jewelry http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8103/all en-US How Much Engagement Ring Can You Actually Afford? http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-engagement-ring-can-you-actually-afford <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-much-engagement-ring-can-you-actually-afford" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_proposing_marriage_000048387844.jpg" alt="Man learning how much he can spend on an engagement ring" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Shopping for and purchasing an engagement ring is one of the most important decisions a young couple can make. It can be easy to get carried away with the ring, but it's important to remember that the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-unexpected-costs-that-could-ruin-your-wedding-budget">wedding</a>, honeymoon, and first year of marriage will also be very expensive. Fortunately, we've found some simple ways to help you figure out how much you can afford to spend on the ring.</p> <h2>1. Evaluate Your Finances</h2> <p>Before making the purchase, you should first get a handle on your finances so you can determine how much you make, how much you can finance, and whether a certain amount is worth it. The average <a href="http://www.weddingstats.org/average-cost-of-an-engagement-ring.html">cost of a diamond engagement ring</a> has risen from just under $4000 to just over $5000 in 2015, but that doesn't mean you should be spending exactly that. You are the only person who can decide what the right amount is to spend on an engagement ring.</p> <h2>2. Forget the Two Paycheck Rule</h2> <p>Most people still abide by the two paycheck rule, which states that two months' worth of earnings is a good amount to spend on a ring. However, with the current economic situation and more savvy shopping techniques, the estimate has fallen to one month's worth of earnings.</p> <h2>3. Finance It</h2> <p>At the end of the day, financing is always an option. By financing the ring, you will have time to pay it off, but will likely have to pay a fee and/or interest. If you are able to finance the ring with 0% APR, then it may be worthwhile. If you already have enough debt under your name and don't want to add another bill right before you're married, then you should avoid financing altogether.</p> <h2>4. Find Something Sentimental</h2> <p>Something sentimental trumps something expensive every time. If you have an item that means something to your family or your partner's, include it in the engagement. For instance, giving your fiance your grandmother's engagement ring can show them that you're serious about sharing your family with them and can take the pressure off of finding the &quot;perfect&quot; engagement ring. Giving him or her a sentimental item will make your engagement ring seem more special, or can serve as a second engagement ring or wedding band.</p> <p>Often, men will give their family heirloom as the engagement ring itself, which can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars &mdash; all of which can be put towards the wedding or honeymoon.</p> <h2>5. Figure Out Your Partner's Style</h2> <p>The national average carat size is only 0.4, so don't feel obligated to purchase a two-carat engagement ring. In fact, extravagance may not even be your fiance's style. You need to first ask yourself what you think they would like before making the purchase. Their preferences will affect the price of the ring, so taking their taste into account will help you determine the right budget.</p> <p>Engagement rings can be found in gold, white gold, platinum, silver, and more. While diamonds are the most popular engagement ring stone, you may want to consider other unique options, like an emerald, sapphire, or ruby. Each type of metal and stone comes with its own advantages and price point, so you should know what type of jewelry they normally wear. For instance, does your spouse-to-be tend to go for classic or extravagant jewelry and designs?</p> <h2>6. Visit Your Jeweler</h2> <p>To ensure that you get the most from your investment, make sure to take the time to find your fiance the right ring. Visit your local jeweler to ask questions and see some examples of rings in your price range. Make sure to keep the four Cs (cut, color, carat, clarity) in mind when choosing a diamond, but don't get carried away with the stone.</p> <h2>7. Purchase Online</h2> <p>Visiting a jewelry store and speaking with a professional about your needs doesn't require you to purchase the ring at the jeweler. In fact, you can actually cut the cost of your ring by as much as 50% by simply making the purchase online and doing your research. Sites like <a href="http://www.bluenile.com/engagement-rings">Blue Nile</a> offer beautiful engagement rings, for a huge discount, and can even help you create a custom ring just for her.</p> <h2>8. Upgrade the Ring Later</h2> <p>If you simply cannot afford to purchase the ring you'd like to get, then consider upgrading later in life. After all, after you pop the question, you'll be together forever, right? That gives you plenty of time to upgrade the ring later. Most importantly, remember that the ring you choose won't have any effect on your relationship. There are bigger things to worry about and bigger expenses on the horizon, so try not to get too caught up on the ring. Remember, getting engaged is about planning to share your lives together, not about giving them a fancy present.</p> <p><em>Have you purchased an engagement ring? How did you determine how much to spend? Please share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-engagement-ring-can-you-actually-afford">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-money-saving-tricks-to-know-before-buying-an-engagement-ring">12 Money-Saving Tricks to Know Before Buying an Engagement Ring</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-greatest-story-ever-sold-is-a-fantasy-covered-in-blood">The Greatest Story Ever Sold is a Fantasy Covered in Blood</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/who-pays-for-the-bridesmaid-dresses-when">Who Pays For the Bridesmaid Dresses When . . . ?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-americans-spent-their-money-in-the-1950s">This Is How Americans Spent Their Money in the 1950s</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-resist-a-splurge">6 Ways to Resist a Splurge</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Shopping diamonds engagement rings jewelry marriage proposals weddings Mon, 21 Sep 2015 11:00:11 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1561395 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Money-Saving Tricks to Know Before Buying an Engagement Ring http://www.wisebread.com/12-money-saving-tricks-to-know-before-buying-an-engagement-ring <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-money-saving-tricks-to-know-before-buying-an-engagement-ring" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000048536234_Large.jpg" alt="man proposing to girlfriend" title="man proposing to girlfriend" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Planning to pop the question? You'll need a ring before you get down on bended knee, and when it comes to buying jewelry, it's easy to make costly mistakes (especially if you don't know what you're doing). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-wedding-trick-will-save-you-thousands?ref=seealso">This One Wedding Trick Will Save You Thousands</a>)</p> <p>To ensure that you're getting the best value for your budget, here are 12 engagement ring tricks from leading industry experts. Former diamond cutter and third-generation jeweler Anubh Shah of<a href="http://www.fourmine.com/"> Four Mine</a>, and Andrea Novella, creative director at<a href="http://www.gemmajadejewelry.com"> Gemma Jade Jewelry</a>, divulge their insider secrets to help you get the most brilliance for your buck.</p> <h2>1. Buy Diamonds Just Shy of Critical Weights</h2> <p>Carat weight and size are important in the ring-buying process &mdash; at least they are to your girlfriend &mdash; and jewelers know it. That's precisely why most diamonds are cut in half and whole increments, as pricing is based on those thresholds.</p> <p>&quot;Instead of shelling out for the full 1.00 carat diamond, try to find something around 0.95 carat,&quot; advises Shah. &quot;Manufacturers do everything they can to cut to critical weights because the pricing is tiered on those values. If a diamond is cut to less, the value is lost and therefore price can be significantly less.&quot;</p> <p>Novella agrees, calling this &quot;the best tip of all.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;Diamond prices increase exponentially for each carat,&quot; she says. &quot;So if you want one carat, buy a .97. If you want 2, buy 1.95. It's essentially the same thing but much cheaper.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Buy Diamonds Online</h2> <p>We buy everything else online these days, so it only makes sense that you can find great deals on diamonds at Internet retailers.</p> <p>&quot;Buy diamonds online, even if you want to browse in store,&quot; suggests Anubh. &quot;Prices are significantly less and selection is far larger. You can see upwards of 20% price differences between online and in-store prices. Online jewelers are extremely price competitive and so the markups are actually very low. Jewelers make their margins on the setting, so buying the diamond loose then having it set in a ring locally is also a great idea.&quot;</p> <p>There's another important tip that you don't want to overlook, and it can save you hundreds of dollars.</p> <p>&quot;Also, buy one from a jeweler that's out of state so you save on taxes,&quot; Anubh adds, &quot;which can be an 8%+ difference.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Plan Your Purchase for the Summer</h2> <p>June through August is unofficially known as wedding season, so you probably assume that's the worst time to buy an engagement ring. The exact opposite is true, in fact, because while the actual weddings are taking places during the warmer months, most engagements are established throughout the rest of the year.</p> <p>&quot;Summers are a good time to buy &mdash; summers are slow for most jewelers and wholesalers so they'll be more price flexible to try and push inventory,&quot; says Anubh. &quot;Pricing is volatile around Christmas and can either go drastically up or down. Avoid the volatility and buy during the summer days. Plus it's wedding season so people aren't generally buying as many engagement rings at that time.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Opt for a Non-Traditional Shape</h2> <p>Would your lady prefer a round diamond? Unfortunately for you, she's in the majority, which drives the price up due to demand. To save some coin &mdash; if it won't leave you single, of course &mdash; look into more non-traditional shapes.</p> <p>&quot;Fancy shapes (shapes other than traditional round) are significantly less expensive and more trendy &mdash; why?&quot; asks Anubh. &quot;Because round is the most popular shape so it's most in demand &mdash; simple economics. Also, a diamond cutter's job is to preserve the maximum amount of weight. Rounds lose much more carat weight than other shapes, so they carry a premium.&quot;</p> <h2>5. Consider Alternative Stones</h2> <p>They say that diamonds are a girl's best friend. But isn't it interesting how there's no famous idiom that equates diamonds to a dude's worst enemy? If you're feeling the pinch on the prospect of buying a diamond, perhaps you can consider alternative stones, like precious gems or even a manmade, eco-friendly diamond-esque stone. (Tough sell, I know, but it's worth a shot.)</p> <p>&quot;Non-conventional brides might want to consider alternative stones to diamonds, or use a diamond setting but another stone for the center stone,&quot; Novella suggest. &quot;Asian cultures highly value imperial green jadeite, for example. It's more rare than diamonds but still more affordable.&quot;</p> <p>(P.S. If your bride is non-conventional, consider yourself an even luckier man.)</p> <h2>6. Go for the Gold</h2> <p>Yellow gold went out of fashion for a while over the past couple decades, but its back with a vengeance now that it has an enviable price tag. And Novella wants you to hone in on it for investment's sake.</p> <p>&quot;Gold provides the best value. Prices have steadily risen over the years so it's a good investment metal, but more affordable than platinum,&quot; she explains.