Bling on a budget: Jewelry is back on holiday gift lists

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?

Follow me on Twitter @atlbargains or on Facebook at AJC Atlanta Bargain Hunter

7 comments Add your comment

Frugal One

November 2nd, 2010
9:28 am

I have found some good jewelry at the local pawn shops. Pawnshop jewelry is usually costs a fraction of what it costs at the local mall jeweler.


November 3rd, 2010
12:09 am

Consumers be warned, Rhodium plating your yellow gold ring is only a quick-fix solution. The white-gold appearance will wear down quickly and is not worth the constant send-off to the jeweler to get re-plated. Plus, a typical turn around time is 2 weeks and you might get a month or so wear out of the piece before you will have noticeable wear. What happened to the AJC checking their facts? Any jeweler will tell you it is not a good choice at all. Plus, it Rhodium shouldn’t run you $50, its only about $30.


November 3rd, 2010
8:45 am

I agree with Frugal One, pawn shops a great place to buy jewelry for resonable prices. Ebay is a great place to shop also.


November 3rd, 2010
10:34 am

I find good deals at Kohls, Sams club and dept. stores.


November 3rd, 2010
10:40 am

Asking for beautiful, stylish and trendy jewelry doesn’t mean you have to shop for the real thing. There are many jewelry company’s out there that sell gorgeous, quality fashion jewelry for a fraction of the cost. Check out Dirty Pretty Things jewelry ( Every piece in the collection is less than $100, making the jewelry a great gift for the holidays.


November 4th, 2010
10:16 am

If you are going to buy, you gotta make it different and special. I’ve found that Dora Rae on Roswell Road is a hidden gem. She has fun, some funky/some not so, classic & trendy, different jewelry and accessories. Her shop is like a scavenger hunt. It’s so much fun!

Lisbeth Salander

November 4th, 2010
2:59 pm

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