Jewelry is a great way to add a dash of color and sparkle to any outfit. One of the best things about traveling is the opportunity to buy new pieces. Many parts of the world have a jewelry making tradition. For example, the Native Americans of the American Southwest have been making fine jewelry using local materials such as turquoise for many centuries. Traveler to places such as New Mexico can easily pick up a wonderful necklace or bracelet often for a fraction of the retail price. When deciding on pieces of jewelry to purchase, many travelers want something unique. There are several ways to locate pieces that will stand out in a crowd and serve as a cherished trip memento.
Study Before You Go
The potential jewelry buyer should take the time to study the region where they are traveling before they leave. They should be aware of local jewelry making traditions. This includes knowing what kind of materials are commonly used as well as which particular items are particularly noteworthy. Look up specifics should as the names of well known jewelry makers. Many artisans are widely admired not only locally but also in other parts of the world. A traveler should be familiar with the most important historical craftsmen as well as contemporary jewelry makers. Travelers should also know what kinds of items they personally like before they head out on vacation. It’s a good idea to be familiar with the kind of specific marks you may see on pieces.For example, the Taxco region of Mexico is a major jewelry making center. Authentic maker’s marks from regional artists with a Taxco maker’s mark are an indication of quality items that are typically not mass produced.
Go Beyond the Touristy Areas
In many cases, areas that have a strong jewelry making tradition will have lots of local shops. Keep in mind that many shops may selling lots of the same items all day long. A traveler who wants something unique should consider traveling beyond the tourist areas. For example, if you are traveling via a cruise, you may dock at a given port. When you get off, there will probably be lots of places that cater to tourists. These shops may see thousands of people a week and deal in volume rather than quality. Think about places in the interior where the locals are more likely to shop. An artist’s studio is likely to offer original pieces. Patronize their studio. You’ll support regional artist and get something special in return.
Buy the Best You Can Afford
It’s a good idea to set a budget for the jewelry purchase and stick to it. A good piece may seem expensive at first. However, in many cases, you are buying items that would cost more if you bought them elsewhere. For example, the modern day nation of Burma offers high quality ruby jewelry. Rubies from this nation are considered to be some of the finest in the entire world. As a result, an entire industry has developed around the creation of lovely, deep red rubies that are rarely seen in other places. Travelers to Burma can get high quality ruby jewelry that would cost a lot anywhere else. A single necklace or pair of earrings may retail here for fraction of the price in other places. Take advantage of this fact. You may spend a little more but you’ll most likely get something extremely in turn.
Stick to Valuable Materials
A jewelry buyer should stick to certain materials when looking at jewelry to buy. This way, the piece will always have an intrinsic value. For example, items made of gold and silver are inherently valuable. A piece by a certain artist may appeal to you right now but it may also be made of materials that can get broken over time. Buying pieces made of silver means that the item will have value years from now even if the artist is no longer in vogue.
Careful jewelry purchases are a great way to bring something wonderful home long after the vacation is done. Look for quality items made of beautiful materials when you’re there.