</p> <h2>7. Look for 14k Instead of 18k Gold</h2> <p>While you're concentrating your efforts on gold, you should also know that there's a better value between one karat weight and another. It may seem like 18k gold is the best buy given the higher number, but that's not the case.</p> <p>&quot;Generally, you can consider 18k like a brand name; it's purer than 14k, but adds little to no extra raw value,&quot; says Anubh. &quot;The longevity of 14k is high, and simple 'servicing' (yes, like with a car) can keep it looking brand new. Just polishing out scratches or rhodium plating restores shine as if it were new. Do this once year &mdash; it should only cost about $10 to $20.&quot;</p> <h2>8. Steer Clear of the Brand Name Rings</h2> <p>I didn't have to buy an engagement ring because I married a dude (we're simple like that), so I had no idea that there were brand-name rings. Now that you are enlightened, you should stay far away too.</p> <p>&quot;Avoid brand name rings and branded designs,&quot; Anubh warns. &quot;Any ring can be custom made and any design created as close to the original as possible. There are huge savings when custom making a branded design so I definitely recommend that route if you like something branded outside your budget.&quot;</p> <h2>9. Look for Diamonds in the H/I Color and S1 Clarity Range</h2> <p>Now we're getting into the nitty-gritty of engagement ring buying with a quick lesson on diamond color and clarity.</p> <p><a href="http://www.jewelry-secrets.com/Diamonds/Is-H-I-Color-A-Good-Diamond-Color/H-I-Color-Diamonds-Good-Or-Bad.html">H/I color</a> is an &quot;average color, middle of the road, greatly abundant, and consistent color in nature,&quot; according to Jewelry Secrets. In laymen's terms, the color is a little bit off (a bit of yellow in the mix), but hardly noticeable. The SI clarity range on the other hand includes three levels &mdash; SI1, SI2, and SI3 &mdash; which equate to flawless to the naked eye, flawed to the naked eye, and &quot;This is probably a diamond, but it's definitely not the best one,&quot; respectively.</p> <p>If you want to spend less, this is where you can make some concessions, says Anubh.</p> <p>&quot;Diamonds in the H/I color and SI clarity range offer the best value,&quot; he explains. &quot;The imperfections are rarely visible to the naked, untrained eye and the color is hardly distracting. Round diamonds mask color much better than fancy shapes.&quot;</p> <p>This is another slippery slope, gentlemen, so proceed with caution.</p> <h2>10. Seek Out GIA-Certified Rings</h2> <p>Did you know that there's, like, a governing body on diamonds? There are a few, actually. But the Gemological Institute of America is the only one you need to know.</p> <p>&quot;Only buy GIA-certified diamonds, if you're truly looking for value for money,&quot; Anubh advises. &quot;GIA is the most consistent grading lab and has the highest grading standards. Other labs are inconsistent and carry noticeable discounts for a reason. Don't be fooled!&quot;</p> <h2>11. Put Away the Plastic and Pay Cash</h2> <p>Given the high cost of engagement rings, your plan probably is to pay for it with credit. That's not the best idea for two reasons &mdash; you can easily rack up interest charges if you let the balance drag on, and you may be missing out on savings. A better bet is to hoard cash until you can afford it outright. You'll sleep better at night knowing that you don't have another huge bill looming over your head, it'll give you enough time to make sure this is definitely the right relationship for you, and you'll keep more money in the bank because of a potential kickback.</p> <p>&quot;Buy your engagement ring via bank wire or check from a wholesaler,&quot; Anubh recommends. &quot;There's almost always a discount because no credit card processing fees are involved.&quot;</p> <p>While we're on the subject of diamond wholesalers, Novella thinks you should seriously consider this route over a local jewelry store.</p> <p>&quot;Buy the diamond wholesale or through a broker, and then have it set with the jeweler,&quot; she says. &quot;You'll save on the markup for the center stone, which is the main part of the cost.&quot;</p> <h2>12. Stick to Your Intended Budget</h2> <p>It's really easy to go over budget when you're blinded by love &mdash; but you need to keep it together, man. Set a max amount that you'll spend and make it your goal to find the perfect ring by coming in <em>under</em> that threshold.</p> <p>&quot;Unless you're blowing out your budget, the odds of getting something significantly better for a small increase in budget are low,&quot; Anubh imparts. &quot;It'll make you feel bad in the long run. Stick to a number and stay under. Everyone is happy when they find an extra dollar in their jeans pocket.&quot;</p> <p><em>Did you save a bundle on an engagement ring or other piece of jewelry? How'd you do it?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-money-saving-tricks-to-know-before-buying-an-engagement-ring">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-engagement-ring-can-you-actually-afford">How Much Engagement Ring Can You Actually Afford?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wedding-dresses-for-under-200">Wedding Dresses for Under $200</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-sites-to-shop-for-affordable-cool-jewelry">10 Awesome Sites to Shop for Affordable, Cool Jewelry</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-gel-nail-polishes">The 5 Best Gel Nail Polishes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-places-to-find-inexpensive-accessories">10 Places to Find Inexpensive Accessories</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Shopping Style engagement ring jewelry marriage ring wedding Fri, 13 Feb 2015 18:00:07 +0000 Mikey Rox 1289195 at http://www.wisebread.com Wantable Accessories: Funky Elegance at a Discount http://www.wisebread.com/wantable-accessories-funky-elegance-at-a-discount <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/wantable-accessories-funky-elegance-at-a-discount" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/jewelry-179986738.jpg" alt="woman wearing jewelry" title="woman wearing jewelry" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Why pay full price when there are discounts to be had? Makeup and fashion accessories are no exception. With <a href="http://partners.wantable.co/c/27771/54545/1319">Wantable</a>, you can get premium makeup, accessories, and intimates at half price &mdash; or less! While you won't know exactly what will arrive, a style quiz ensures that you'll love what you get. (See also:<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/affordable-accessories-to-kickstart-your-style"> Affordable Accessories to Kickstart Your Style</a>)</p> <h2>About Wantable</h2> <p>Wantable is a Milwaukee-based company of about 15 employees spread to as far as New York City. They aim to match their customers with sure-to-love accessories, makeup, and intimates. For $40 (or $36 if you sign up for a subscription), you receive a number of goodies valued at $80 to $100, all which suit your personal style. How do they know what you like, you ask? Well, <em>they</em> ask &mdash; in the form of an illustrated style quiz. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/love-makeup-or-jewelry-surprise-yourself-with-a-wantable-box">Surprise Yourself With a Wantable Box</a>)</p> <h2>The Goodies</h2> <p>The accessories I've gotten from Wantable have been great so far. There were one or two misses, but nothing to make me want to return the whole box. The style quiz really seems to work! Here's a sampling of my loves, likes, and dislikes:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Love:</strong> Classic, Mix 'n Match, Earrings, Necklaces, Headbands</li> <li><strong>Like:</strong> Rock 'n Roll, Boho, Bracelets, Gold Tone, Silver Tone</li> <li><strong>Dislike:</strong> Rings, Watches, Sunglasses, Wood, Leatherette</li> </ul> <p>And these arrived in the mail:</p> <h3>Akoya Necklace</h3> <p><img style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/wantable-akoya-ggnoads.JPG" alt="" /></p> <p>Look at this. Look at it! I mean&hellip;wowzers. I am rendered speechless by how gorgeous this necklace is. It manages to make pearls and rhinestones &mdash; pretty traditional elements in jewelry &mdash; a little funky, but not so much that it would be out of place at an elegant soiree. I would absolutely pay full retail for this.</p> <p><em>Retail value: $28</em></p> <h3>Lavi Bracelet</h3> <p><img style="width: 596px; height: 298px;" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/wantable-lavi-ggnoads.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>If you need a bracelet to go with the above necklace, this one will do quite nicely! The gold settings that make up the Lavi bracelet have tiny balls on the corners just as the settings on the Akoya necklace do. Don't worry about being too &quot;matchy-matchy&quot;, though; transparent faceted gemstones make for an interesting twist. The extra bulky spring ring clasp is something I don't see every day (which is nice!) but it's also a little hard to maneuver (not so nice).</p> <p><em>Retail value: $28</em></p> <h3>Calida Earrings</h3> <p><img style="width: 605px; height: 302px;" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/wantable-calida-ggnoads.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>With these Wantable boxes, there's always something that gives me pleasant surprise. (I guess that's the point, isn't it?) From the front,&nbsp;the Calida earrings seem like&nbsp;a simple black round set in a textured gold frame. But from the side, you'll see that it's actually a crown. It's not noticeable unless someone gets up close and personal with your ear, but like the colorful patterned lining of a trench coat, <em>you know it's there</em>.</p> <p><em>Retail value: $18</em></p> <h3>Imagine Earrings</h3> <p><img style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/wantable-imagine-ggnoads.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>The Imagine Earrings are small, silver-toned infinity signs. I guess they're&hellip;nice? They'll work fine if you need a basic piece of jewelry that's not too showy. I would be spending all day checking to see if they're perfectly horizontal on my ears, but that's just me.</p> <p><em>Retail value: $20</em></p> <h2>Is It Worth It?</h2> <p><img style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/wantable-09-ggnoads.JPG" alt="" /></p> <p>The total retail value of this box is $94. At $40 per box, this translates to $54 (57%) savings. While I am somewhat underwhelmed by the Imagine Earrings, I love everything else &mdash; especially the Akoya Necklace. You miles may vary, but for me, the beautiful necklace and bracelet make&nbsp;this box worth it! <a href="http://partners.wantable.co/c/27771/54545/1319">Check out Wantable now</a>!</p> <p><em>Disclaimer: I received a free box for an honest review.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wantable-accessories-funky-elegance-at-a-discount">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/love-makeup-or-jewelry-surprise-yourself-with-a-wantable-box">Love Makeup or Jewelry? Surprise Yourself With a Wantable Box.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-wantables-statement-accessories-say-yay-or-nay">Do Wantable&#039;s Statement Accessories Say Yay or Nay?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wantable-designer-accessories-at-discount-prices">Wantable: Designer Accessories at Discount Prices</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wantable-makeup-edition-beauty-treats-tailored-for-you">Wantable Makeup Edition: Beauty Treats Tailored for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-style-secrets-for-women-that-flatter-every-shape">7 Style Secrets for Women That Flatter Every Shape</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping accessories fashion jewelry makeup Wantable Mon, 02 Dec 2013 11:01:25 +0000 Amy Lu 1098612 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Awesome Sites to Shop for Affordable, Cool Jewelry http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-sites-to-shop-for-affordable-cool-jewelry <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-awesome-sites-to-shop-for-affordable-cool-jewelry" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/jewelry-3891328-small.jpg" alt="earrings" title="earrings" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You don&#39;t need diamonds and precious gems for a great jewelry wardrobe &mdash; although they sure would be nice. The good news is that there are plenty of affordable jewelry alternatives, where stylish designs and fashion statement pieces abound. Here are some great online jewelry retailers, who not only make finding interesting and gorgeous jewelry easy, but also give your wallet a break, too. