlets in major shopping malls may have lower prices compared to some high end brands or independent manufacturing jewellers, but these outlets often compromise heavily on quality and you could well find their pieces will wear badly and will be difficult to have repaired.
We're biased of course, but we encourage you to shop with smaller Australian jewellery businesses where these factors are much less of an issue and it's likely that more care will be taken both in creating jewellery and customer service.
2. Look for innovative designs
However, if you care about cultivating a unique collection of jewellery in Australia to truly express your unique sense of style, then finding and collecting pieces from independent jewellery brands that have an innovative eye for design is a great journey to go on.
Even minimalist jewellery has plenty of room for innovation. The most simple pearl earrings can still have a delicate but modern twist to set your collection apart from others without looking over the top. Alternatively, take a look at our sea urchin & pearl earrings for a much more innovative and unique pearl earrings design.
If you'd like to individualise your collection and ensure you stand out from the crowd, then look for independent jewellers with unique designs that no other brands carry. Once you find an Australian jeweller with quality and innovative designs whose sense of style appeals to you, you'll have a reliable business to follow whose vision and quality you trust.
3. Know your audience
This tip is all about gift-giving. If you're buying pieces for a friend or relative, you probably need to be more careful when considering design.
If the gift recipient in question is young or isn't known to wear a lot of jewellery, it may be best to offer something more minimalistic, such as this sterling silver stacking rings set or even a solid gold rings set. Either of these can add some sparkle to any outfit but won't overwhelm a jewellery beginner who isn't used to sporting sparkles.
But if you know they'd love something more ethereal, then look at something more unique, such as these moon & stars silver drop earrings. Not only is there not much like it in any other online jewellery boutique in Australia, but it's also a gorgeous gift for anyone that can appreciate a strong, feminine design inspired by the stars.
Here at Simone Walsh Jewellery we have both simple, everyday designs along with much more unique pieces, none of which you'll find anywhere else. What's not to love about that?
If you're having trouble figuring out how to select perfect gifts for the women n your life, check out our handy article: how to choose great gifts in 6 steps.
4. Understand jewellery materials
One of our top jewellery mistakes to avoid is: not knowing anything about the materials jewellery is made from. This is related to point 1 above: know what the jewellery you're looking at is made from and how that relates to your budget.
Not understanding jewellery materials could cause you to purchase base metals which may cause skin or health problems (including brass or nickel silver, which contains no real silver at all).
Or you may spend a lot of money on a piece of 'gold' jewellery which turns out to be vermeil, plated or gold filled rather than solid gold. These finishes are fine and some will wear quite well, but knowing exactly what a piece is made from will prevent you from spending more than it's really worth and finding out too late that it won't wear as well as you had expected.
In terms of gemstones, you should also have some idea of what you are spending your money on. Some real stones may have serious ethical issues (I'm looking at you diamonds!). Meanwhile other stones may be lab grown or simulated, which are much more ethical and sustainable, but are less valuable than mined stones.
Whatever type of jewellery you're planning to buy and whatever your budget, make sure the seller tells you in clear terms what a piece is made from so you can make the best decisions for yourself. If the seller isn't being up front about materials, then it's a red flag and we advise you to steer clear.
If you don't know much about materials, as a starting point, we can help you learn more with the following articles:
Also check out our jewellery glossary to help you look up the meaning of jewellery terms that you're not familiar with. It's a great idea to bookmark the glossary so you can refer to it whenever you need to.
Let's say you're looking for a beautiful opal necklace to gift to a friend whose birthday is in October, you'll want to check that whether the stone is genuine and that the piece is made with quality materials like sterling silver or gold to ensure it wears well and will stand the test of time. If you take a look at the 'just the facts' section on our product page, you'll find details about the materials used to make this piece.
5. Research the brand's reputation
Quality and authenticity is integral to a brand's reputation, but it's not all of it. Great customer service, communication and trustworthiness are only a few of the facets of a stellar reputation.
Either way, it's smart for shoppers to look into a brand's reputation to ensure that they'll have a seamless purchasing experience. Google and product reviews can help you make this judgement. However, testimonials on the brand's site can also illuminate what makes a brand and its products so great.
Check out our article about Online Shopping Mistakes to Avoid and Tips for Safely Buying Jewellery Online for lots of helpful info about checking out a jewellery brand's reputation and steering clear of scams.
We really do pride ourselves on offering truly excellent customer service - and we're small enough to be able to put the effort into a personalised approach to our lovely customers. Look for businesses that you trust to do the same.
Shop with independent Australian Jewellers
Whether you're expanding your own collection or buying a gift for a loved one, it's always best to buy from trustworthy and quality Australian jewellers.
Especially aim to shop small with independent jewellery brands, like ours, who take care with what they do, offer great customer service and won't be adding a premium for a big brand name and huge overheads. The pieces you purchase from these businesses will create long-lasting memories and add your own unique sense of style to any outfit. Because who wants to look like everybody else anyway?
At Simone Walsh, we understand what makes a great piece ... well, great. That's why we have an extensive selection of unique jewellery designs bound to set their wearers apart. So if you're interested in pieces that do just that, then check out our most popular jewellery picks!