Jewelry, it seems, was replaced on recent Christmas lists by more practical gifts. That trend has taken a turn in 2010, according to the National Retail Federation. The results of its 2010 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions survey show that 23 percent of consumers will ask for jewelry this year — a 10 percent increase from last year.
Does that mean that jewelry is less expensive nowadays? Hardly. In fact, the price of gold has reached all-time highs as investors seek financial assurances. Still, after giving and receiving household goods and clothing, consumers are apparently desiring more sparkle this year.
Even those on tight budgets can make affordable jewelry purchases, said Doug Meadows, president and owner of David Douglas Diamonds and Jewelry in Marietta. Here are a few ways to get the bling without blowing the budget.
Let Me Upgrade You: Beyonce may have said it best in her hit song, but it’s a reasonable goal for even the average Joe. If you’ve worn the same yellow gold ring for decades and are attached to its sentiment, you could consider updating the with a process called rhodium plating that gives the jewelry a temporary but durable white gold finish for about $50.”It’s like a good wax job on a car,” Meadows said. You can also remove the stone and have it put in a white gold or platinum setting for a permanent change.
Add A New Stone: Replacing a diamond or gemstone with a larger or different one is another way to give a ring or pendant a new look without buying an entirely new piece.
Pass Something Down: The earrings that were once so special to you can mean just as much to your daughter. Passing down an older piece can be a special gift. Have it refinished to give it that new look for $50 or less.
Sell Your Gold: You’ve heard the commercials to sell your gold. Now is a good time for it, Meadows said. Meadows advises comparison shopping before handing over your gold. Trading it in and applying the return toward a new piece will often garner a better rate than simply selling it. Jewelers will also buy stones.
Charm bracelets: Charm bracelets are popular and inexpensive. What’s even more attractive is that a new charm can be added to an existing bracelet for as little as $25.
“Fixing up something old, getting a ring re-sized or repairing something that is sitting in the jewelry box are all options,” Meadows said.
Question: Is jewelry on your holiday gift list? Have you considered ways to make it more affordable?