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/affordable-accessories-to-kickstart-your-style">Cheap Accessories to Kickstart Your Style</a>)</p> <h2>1. Baublebar</h2> <p><a href="http://www.baublebar.com/">Baublebar</a> prides itself on offering guilt-free price points for stylish fashion jewelry. A huge selection of diverse and affordable inventory (think necklaces priced in the $20-$40 range) is continually updated, making this site a great find for gifting or expanding your own collection. While pieces this cheap usually skip the real stones, it&#39;s remarkable that most of the jewelry always looks a lot more expensive than it is. And don&#39;t forget, there&#39;s free shipping on all orders to help you save. The site also features a &quot;Guest Bartender&quot; section, where fashion mavens feature their best picks. In addition to a well-stocked sale section and monthly deals, a great wedding section full of dazzling faux pieces rounds out the site. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alternative-wedding-ideas-for-big-savings">Alternative Wedding Ideas for Big Savings</a>)</p> <h2>2. Dasha Boutique</h2> <p><a href="http://www.dashaboutique.com/">Dasha Boutique</a> is an online treasure trove of beautifully handmade gemstone jewelry based out of San Francisco. The site has been heralded in major fashion outlets, in addition to having some celebrity pull. But you might think gemstones and high fashion means it will cost a fortune &mdash; think again. In addition to Dasha&#39;s many usual sales, where items can run 30% off or more, they keep most of their collection very affordable for such high quality gemstone pieces, with a large selection of items under $50. All orders arrive beautifully packaged, and anything can be customized to your liking using an easy to follow online guide. Several years ago, I customized a very affordable pair of gorgeous drop moonstone earrings for my own wedding, and have been buying from Dasha ever since.</p> <h2>3. Girl Props</h2> <p>A young and free-spirited site for some of the cheapest jewelry around, <a href="http://www.girlprops.com/">Girl Props</a> offers over 4,000 whimsical jewelry and accessory items for gals of all ages. While the materials and selections aren&#39;t necessarily the same quality as those handcrafted, artisan pieces found elsewhere, pendant necklaces for $3.99, a collection of faux-gold bangles for $2.99 and a set of 18 pairs of stud earrings for $9.99 make this a fun site for tweens and adults, alike. Free shipping on U.S. orders over $10 makes this site even more of a no-brainer for cute jewelry and accessory indulgences. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-places-to-find-inexpensive-accessories">10 Places to Find Affordable Accessories</a>)</p> <h2>4. Satya Jewelry</h2> <p><a href="http://www.satyajewelry.com/">Satya Jewelry&#39;s</a> online site it a fantastic representation of what this beautiful New York based store has to offer. Satya combines semi-precious stones and sacred symbols to make truly unique and lovely pieces with meaning. While they carry some higher-priced pieces that sell for hundreds of dollars, the site has a large selection of items under $100, and even a nice collection under $50. The sale section is a great find as well, with items marked at 50% off, meaning you can score a stunning piece for often under $35. Also take advantage of Satya sample sales and other promotions if you sign up for email alerts. The company has also started the <a href="http://satyafoundation.org/">Satya Foundation</a>, which raises money for children&#39;s groups throughout the world. &nbsp;</p> <h2>5. Lydell NYC</h2> <p><a href="http://www.lydellnyc.com/">Lydell NYC</a> features some great, affordable costume jewelry on a well-organized site. Earrings can run as low as $15, while a decent selection of necklaces and bracelets can easily be found in the $30-$40 range. The site offers easy ways to search for items by style, collection, or as seen in the press, making it even easier to land a unique cuff bracelet or to find a pair of earrings recently featured in &quot;Lucky&quot; or &quot;Real Simple.&quot; And don&#39;t forget to check out the sale section, where items are often slashed 50% or more. Lydell also offers free shipping for orders over $50 and a 30-day return policy.</p> <h2>6. Bluefly</h2> <p>You may have shopped designer discount retailer <a href="http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-2822544-11064674?cm_mmc=CJ-_-2276508-_-2822544-_-Shop%20Styles%20Under%20$100" target="_blank">Bluefly</a> before for some great designer apparel deals, but they have a great jewelry department as well. The site has made it easy to search out the more affordable pieces in the fashion jewelry section, but they also sell discounted fine, estate, and diamond jewelry at much higher price points. Sticking to the fashion jewelry, you can search out all kinds of designer names and styles at massive discounts. Regular sales on already reduced pieces and final sale items can save you a bundle to easily land a nice piece of jewelry for $30 or less.</p> <h2>7. Danielle Stevens Jewelry</h2> <p><a href="http://www.daniellestevens.com/">Danielle Stevens Jewelry</a>, which has also been featured in fashion magazines and worn by celebrities, has a great online shop where you can buy some trendy, affordable costume jewelry that looks very luxe. Besides a generous online offering at decent price points, the site has a number of great promotions throughout the year, including some sale items where you can save 50% or more. Custom engraving, a great sale section, and a charity section with pieces priced under $20, make this a great place to find some not-so-hidden gems. Items also arrive in a very cool signature jewelry bag.</p> <h2>8. Le Mode Accessories</h2> <p><a href="http://www.shoplemode.com/">Le Mode Accessories</a> offers reasonably priced jewelry, all with an eye towards current fashion trends. Many fashion necklaces on the site can be found under $30, while stylish earrings are almost all priced under $20. They also offer some cool handbags, scarves, and belts at very economical prices. An array of styles, from boho chic to modern looks can be found on the site, which makes it easy to find something great to satisfy just about anyone&#39;s taste. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/love-makeup-or-jewelry-surprise-yourself-with-a-wantable-box">Wantable Jewelry and Makeup Tailored for You</a>)</p> <h2>9. by boe</h2> <p>New York based jewelry line, <a href="https://www.byboe.com">by boe</a>, formed by Swedish jewelry designer, Annika Inez, has gained popularity with its unique, architectural shapes and striking designs. The by boe brand features many upscale, beautiful items under $50, while the site&#39;s <a href="https://www.byboe.com/inez-home/">Inez</a> brand runs at higher price points for items using vintage Czech glass stones. You can receive 10% off your first order by sharing your email and there is free shipping over $75. The company also donates 5% of your purchase to <a href="http://www.womenforwomen.org/">Women for Women</a>, a charity that helps female survivors of war.</p> <h2>10. Etsy</h2> <p>No good jewelry search would be complete without also mentioning <a href="http://www.etsy.com/">Etsy</a> as a resource. It goes without saying that Etsy is a great destination for handmade and vintage jewelry of all kinds. Given they have designated an entire category for jewelry alone, searching through the vast array of choices can be overwhelming. The key is to narrow your search as much as possible by description or artisan and be sure to search within your designated price range to find an affordable, one-of-a-kind piece.</p> <p><em>Where do you find jewelry online?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kelly-medeiros">Kelly Medeiros</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-sites-to-shop-for-affordable-cool-jewelry">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-greatest-story-ever-sold-is-a-fantasy-covered-in-blood">The Greatest Story Ever Sold is a Fantasy Covered in Blood</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-money-saving-tricks-to-know-before-buying-an-engagement-ring">12 Money-Saving Tricks to Know Before Buying an Engagement Ring</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-buy-and-avoid-buying-in-march">What to Buy (and Avoid Buying) in March</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-space-heaters">The 5 Best Space Heaters</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-engagement-ring-can-you-actually-afford">How Much Engagement Ring Can You Actually Afford?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping buying guides jewelry online jewelry retailers online retail Tue, 12 Nov 2013 09:36:03 +0000 Kelly Medeiros 1077724 at http://www.wisebread.com Do Wantable's Statement Accessories Say Yay or Nay? http://www.wisebread.com/do-wantables-statement-accessories-say-yay-or-nay <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/do-wantables-statement-accessories-say-yay-or-nay" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-5029745-small.jpg" alt="woman with accessories" title="woman with accessories" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Are you up for a sort-of surprise? Just answer a quiz and <a href="http://partners.wantable.co/c/27771/54545/1319">Wantable</a> delivers! Although you won't know exactly what you'll get, you can count on Wantable to personalize your box just right. I received some beautiful, bold pieces in this box (yay!) and one that is a tad less impressive by comparison &mdash; but each one definitely suits my style.</p> <p>For some people (myself included), the price might be a smidge high for a regular expense. But if you're used to paying premium for quality products, a Wantable box may actually help you save money. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-places-to-find-inexpensive-accessories">Where to Find Inexpensive Accessories</a>)</p> <h2>About Wantable</h2> <p>Wantable aims to match their customers with makeup or accessories they're sure to love. The goodies in each box are hand-picked by Wantable's in-house and guest curators, based on the answers you provide in a super easy style quiz that only wants to know if you love, like, or dislike the options they present to you. For a one-off box at $40, or a subscription at $36 per box, you receive 4-6 full-size makeup products or several pieces of quality accessories (the exact number seems to change month to month). With each box valued at $80 to $100, you could save up to 60% on the latest in beauty and fashion. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wantable-makeup-edition-beauty-treats-tailored-for-you">Wantable Makeup Box Review</a>)</p> <p>If makeup and accessories aren't your thing, Wantable has also rolled out an intimates box with stylish and comfortable essentials (think camis, tanks, socks, tights, panties, and soft bras).</p> <h2>The Goodies</h2> <p>We're back to accessories with this month's box. My <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/love-makeup-or-jewelry-surprise-yourself-with-a-wantable-box">previous accessories box</a> was a hit overall. How does this one stack up? To give you an idea of what the Wantable team had to work with, here are some of my answers to the style quiz:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Love:</strong> Classic, Mix 'n Match, Earrings, Necklaces, Headbands</li> <li><strong>Like:</strong> Rock 'n Roll, Boho, Urban, Multi Tone, Beads</li> <li><strong>Dislike:</strong> Rings, Watches, Sunglasses, Leatherette</li> </ul> <p>And here are the products they sent me:</p> <h3>Estella Earrings</h3> <p><img style="height:340px; width:605px" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/wantable08estella.JPG" alt="" /></p> <p>Can something be both elegant <em>and</em> cute? Yes, and the Estella earrings prove it. The warm apricot gems in their stately oval shape, the tiny pearl-like beads at the top, and the whimsical bows and flowers all come together in old-fashioned quirkiness. My mom, who loves elegant and cute things, walked off with them at first sight. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/affordable-accessories-to-kickstart-your-style">Affordable Accessories to Kickstart Your Style</a>)</p> <p><em>Retail value: $24</em></p> <h3>Aubrina Earrings</h3> <p><img style="height:340px; width:605px" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/wantable08aubrina.JPG" alt="" /></p> <p>I don't usually buy black earrings because they get visually lost in my hair, but I can count on the Aubrina earrings to stand out thanks to the silver trim. They seem to recall the standard diamond shape that you often see on earrings, but the rounded corners &mdash; more clover than diamond &mdash; softens the look. The earrings feel a little heavy, but the backings are secure enough that I'm not at all worried about losing one.</p> <p><em>Retail value: $22</em></p> <h3>Emmy Necklace</h3> <p><img style="height:340px; width:605px" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/wantable08emmy.JPG" alt="" /></p> <p>I think I would like the Emmy necklace more if the green bars were larger. It's such a beautiful color, and I want more of it! As is, I'm a little underwhelmed, but I can see this working as an everyday, I-just-need-a-spot-of-color kind of accessory.</p> <p><em>Retail value: $28</em></p> <h3>Gretchen Necklace</h3> <p><img style="height:340px; width:605px" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/wantable08gretchen.JPG" alt="" /></p> <p>I thought this necklace looked fairly ordinary at first. It's basically a circular pendant on a long chain &mdash; and that's what you would see from a distance. But then I <em>really</em> looked at it, and I fell in love with the details. The construction of the pendant (two main rings looped together by twine-like wire) and the many different textures bring interest to an otherwise simple shape. My only worry is that the out-facing rhinestones along the edge can damage sweaters and other delicate clothing. Then again, I can imagine the necklace being a mildly effective weapon &mdash; it's certainly sturdy enough!</p> <p><em>Retail value: $24</em></p> <h2>Is It Worth It?</h2> <p><img style="height:340px; width:605px" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/wantable08.JPG" alt="" /></p> <p>The retail value of everything in the box came out to $98. There is no way I would purchase any of these pieces at their full retail price, so the 59.1% savings is too far removed from my budgeting world to really get me excited. But if I think about it from a different angle &mdash; these pieces are gorgeous, and they're only about $10 each! &mdash; I would say this box is worth it.</p> <p>I want to emphasize <em>this box</em>, because the cost for monthly boxes can really add up. (Seriously, there's no way I'd be able to keep this up if I weren't reviewing these boxes.) And while Wantable tries to match up the goodies with what you like, there's no guarantee or one-item return policy &mdash; full-box returns only. Still, I think the Wantable experience, quiz and semi-surprise and all, is a fun treat for special occasions and an awesome gift for the makeup or fashion inclined.</p> <p><em>Disclaimer: I received a free box for an honest review.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-wantables-statement-accessories-say-yay-or-nay">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/love-makeup-or-jewelry-surprise-yourself-with-a-wantable-box">Love Makeup or Jewelry? Surprise Yourself With a Wantable Box.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wantable-accessories-funky-elegance-at-a-discount">Wantable Accessories: Funky Elegance at a Discount</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wantable-designer-accessories-at-discount-prices">Wantable: Designer Accessories at Discount Prices</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wantable-makeup-edition-beauty-treats-tailored-for-you">Wantable Makeup Edition: Beauty Treats Tailored for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-style-secrets-for-women-that-flatter-every-shape">7 Style Secrets for Women That Flatter Every Shape</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping accessories fashion jewelry makeup Wantable Tue, 29 Oct 2013 09:36:03 +0000 Amy Lu 981555 at http://www.wisebread.com Love Makeup or Jewelry? Surprise Yourself With a Wantable Box. http://www.wisebread.com/love-makeup-or-jewelry-surprise-yourself-with-a-wantable-box <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/love-makeup-or-jewelry-surprise-yourself-with-a-wantable-box" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/gift-4219344-small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you like surprises? Do you like trying out new things? If you're also into makeup or fashion accessories, then you'll want to check out <a href="http://partners.wantable.co/c/27771/54545/1319">Wantable</a>. I gave it a test run recently, and while I'm not sure it's a good fit for me, I can definitely see how it can work out <em>very</em> well for others! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-places-to-find-inexpensive-accessories">10 Places to Find Inexpensive Accessories</a>)</p> <h2>About Wantable</h2> <p>Based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the Wantable team aims to match you up with fashion and beauty products they know you'll love. From the About Us page:</p> <blockquote><p>&quot;Each month our in-house and guest curators hand-pick beauty and fashion jewelry products from hundreds of quality boutique, specialty, and premium vendors to find the best on-trend items. Then we use each customer's unique profile and purchase history to select the perfect set of products just for them.&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p>You may wonder, what's this &quot;unique profile&quot; about? It's pretty simple. They use data derived from a survey you fill out to make sure the products in your box will suit your tastes.</p> <h2>How It Works</h2> <p>You're launched into a tailor-made experience right from the homepage. Start by choosing between two categories of goodies &mdash; makeup or jewelry &mdash; then complete a survey that asks about your style and preferences. Once your order is in, they'll send you a box with 4-6 full sized beauty products or 3-5 pieces of jewelry and fashion accessories.</p> <p>The survey takes about 5 minutes. The questions start off broad (What styles do you prefer? What kinds of products do you want?), then gradually shift to the details (How long do you like your necklaces? Do you like matte, shimmer, or glitter nail polish?). They give you some options &mdash; with pictures! &mdash; and you can move a slider to <em>Love</em> or <em>Dislike</em>, or leave it at <em>Like</em>. Wantable's &quot;curators&quot; will then use your answers to pick out items you're likely to love and leave out altogether the ones you dislike.</p> <p>Each box is valued at $80 to $100. You can choose to buy a single box for $40 or subscribe for monthly boxes at $36 each. They ship automatically each month, and you can cancel or skip the subscription at any time. Returns seem pretty painless &mdash; just use the original box and the prepaid return label, and send it all back at any time &mdash; even if the products were opened or used. However, it's an all-or-nothing deal; you can't return one item and keep everything else. (I asked. More on that later.)</p> <h2>The Goodies</h2> <p>I took the survey for both categories but ultimately chose the box of jewelry and accessories. The box itself is a sturdy little thing that should fit in most mail boxes, and it's stuffed with enough packing material (namely, paper strips and a sheet of bubble wrap) to ensure that it all arrives safely. There's also a return shipping label, just in case.</p> <p>To give you a sense of what the goodies in my box should look like, here are some of my choices on the survey:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Love:</strong> Classic, Glam, Rock 'n Roll, Quirky</li> <li><strong>Like:</strong> Earrings, Bracelets, Necklaces, Silver Tone, Gold Tone, Multi-Tone, Acrylic, Beads</li> <li><strong>Dislike:</strong> Seasonal, Rings, Wood, Skulls</li> </ul> <p>And here's what they sent me:</p> <h3>Suzi Earrings</h3> <p><img width="600" height="325" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/wantable2.png" /></p> <p>The stud earrings look pretty basic, right? Except they're <em>huge</em>. Well, not <em>huge</em> huge &mdash; just way larger than any pair of studs I already own. The scale and square shape gives an otherwise simple design that <em>wow!</em> factor I keep hearing about but never really see out in the wild. Until now.</p> <p><em>Retail value: $20</em></p> <h3>Alisandra Bracelet</h3> <p><img width="600" height="260" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/wantable3.png" /></p> <p>I wasn't really sold on the white-and-gold bow bracelet at first. I thought the design was cute but kind of forgettable, and I couldn't figure out how to get it open. Here's a play-by-play:</p> <p>&quot;I see a hinge, but I can't pull it open.&quot; Some gentle tugs. &quot;Huh. It's still not opening.&quot; Stronger tugs. The bow twists to one side. &quot;Oh no, I broke it! I broke it!&quot; Bracelet slides open. &quot;Wait. Hold on. I think I got this.&quot; I slide a notch into the corresponding hole, and swing the bow into place, securing the bracelet. &quot;This is the <em>best bracelet ever</em>.&quot;</p> <p>There wasn't even a survey question about whether I like everyday objects with interesting mechanics (I do)! Even though I know it's just a coincidence, I feel like the Wantable folks <em>really get me</em> with this bracelet.</p> <p><em>Retail value: $26</em></p> <h3>Drew Earrings</h3> <p><img width="600" height="316" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/wantable4.png" /></p> <p>I love these. I love them so much. They're exactly the kind of earrings that I go <em>&quot;Ooooh!&quot;</em> over &mdash; but far sturdier than most earrings I see at department stores.</p> <p><em>Retail value: $22</em></p> <h3>Nicola Sunglasses</h3> <p><img width="600" height="306" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/wantable5.png" /></p> <p>Guys, I really like how the sunglasses look, but I think I made a mistake here. I tend to overthink surveys, so it took me 15 minutes to do the Wantable jewelry survey when a normal person would only need five. But see, when I overthink things, I also tend to make really dumb mistakes &mdash; like answer that I like sunglasses (which I do, generally) when I can't wear non-prescription ones. I don't want to return the other pieces along with the sunglasses, so I can either get prescription lenses installed&hellip;or give them to my sister.</p> <p>You're welcome, J.</p> <p><em>Retail value: $15</em></p> <p>I think Wantable's curators did a great job; I did really like what I got.</p> <p><img width="600" height="366" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/wantable1.png" /></p> <h2>Is It Worth It?</h2> <p>I opted for the jewelry box because I don't usually wear makeup and I wouldn't know what to do with 4-6 full sized, brand new mystery products all at once. (Probably comb YouTube for makeup tutorials.) However, I was still a little skeptical about my choice. I can't really justify spending $40 on a few pieces of accessories, and the thought of steadily accumulating jewelry over the course of a $36/month subscription frankly scares me. Even if they <em>are</em> such well-made pieces.</p> <p>But if you're already in the habit of spending a little extra for quality jewelry or makeup, <a href="http://partners.wantable.co/c/27771/54545/1319">Wantable</a> may be a good fit for you. The total retail value of the items in my box was $83; at $40 per box, that's just over 50 percent in savings &mdash; and that's on the low end. If you receive a pricier box (say, max value of $100), you could stand to save 60 percent on goodies you might not have purchased at full price.</p> <p>I can also see Wantable working very well as a gift &mdash; and they give you that option. They'll send the recipient a link to take the survey and will charge your card when an order goes through. It makes a nice gift for a young woman with a budding makeup collection, or anyone who likes surprises that aren't <em>too</em> surprising. I can think of a number of family/friends who would enjoy the Wantable experience, survey and all.</p> <p>Final verdict? If the price doesn't faze you &mdash; totally worth it.</p> <p><em>Disclaimer: I received a free box for an <strong>honest</strong> review.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/love-makeup-or-jewelry-surprise-yourself-with-a-wantable-box">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-wantables-statement-accessories-say-yay-or-nay">Do Wantable&#039;s Statement Accessories Say Yay or Nay?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wantable-accessories-funky-elegance-at-a-discount">Wantable Accessories: Funky Elegance at a Discount</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wantable-designer-accessories-at-discount-prices">Wantable: Designer Accessories at Discount Prices</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wantable-makeup-edition-beauty-treats-tailored-for-you">Wantable Makeup Edition: Beauty Treats Tailored for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-style-secrets-for-women-that-flatter-every-shape">7 Style Secrets for Women That Flatter Every Shape</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping accessories fashion jewelry makeup Wantable Mon, 10 Jun 2013 10:48:33 +0000 Amy Lu 978030 at http://www.wisebread.com From Beanie Babies to Baubles: 5 Unconventional Investments http://www.wisebread.com/from-beanie-babies-to-baubles-5-unconventional-investments <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/from-beanie-babies-to-baubles-5-unconventional-investments" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3403444306_4218e18d89_z.jpg" alt="beanie babies" title="beanie babies" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="168" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're bored with stocks and bonds and seeking a taste of the exotic, you might be interested in unconventional investments.</p> <p>Unconventional investments can help protect you against stock market volatility because they don't drop &mdash; and might even rise &mdash; when stocks sink. At least that's the theory, anyway. And if you're lucky or savvy, an alternative investment can produce an outsize return.</p> <p>On the other hand, many unconventional investments are illiquid &mdash; you can't quickly sell them for quick cash. Many are risky and difficult for ordinary folks to understand. For that reason, it's best to allot only a small part of your savings to unconventional investments and to carefully analyze potential risks.</p> <p>Here's six top unconventional investments. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-great-investments-for-first-timers">7 Great Investments for First-Timers</a>)</p> <h2>1. Collectibles</h2> <p>If you buy collectibles, you can invest in something you love and understand. But you might end up owning a lot of stuff and not really making money. Knowing how much someone will pay for a collectible several years from now is hard to predict. Consumers are fickle and fashions change. What's a hot collectible now may latter be just another yard sale item. Remember Cabbage Patch kids?</p> <p>If you want to invest in collectibles, say wine, stamps, or baseball cards, buy only what you understand well &mdash; ideally what you're expert in. Try to be realistic about how much an item will sell for in the future.</p> <p>The danger of collectibles is that they can be stolen, lost, or destroyed. You might consider insurance or a safe deposit box, but those costs diminish your profit. Owning artwork you hope to sell for a gain may end up costing money.</p> <h2>2. Jewelry</h2> <p>Some jewelry owners do make great profits reselling jewelry, but they're experts selling very high-quality gems. Most jewelry appreciates very little or nothing at all. Even though gold has increased greatly in years, you might not get as much as you hope when <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sell-gold-without-getting-ripped-off">selling gold jewelry</a>. Buyers take a sizeable cut, and the price is based on the jewelry's gold content, which may be lower than you expect. Most people, experts warn, should buy jewelry for its beauty and avoid it as an investment.</p> <p>Some people argue that jewelry and collectibles are not real investments, as they don't make money for you while you own them &mdash; what's called an internal rate of return. A condo can generate rent. Stocks can generate dividends. But a diamond just sits there looking pretty until you sell it.</p> <h2>3. Precious Minerals</h2> <p>How about some uranium or palladium? You can invest in almost anything by owning a specialized exchange traded fund&nbsp;(ETF). Like <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-duel-etfs-vs-mutual-funds">mutual funds</a>, ETFs are baskets of assets but can be traded throughout the day like stocks. Typically tracking an index, ETFs can hold anything from biotech firm stocks to utilities to currencies to bonds from small countries you can't pronounce. Some are even designed to increase in value when stock markets fall.&nbsp;They can track gold, silver, platinum, natural gas, oil, or uranium to name a few, as well as baskets of different precious metals.</p> <p>While ETFs, which boast low costs and tax efficiency, have plenty of supporters, critics say they more like speculating than investing, have high trading costs, and don't offer diversification.</p> <h2>4. Frontier Investing</h2> <p>If you're fearless as Davy Crocket, you might consider investing in frontier markets &mdash; countries like Romania, Kenya, or Pakistan. Don't laugh. Not too long most people thought buying shares of companies in Brazil, Russia, India, and China was dangerous, but those who did garnered robust returns and now investing is those countries, the so-called BRICs, is considered quite normal. Countries like Columbia and Vietnam, often blessed with a growing middle class, may soon graduate from the frontier and into a group with catchy acronym.</p> <p>Rather than traveling to Tanzania or Indonesia yourself, you can put money into a mutual fund or ETF specializing in frontier markets.</p> <p><h2non-traded h2=""> </h2non-traded></p> <p>Real estate investment trusts, or REITs, own commercial properties like office buildings and shopping centers and pay dividends based on rents they collect. As their name indicates, non-exchange traded or non-traded REITs are not traded on stock markets. They are supposed to be more stable than publicly traded REITs because their values don't gyrate with the stock market, and they are not hurt by interest rate swings because rents they get are set for years.</p> <p>However, financial regulators warn that their shares are illiquid and can't be easily traded. They are more difficult to value, and fees for selling can diminish your returns. Money you think you're getting as a distribution may actually be funds the REIT is borrowing or your principal being returned. Make sure you do your homework, and read its prospectus and its SEC filings to avoid being burned.</p> <h2>5. Peer-to-Peer Lending</h2> <p>In peer-to-peer, also called <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/peer-to-peer-lending-prosper-marketplace-or-lending-club">person-to-person or social lending</a>, you lend money to other people through websites, such as <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/redir/prosper">Prosper</a> or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/redir/lendingclub">Lending Club</a>. Instead of lending to a government by investing in bonds, you lend to other people by investing in online listings. You review their criteria like debt-to-income ratios and credit scores, pick loans to your liking, decide how much of the loan you'll fund, and then get part of the monthly payment after the online intermediary takes its portion.&nbsp;</p> <p>P2P networks say they provide investors better returns than typical fixed-income investments and less volatility than stocks. That depends if borrowers you pick repay their loans.&nbsp;</p> <p>Lending to strangers, some with imperfect credit histories, is certainly risky. Tips: Spread loans around to many different borrowers, start slowing by initially lending only to the highest-rated borrowers, and don't expect to P2P lending to be a main income source.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/michael-kling">Michael Kling</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/from-beanie-babies-to-baubles-5-unconventional-investments">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/peer-to-peer-lending-prosper-marketplace-or-lending-club">Peer to Peer Lending: Prosper Marketplace or Lending Club?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-peer-to-peer-investing-with-lending-club">Everything You Need to Know About Peer-to-Peer Investing With Lending Club</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-best-financial-news-sites-for-investors-in-a-hurry">The 6 Best Financial News Sites for Investors in a Hurry</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tesla-six-flags-and-9-other-adventure-stocks-worth-investing-in">Tesla, Six Flags and 9 Other Adventure Stocks Worth Investing In</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-greatest-story-ever-sold-is-a-fantasy-covered-in-blood">The Greatest Story Ever Sold is a Fantasy Covered in Blood</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment collecting jewelry peer to peer lending unconventional investments Mon, 17 Dec 2012 10:48:37 +0000 Michael Kling 955654 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Alternative Uses for Nail Polish http://www.wisebread.com/15-alternative-uses-for-nail-polish <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-alternative-uses-for-nail-polish" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/nailpolish.jpg" alt="Woman painting her nails" title="Woman painting her nails" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Remember that time you glued your fingers together with Super Glue? Don&rsquo;t be embarrassed &mdash; we&rsquo;ve all done it <em>at least</em> once. What did your mom tell you she needed? Nail polish remover, right? And you were probably like, that&rsquo;s not gonna work. Except it did.</p> <p>Before there was nail polish remover, however, there was nail polish &mdash; a predecessor of multifunctional proportions. What, pray tell, can a tiny bottle of liquid paint do besides make millions of women (and some men) feel beautiful? You may be surprised. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/51-uses-for-coca-cola-the-ultimate-list">51 Uses for Coca-Cola: The Ultimate List</a>)</p> <h3>1. Seal an Envelope</h3> <p>You know when you seal an envelope but realize you forgot to sign the check or left something out all together? You can still open it without tearing the envelope immediately after licking it, but it&rsquo;s hard to reseal it again with another lick; by now the glue has transferred to the other side. Instead of throwing it away and grabbing a new envelope, brush clear nail polish on the flap to seal it even better than before.</p> <h3>2. Prevent Rusty Screws</h3> <p>If you have hardware (screws, bolts, etc.) in damp places &mdash; like the bathroom, for instance &mdash; coat them with clear polish to prevent them from rusting.</p> <h3>3. Repair Frayed Laces</h3> <p>Don&rsquo;t you hate when shoelaces become frayed at the end? They&rsquo;re still perfecting useful but look like a mess. Dip the ends in clear nail polish, roll them between your fingers, and let the laces dry overnight.</p> <h3>4. Stiffen Thread</h3> <p>I don&rsquo;t sew because it&rsquo;s really annoying (seriously, it makes me feel like a pilgrim), but if this is one of your hobbies, you can thread a needle more easily if you dip the end in nail polish. The polish will stiffen the end, making it a breeze to pull through the eye.</p> <h3>5. Stop a Pantyhose Run</h3> <p>I&rsquo;ll admit that I&rsquo;ve worn tights before &mdash; for Halloween &mdash; but I can&rsquo;t say I&rsquo;ve ever put on a pair of pantyhose. I know for a fact, however (I&rsquo;ve got a mom, ya know), that a dab of clear nail polish on a stocking run will prevent it from going any further.</p> <h3>6. Prepare Smudge-Proof Labels</h3> <p>If you&rsquo;re making labels for your garden out of Popsicle sticks or even <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clean-silver-naturally">old silverware</a>, you can prevent the marker ink from being ruined by the elements by coating the area with clear nail polish.</p> <h3>7. Ward Off Tarnish on Cheap Jewelry</h3> <p>Note that this says cheap jewelry! If you have costume jewelry, make it last longer by brushing it with clear nail polish to prevent tarnishing. Do not use nail polish on valuable jewelry; you will ruin it.</p> <h3>8. Color-Code Keys</h3> <p>All your keys look the same? Differentiate them by painting the tops of each key a separate color. This is great to help kids remember which key is which.</p> <h3>9. Use as a Band-Aid</h3> <p>When you&rsquo;ve got a small cut &mdash; paper cut, hangnail, or other minute scratch &mdash; and you can&rsquo;t find a Band-Aid, use clear nail polish as an alternative adhesive. Nail polish is nontoxic, and it works nearly the same as more expensive liquid adhesives.</p> <h3>10. Heal a Wart</h3> <p>This might sound hard to believe, but it&rsquo;s true. You can <a href="http://voices.yahoo.com/how-remove-planters-wart-nail-polish-218784.html?cat=25">heal a plantar wart by covering it with nail polish</a>. It works because the wart needs oxygen to live, but the nail polish prevents it from getting any. Just be sure to throw out that bottle when you&rsquo;re done. You don&rsquo;t want to spread the germs.&nbsp;</p> <h3>11. Protect Pearl Buttons</h3> <p>Pearl buttons are beautiful &mdash; and they can be pricey. Make them last as long as possible by brushing them with clear nail polish. A thin coat will keep them from cracking or chipping.</p> <h3>12. Plug a Small Hole</h3> <p>Whether it&rsquo;s a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-repair-a-dripping-faucet">small leak</a> or a tiny hole in your door or window screen, nail polish has the heavy-duty power to keep in the stuff you want in and keep out the stuff you want out. If your cooler has sprung a small leak, seal it with nail polish. Likewise, if there&rsquo;s a small hole in your screen and you want to keep the bugs at bay, brush the area with nail polish.</p> <h3>13. Mark Poisonous Products</h3> <p>When I was a kid, my school gave us Mr. Yuck stickers to take home to our parents so they could label all the products that would essentially kill us. I&rsquo;m not sure if that program is still intact, or even if it was nationwide, but a big X in red nail polish on toxic chemicals will do the same job.</p> <h3>14. Make Objects Glow in the Dark</h3> <p>Can&rsquo;t see the buttons on the remote when the lights are out? Have a hard time finding the light switch when you come in at night? To make these objects &mdash; and lots more &mdash; glow in the dark, paint them with luminescent nail polish.&nbsp;</p> <h3>15. Touch Up Chipped Glass</h3> <p>If you have a mirror (or any glass, for that matter) that has a chipped corner, prevent a future cut by brushing the corner with nail polish to create a smoother surface.</p> <p><em>Have even more ways to use nail polish around the house? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-alternative-uses-for-nail-polish">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-wonderful-uses-for-witch-hazel">15 Wonderful Uses for Witch Hazel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sell-your-hair-for-cash">How to Sell Your Hair for Cash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-and-simple-sunburn-remedies-that-really-work">Cheap and Simple Sunburn Remedies That Really Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-gel-nail-polishes">The 5 Best Gel Nail Polishes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/19-money-saving-uses-for-mouthwash">19 Money-Saving Uses for Mouthwash</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Health and Beauty household hacks jewelry nail polish Fri, 23 Mar 2012 10:24:07 +0000 Mikey Rox 913115 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Sell Gold Without Getting Ripped Off http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sell-gold-without-getting-ripped-off <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-sell-gold-without-getting-ripped-off" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/buy_gold_3.jpg" alt="Guy near buying gold sign" title="Guy near buying gold sign" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="158" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The price of gold has reached heady heights &mdash; high enough to make many of us remember that tacky old bracelet or single earring at the bottom of our jewelry boxes. Gold buyers are promising &quot;top dollar&quot; everywhere. But selling gold is one of those situations that pits the novice &mdash; you &mdash; against the expert &mdash; the buyer. How do you make sure you're not being taken advantage of?</p> <p>Since I'm no expert myself (I don't think I own any gold besides my wedding and engagement rings, and those aren't going anywhere), I turned to Helena Krodel of the <a href="http://www.jic.org/">Jewelry Information Center</a>, part of the Jewelers of America trade association. She shared some helpful gold-selling tips from the jewelry industry's perspective. Before we get to her advice on how to sell gold, let me point out that although the neighborhood jewelry shop is probably the most convenient place to cash in, jewelers aren't the only ones buying. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-insure-jewelry-for-cheap-or-free">How to Insure Jewelry for Cheap</a>)</p> <p>If you are willing to do a little more legwork, you can probably get a better price by <a href="http://goldeducator.com/index.php/cash/refinery">selling directly to a gold refiner</a>. Refiners offer up to 95% of the current gold price for the gold content of your items, while jewelry stores tend to top out at 85%.</p> <p>Before selling to anyone, please check out warnings such as <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/so-will-cash4gold-offer-me-cash-to-kill-this-story">Paul Michael's post about Cash4Gold</a> and the <a href="http://www.bbb.org/us/article/gold-soars-but-be-careful-when-selling-your-jewellery-warns-bbb-28799">Better Business Bureau's tips to avoid rip-offs</a>.</p> <p><strong>Carrie Kirby: How can would-be sellers distinguish between reputable gold buyers and non-reputable ones?</strong></p> <p><strong>Helena Krodel:</strong> Just as you would shop at a reputable jeweler, one should SELL to a reputable jeweler. Reputable jewelers will give you fair market value for your gold and be open and honest throughout the process of selling. We recommend shopping and selling at jewelry store that is a member of a professional trade association, like Jewelers of America. Members are asked to sign a Code of Professional Practices, thereby ensuring you are going to get what you pay for.</p> <p><strong>CK: Even among reputable businesses, will certain kinds of businesses pay more for gold? For instance, should I seek out a bulk scrap gold buyer instead of a jewelry store?</strong></p> <p><strong>HK:</strong> There is no rule here. Different companies will pay different amounts. The best thing to do is to go to several different places and ask. If you decide to leave your gold with the company or person, be sure to get a receipt detailing the item. Also ask if they are selling it off site. This typically means they are the middle man and can be charging a surcharge for the service.</p> <p><strong>CK: What process should I go through before determining where to sell my gold? Should I get estimates from more than one place?</strong></p> <p><strong>HK:</strong> Yes! Always shop around. Online companies are popping up everywhere. If you decide to sell online, beware! Be sure to call the company and speak to a real person. Ask the same questions you would in a store. And do not send your jewelry blindly without the option to get it back should they give you a price that is less that market value.</p> <p><strong>CK: I understand that buyers will not pay 100% of the day's price for gold, even if what I have to sell is 24 karat, because they need to melt it down and still make a profit. What percent of the day's price could I expect to get?</strong></p> <p><strong>HK:</strong> Every (retailer) is obviously different, but you should expect to get 75 to 85% of the percent of gold in the piece. So if it is 14K gold, the amount of gold in the piece is 58.5%. The 75-85% given is based on that amount.</p> <p><strong>CK: When I called a local jeweler to ask what percent of the daily price they pay, they declined to give a price over the phone. Is this normal?</strong></p> <p><strong>HK: </strong>Perhaps. Given that it is a competitive market, therefore some jewelry stores may not opt to disclose this information.</p> <p><strong>CK: Is there any type of gold seller that I should completely avoid, such as mail-in or pawn shop?</strong></p> <p><strong>HK:</strong> Mail-in companies have been known to veil very low returns when buying back gold from consumers. Not all, but many charge a premium for the convenience to you the customer. Jewelry parties are suspect as well. If you decide to partake, be sure to do some research on the company or person hosting the party to find out about their credentials as well as their policy in case you have seller&rsquo;s remorse. Some like the entertainment factor, however, there are better ways to yield higher paychecks.</p> <p><strong>CK: What kinds of items should be appraised independent of their scrap gold value?</strong></p> <p><strong>HK:</strong> Remember that jewelry is something that is typically passed down for generations. It also typically has a sentimental worth and value. A quick buck can result in seller&rsquo;s remorse unless you go your homework. Never sell a piece of jewelry that has intrinsic or emotional value. Never sell a piece of jewelry without removing the gemstones. You will typically get nothing &ldquo;extra&rdquo; for side stones or bejeweled settings if they are small. If the piece of gold jewelry is signed or has a trademark, noting the manufacturer who made the piece, be sure to investigate. If you have any reason to think that the piece might have more value as a jewelry item than scrap, be sure to get an appraisal. They typically cost less than $100.</p> <p>There you have it. Always shop around; the higher gold goes, the higher the potential cost of not doing your homework. Look at it this way &mdash; as of this writing, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/understanding-the-gold-standard">pure gold</a> is selling for $1,827 an ounce. Say you have several old necklaces and rings that contain one half an ounce of 24 karat gold; this would be worth $913.50 on the market. If the first jewelry store you visit offers 75% of market value, you'll get a check for $685 and walk out feeling great. Then you find out that your cousin sold the same amount of gold to a jewelry store a few blocks away that was paying 85% and netted $776. Oh well &mdash; at least you feel better than your other cousin who handed over his jewelry to a dealer who paid 50% &mdash; she only got $457.</p> <p>It all boils down to how much gold you have to sell and how much your time is worth. Going to three different stores for estimates might take an hour or two &mdash; researching reputable refiners might take longer. Would you spend a few hours to net an extra $100? What about an extra $1,000?</p> <p>You make the call.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sell-gold-without-getting-ripped-off">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/so-will-cash4gold-offer-me-cash-to-kill-this-story">So, will Cash4Gold offer me cash to kill this story?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-your-piece-of-the-diamond-class-action-pie">Get your piece of the Diamond Class Action pie.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/netspend-the-story-of-the-visa-debit-card-we-did-not-apply-for">netSpend: The Story of the Visa Debit Card We Did Not Apply For</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-vile-craigslist-scams-to-watch-out-for">8 Vile Craigslist Scams to Watch Out For</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-do-immediately-after-losing-your-wallet">10 Things You Should Do Immediately After Losing Your Wallet</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs gold jewelry selling Fri, 02 Sep 2011 09:48:19 +0000 Carrie Kirby 687234 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Clean Silver Naturally http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clean-silver-naturally <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-clean-silver-naturally" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/silver_sale.jpg" alt="Silverware at a flea market" title="Silverware at a flea market" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="138" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Part of the fun of shopping at thrift stores and estate sales is that I almost always find a beautiful piece of vintage silverware that is black with tarnish but just waiting for a little cleaning to reveal the diamond in the rough underneath! From vintage silver platters and bowls to candlesticks, coasters, and coffeepots, there are so many heirloom silver items out there waiting to be discovered. But how do you restore silver items to their former shining glory? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-shopping-at-estate-sales">Tips for Shopping at Estate Sales</a>)</p> <p>Commercial silver cleaners are cheap, but they tend to be filled with harsh chemicals that I prefer not to use around the house. Fortunately there is a way to safely clean silver using common household products that you have in your pantry right now.</p> <h3>Cleaning Silver With Aluminum Foil and Baking Soda</h3> <p>Hurray for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-%E2%80%9Cyuck%E2%80%9D-to-yes">baking soda</a>! It is such a heavyweight when it comes to uses around the home. This method of cleaning silver works wonders even for heavily tarnished pieces as long as they can stand up to a little heat.</p> <ol> <li>First, bring a large pot of water to the boil on the stovetop. Make sure that the pot is large enough to fit all of your tarnished silver items. Don&rsquo;t overfill the pot (leave at least two inches of space at the top).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>When the water boils, remove the pot from the heat. Place a piece of aluminum foil into the bottom of your pot, and place your silver items on top, immersed in the boiling water. Start shaking baking soda into the pot. It will foam and bubble, and you&rsquo;ll notice a sulfuric smell, like rotten eggs.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The chemical reaction will (almost magically) remove the tarnish from your silver, as the tarnish will become attracted to the aluminum foil instead of your silver piece. Keep sprinkling in more baking soda until your silver is shiny and clean or until the liquid no longer foams.</li> </ol> <p>The water has to be really hot for this to be effective, but if you do it correctly, it works like a charm on tarnished silver. I&rsquo;ve actually found this to be the best method for removing tarnish from vintage silver, as it is more effective than many silver polishes I have used. It even gets into the nooks and crannies where you wouldn&rsquo;t be able to hand-polish the tarnish away.</p> <p>Once the tarnish is gone, wash the silver with gentle soap and water to remove the rest of the baking soda. If there are a few spots of tarnish left, they should wash off when rubbed gently with a soft cloth.</p> <p>If you have silver jewelry set with gemstones, I would hesitate to use this method, as it may cause damage to some gemstones. You might want to take your jewelry to a professional jeweler to have it cleaned. However, this method works well for silver platters, flatware, bowls, chains, serveware, and many other silver or silver-plated items.</p> <h3>Be Wary of Abrasive Methods</h3> <p>Many articles on the Internet recommend scrubbing your silver pieces with toothpaste, table salt, or baking soda. The reason toothpaste, salt, and baking soda work is because they are abrasives, but while they may scrub away the tarnish, they are also rubbing scratches into your silver, and in the case of silver-plated items, they may start to wear away the silver finish entirely, exposing the base metal.</p> <p>Nevertheless, I have been guilty of using a baking soda/water paste to clean a few inexpensive pieces of silver <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-insure-jewelry-for-cheap-or-free">jewelry</a>. While professional silversmiths might be horrified, I find that it is worth it to me to have a clean piece of jewelry that I will actually wear rather than a tarnished-but-undamaged piece that sits in my drawer for years.</p> <p>Antique silver plate and good-quality silver jewelry may lose much of its value if cleaned improperly. If you have a valuable silver piece and you are in doubt as to how to clean it, it may be best to bring it to a professional.</p> <p><em>How do you usually clean your silver? Which method is the most effective?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camilla-cheung">Camilla Cheung</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clean-silver-naturally">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-reuse-detergent-bottles">15 Ways to Reuse Detergent Bottles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes">How Baking Soda Took My Bathroom from “Yuck” to Yes!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breathe-easy-10-natural-air-fresheners">Breathe Easy: 10 Natural Air Fresheners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-ways-to-use-old-newspaper">17 Ways to Use Old Newspaper</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-turn-a-2-liter-bottle-of-water-into-a-50-watt-lightbulb">How To Turn a 2-liter Bottle Of Water Into a 50-Watt Lightbulb</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Green Living buying used cleaners jewelry Tue, 28 Jun 2011 10:25:19 +0000 Camilla Cheung 599711 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Insure Jewelry for Cheap (or Free!) http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-insure-jewelry-for-cheap-or-free <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-insure-jewelry-for-cheap-or-free" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/engagement_ring.jpg" alt="Engagement ring" title="Engagement ring" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I won't won't tell you the whole story of <a href="http://sweatingthebigstuff.com/how-i-proposed-my-future-wife/">how I proposed to my future wife</a>, but with the ring came another expense &mdash; jewelry insurance. We wanted to make sure that if it was lost, stolen, or damaged considerably, that we would only be responsible for a fraction of the cost. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/classy-weddings-on-the-cheap">Classy Weddings on the Cheap</a>)</p> <p>I didn't do my research at the time because I was in a rush to get some sort of insurance for it, and now it looks like there are some fantastic options that I passed up. After doing a lot of research, it turns out that jewelry insurance is fairly inexpensive, and in some cases you can get it for free!</p> <p>There are two ways to insure a piece of jewelry. You can either go to a company that sells specific jewelry insurance, or you can have the piece of jewelry added to a homeowners or renters insurance policy.</p> <p>If you choose to go with the jewelry-specific option, your choices are limited. There aren't many companies out there that provide personal jewelry insurance, but <a href="http://jewelersmutual.com">Jewelers Mutual</a> is the most popular.</p> <h2>Private Jewelry Insurance</h2> <p>As a general rule, you can expect to pay between $1 and $2 for every $100 worth of jewelry you want insured. So a $10,000 engagement ring would cost between $100 and $200 per year. These prices change significantly based on location (in Washington, DC, for example, it would cost $105 per year to insure a ring of that price, but in Los Angeles, the same ring would cost $200 per year to insure).</p> <p>It's important to review the insurance policy before buying because not everything will be covered. Wear and tear are typically not part of the policy, and a defect in the jewelry wouldn't be covered either (that would have to be taken care of by the jeweler who created it).</p> <h2>Insuring Jewelry With Homeowners or Renters Insurance</h2> <p>The second option is having jewelry added to a homeowners or renters policy. This is probably the cheapest way to go if it's available. Why? While each state has its own rules, a renters policy has to have a minimum amount of coverage, typically $15,000 to $20,000. If the contents of your belongings don't add up to $20,000, then you have some space left over. Let's use an example. If you have $5,000 worth of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-places-to-stash-cash-in-your-home">valuables at home</a>, buy a ring for $10,000, and add it to the renters insurance policy, you'll still be within your limit, and the ring would be covered should something terrible happen.</p> <h2>Which Option Is Better?</h2> <p>If you have renters or homeowners insurance and have the option to add a piece of jewelry onto the policy at no cost, that's definitely the best option! If you don't have renters or homeowners insurance and are deciding between that and private jewelry insurance, take a look at rates for both. It never hurts to compare, and when I looked online for renters insurance rates (just a few days ago because I was curious) in Washington, DC, a $15,000 policy cost just $81 per year. Online I found varying rates (as high as $131 for $20,000 worth of coverage), so comparison shopping is the way to go!</p> <p>Right now, the ring I bought is insured with a private insurer, but it looks like it's time for me reconsider!</p> <p><em>Is your jewelry insured?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/daniel-packer">Daniel Packer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-insure-jewelry-for-cheap-or-free">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-you-definitely-need-renters-insurance">5 Reasons You Definitely Need Renters&#039; Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-should-have-renters-insurance">Why You Should Have Renters Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-greatest-story-ever-sold-is-a-fantasy-covered-in-blood">The Greatest Story Ever Sold is a Fantasy Covered in Blood</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clean-silver-naturally">How to Clean Silver Naturally</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-sites-to-shop-for-affordable-cool-jewelry">10 Awesome Sites to Shop for Affordable, Cool Jewelry</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance engagement jewelry renters insurance Mon, 30 May 2011 10:24:11 +0000 Daniel Packer 552538 at http://www.wisebread.com Get your piece of the Diamond Class Action pie. http://www.wisebread.com/get-your-piece-of-the-diamond-class-action-pie <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/get-your-piece-of-the-diamond-class-action-pie" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/441761_surprise.jpg" alt="Surprise" title="Surprise" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="205" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Hands up if you bought diamond jewelry between 1994 and 2006. Well, if you did you can claim some of the $295 million that has been set aside in the DeBeers class action lawsuit. </p> <p>Anyone who knows anything about the diamond industry knows DeBeers. They also know that DeBeers is an enormous corporation that buys up massive quantities of diamonds in bulk, stockpiles them and thus, artificially inflates the value of the product. It&#39;s not new or original, but it works. This, from the class action suit:</p> <blockquote><p><em>Several class-action lawsuits were filed asking for money damages on behalf of diamond purchasers. The lawsuits also asked that the defendants stop certain business conduct. The lawsuits claim that the largest suppliers of diamonds in the world—De Beers S.A. and its associated companies—violated antitrust, unfair competition, and consumer-protection laws by monopolizing diamond supplies, conspiring to fix, raise, and control diamond prices, and disseminating false and misleading advertising. De Beers and the other companies deny they violated the law or did anything wrong. They also say that because they do not do business in the United States, the courts in the United States do not have authority over them. </em></p> </blockquote> <p>Anyway, DeBeers was taken to court and decided to settle out of court for a huge sum of money. They deny any wrongdoing by the way. The class action lawyers must be celebrating in a big way, they can now retire in the Bahamas (heck, they can probably buy the Bahamas), but you and I still get to claim a little cash to make up for the extra money paid for diamond jewelry in the US between 1994 and 2006.</p> <p>Simply <a href="https://diamondsclassaction.com/Consumer.htm">go here and file your claim online</a> . You don&#39;t need to submit physical receipts unless your purchase was over $10,000 (which is not quite my case, but engagement rings can get pretty costly these days). However, you may need to prove your purchases later on, so make sure you have at least a bank record or receipt before you submit your claim.</p> <p>How much will you get back? Well, I can&#39;t say for sure but it looks like it varies considerably. For diamond-only jewelry over $5000, you&#39;re getting back 90% of the <strong>wholesale</strong> price. That means, as several readers have pointed out, that you won&#39;t be getting back 90% of the $5000 but 90% of what the reseller paid for it. For smaller amounts, the percentages go as low as 13.8% of the wholesale price, which may very well be peanuts at that point. Here&#39;s a table to give you a better idea:</p> <p><img src="http://healthcarehacks.com/files/fruganomics/u17/Picture_1_4.png" width="578" height="134" /></p> <p>You have until May 19th, 2008 to get your claim in. So, grab your receipts and get back the money you&#39;re owed. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-your-piece-of-the-diamond-class-action-pie">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sell-gold-without-getting-ripped-off">How to Sell Gold Without Getting Ripped Off</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-engagement-ring-can-you-actually-afford">How Much Engagement Ring Can You Actually Afford?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/netspend-the-story-of-the-visa-debit-card-we-did-not-apply-for">netSpend: The Story of the Visa Debit Card We Did Not Apply For</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-do-immediately-after-losing-your-wallet">10 Things You Should Do Immediately After Losing Your Wallet</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-ssn-can-now-be-accurately-guessed-using-date-and-place-of-birth">Your SSN Can Now Be Accurately Guessed Using Date and Place of Birth</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs claim class action suit DeBeers diamonds jewelry Wed, 16 Jan 2008 19:01:04 +0000 Paul Michael 1640 at http://www.wisebread.com The Greatest Story Ever Sold is a Fantasy Covered in Blood http://www.wisebread.com/the-greatest-story-ever-sold-is-a-fantasy-covered-in-blood <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-greatest-story-ever-sold-is-a-fantasy-covered-in-blood" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/blood diamond.jpg" alt="blood diamond" title="blood diamond" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Want an easy way to save over three months' salary? Don't buy a diamond engagement ring. If your fiancée, friends, and family scream hellfire, calmly explain:</p> <p>(See also: <a title="The Ethics of Free: Is it Wrong to Get Free Stuff?" href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-ethics-of-free-is-it-wrong-to-get-free-stuff?ref=seealso">The Ethics of Free: Is It Wrong to Get Free Stuff?</a>)</p> <h2>1. It's Just Marketing</h2> <p>The whole &quot;A Diamond Is Forever&quot; and the idea of a diamond engagement ring is not an ancient tradition to be revered and followed. It is Sprite's &quot;Obey Your Thirst.&quot; It is Nike's &quot;Just Do It.&quot; It is Gary Dahl's &quot;Pet Rock.&quot; Not only did De Beers understand it had to control supply (buying up and closing down any diamond mine discovered), they had to control demand. They had to make it sentimental. And Americans were the perfect suckers. They targeted the U.S. specifically for our marketability. This campaign is less than 70 years old, yet has become so ingrained in our culture that the diamond engagement ring has become the ultimate symbol of <em>how much</em> the relationship, the girl, and love itself is worth.</p> <h2>2. Diamonds Aren't Rare</h2> <p>Fine, using marketing tactics can't be blamed since that's part of the game of capitalism. But another part of the game is competition. It's all well and good if marketers can convince consumers to buy them instead of the competition based on a nice slogan, but the competition should be there to protect the consumer. All gems are valued based on their rarity (as are most things in life). But diamonds are abundant. De Beers has a huge vault where they keep most of the world's supply of diamonds. If it ever got released into the market, the way it would be if they weren't a monopoly, diamonds would be worth nothing. It's literally a pretty rock.</p> <h2>3. Diamonds Have No Resale Value</h2> <p>The reason &quot;A Diamond Is Forever&quot; is because you're basically stuck with it. You'll never be able to resell it except to a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/reselling-antiques-the-five-principles-of-power-picking">pawn shop</a>. Even a jeweler (the few who would be willing to buy it) would offer a fraction of what you paid.</p> <h2>4. Synthetic Diamonds Will Flood the Market</h2> <p><a title="The new diamond age" href="http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/11.09/diamond.html">Synthetic or &quot;cultured&quot; diamonds</a> are already being made and within the next few years, will be efficiently made for the mass market. These are real diamonds. They are made in a machine that replicates the environmental forces that make diamonds. The only difference is that they're better. They have less flaws. And they cost a fraction of the going rate. Want a two-carat pink diamond? That'll be a few thousand dollars.</p> <h2>5. Moissanite Looks Just Like a Diamond</h2> <p>Jewelers had to upgrade their equipment to detect Moissanite from diamonds when it came into the market. It's undetectable with the naked eye. And it's actually more brilliant. A one-carat ring is under $1000.</p> <h2>6. Who Is the Ring for, Anyway?</h2> <p>Seriously. As The Dilettante so poignantly put it, &quot;For women,&nbsp;comparing jewelry&nbsp;is our phallic posturing contest: look at how big MY dic&hellip;.er, I mean, diamond is.&quot; It's fun to show off for about 30 seconds. After that there is little to show for the debt incurred for the shiny piece of rock. That money could have gone into furniture, an amazing trip (or many nice ones), your future kids' college funds!</p> <p>Are these reasons still not enough? Watch <a title="Blood Diamond movie" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000OLRH10/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000OLRH10&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=6ZDL7JQ4UKA7MHKO&quot;&gt;Blood Diamond&lt;/a&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=wisbre03-20&amp;l=as2&amp;o=1&amp;a=B000OLRH10"><em>Blood Diamond</em></a>. It is high time Hollywood dared to broach the subject of diamonds, especially when they had a hand in marketing it to the public in the first place. <em>Blood Diamond</em>, is an explicit example of the blood and war that has spanned the entire history of the De Beers' diamond cartel. The story of Sierra Leone isn't an isolated event, nor is the conflict over just because the movie says there's peace in Sierra Leone now.</p> <h2>7. What Are Conflict/Blood Diamonds?</h2> <p>Conflict/blood diamonds are used by rebel groups to fuel conflict and civil wars, and by terrorist groups to finance their activities.</p> <h2>8. The Kimberley Process Is Just PR</h2> <p>It's an agreement that is supposed to prevent conflict diamonds from getting into the market but ended up being more of a PR stunt since it's based on a system of self-policing. The U.N. reported in October 2006 that due to poor enforcement of the Kimberley Process, $23 million of conflict diamonds from Cote d'lvoire alone&nbsp;<a title="$23 million conflict diamonds entered legitimate market" href="http://s3.amazonaws.com/3b59dcdf1c4552f8d85a16a4808a3b38-default/TheTruthaboutDiamonds.pdf">entered the legitimate market.</a> Sure De Beers won't buy diamonds coming out of Cote d'lvoire, but they'll turn a blind eye to the smuggling of diamonds from there through Ghana and Mali where they are certified as being conflict-free.</p> <h2>9. Percentage in the Market</h2> <p>During the height of the diamond conflict in the 1990s, the diamond industry reported that no more than 4% of the diamonds in the market were conflict diamonds, when in reality it has been shown to be&nbsp;closer to 15%.</p> <h2>10. Asking for Conflict-Free Certificates Is not Enough</h2> <p>In April 2006 after a scathing report by Partnership Africa Canada about activities in Brazil, an internal review showed that 49 of 147 Kimberley Process certificates were fraudulent. Besides these fraudulent certificates, real certificates could still be issued if conflict diamonds were smuggled and mixed with legally traded ones before being certified.</p> <h2>11. Children in India Are Cutting and Polishing the Diamonds</h2> <p>Children in India can become &quot;bonded&quot; &mdash; forced to work to pay off the debts of their family. These children end up&nbsp;<a title="Child Slave Labor" href="http://ihscslnews.org/view_article.php?id=4">working in the diamond factories</a>.</p> <h2>12. Children in Conflict Zones Are Being Used as Soldiers</h2> <p><strong> </strong> The images in <em>Blood Diamond</em> with child soldiers are very real. They are drugged and brainwashed to handle the manslaughter they are forced to do.</p> <p>Jennifer Connelly says in the movie <em>Blood Diamond</em>, &quot;People back home would not buy a diamond if they knew it cost someone their hand.&quot; Now you know.</p> <h3>Additional Reources</h3> <p><a title="have you ever tried to sell a diamond?" href="http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/198202/diamond">Have You Ever Tried to Sell a Diamond </a>- Article from The Atlantic Monthly that chronicles the DeBeers marketing campaign <br /> <a title="new diamond age" href="http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/11.09/diamond.html">The New Diamond Age</a>&nbsp;- Article from Wired magazine about the cultured diamond startups <br /> <a title="Blood From Stones" href="http://www.laweekly.com/news/blood-from-stones-2146033">Blood From Stones</a>&nbsp;- LA Weekly<br /> <a title="The Truth About Diamonds" href="http://s3.amazonaws.com/3b59dcdf1c4552f8d85a16a4808a3b38-default/TheTruthaboutDiamonds.pdf">The Truth About Diamonds</a>&nbsp;- A Global Witness Report <br /> <a title="Kimberley Process update" href="http://s3.amazonaws.com/3b59dcdf1c4552f8d85a16a4808a3b38-default/KPupdateNov2006.pdf">The Kimberley Process update, November 13, 2006</a>&nbsp;- Global Witness<br /> <a title="Fact Sheet" href="http://s3.amazonaws.com/3b59dcdf1c4552f8d85a16a4808a3b38-default/AIGWfactsheet.pdf">Conflict Diamonds Fact Sheet</a>&nbsp;- Global Witness and Amnesty International<br /> <a title="The Diamond Invention" href="http://edwardjayepstein.com/diamond/prologue.htm">The Diamond Invention</a><br /> <a title="A History of the diamond cartel" href="http://www.danforthdiamond.com/education/diamonds/4cs/debeers_info.htm">A History of the International Diamond Cartel</a><br /> <a title="Diamonds Suck" href="http://diamondssuck.com/">Diamonds Suck!</a>&nbsp;- A personal essay on the virtures of Moissanite<br /> <a title="child slave labor in india" href="http://ihscslnews.org/view_article.php?id=4">Child Slave Labor in India</a></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lynn-truong">Lynn Truong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-greatest-story-ever-sold-is-a-fantasy-covered-in-blood">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-engagement-ring-can-you-actually-afford">How Much Engagement Ring Can You Actually Afford?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-sites-to-shop-for-affordable-cool-jewelry">10 Awesome Sites to Shop for Affordable, Cool Jewelry</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-money-saving-tricks-to-know-before-buying-an-engagement-ring">12 Money-Saving Tricks to Know Before Buying an Engagement Ring</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/who-pays-for-the-bridesmaid-dresses-when">Who Pays For the Bridesmaid Dresses When . . . ?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/love-makeup-or-jewelry-surprise-yourself-with-a-wantable-box">Love Makeup or Jewelry? Surprise Yourself With a Wantable Box.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping ethics jewelry weddings Thu, 04 Jan 2007 20:19:24 +0000 Lynn Truong 149 at http://www.wisebread.com