This Watch Glossary of the terminology for the main functions and features of watches was developed in collaboration with the experts at WatchTime, America's leading watch magazine.

Alarms

Ability to schedule the watch to alert you with an alarm sound at a pre-set time.

Analog Display

Time is displayed by hands rotating on a marked dial.

Automatic or Self-winding

Mechanical timepieces that are wound by the motion of the wrist. This motion makes the rotor pivot around a staff connected to the mainspring through a gearing. Overwinding is prevented by a clutch.    

Bezel

The ring that surrounds the watch face. This holds the glass covering or crystal in place. It can be stationary or rotating or have special functions, like indicating minutes on a diving watch.   
        

Chronograph

A stopwatch that measures continuous or discontinuous intervals of time. The chronograph can be started, stopped and reset at will by way of push buttons. When used in conjunction with specialized scales on the watch face, it can perform many different functions, such as those of a tachometer, a telemeter or a pulsimeter. Not to be confused with a chronometer.

Chronometer

A chronometer is a movement that has received a certificate delivered after passing a series of stringent tests under varied temperatures, vertical positions, etc. The most renowned official testing organism for chronometers is the Swiss C.O.S.C., or Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres.

Date Display

Usually a calendar, this feature shows the date. There are several types of watch date displays: digital or sub-dial calendars. A "perpetual calendar" automatically adjusts for the varying lengths of months (28, 29, 30 and 31 days) and for leap years.

Digital Watch

A watch that displays the time through numerals, usually using LCD or LED technology, rather than with a dial and hands (analog) display. 
                

Escapement

A device in a mechanical watch that controls the rotation of the wheels and the motion of the hands.

Fly-back Function

An extra second-hand that is superposed on a chronograph’s main second-hand and is commanded by an additional push-button. To read intermediate time duration, the fly-back hand is stopped, and then made to “fly back” to rejoin the main second-hand.

Guilloché

On the face of the watch, an engraving technique in which a very precise, intricate, repetitive pattern or design is mechanically etched into an underlying material with very fine detail.   
  

Index

A design used to mark a period of time on a dial, usually the hours, the minutes and the seconds. Markers can also be used to indicate the remaining hours on a power reserve indicator, the heartbeats on a pulsimeter, etc.        

Jewels

Synthetic rubies or sapphires used as bearings in a watch movement to reduce friction between parts. They also have the capacity to retain lubricants by capillary action, releasing them little by little. Many mechanical watches have 17 of them, although their number can go up to more that 60 on collectors’ masterpieces.    

Moon-phase Indicator

A disk with a drawing of the moon rotating underneath the dial according to the rotations of the moon. The phases can be seen through a “guichet,” or window, and are sometimes accompanied by the indications of the age of the moon.

Multiple Time Zones

A watch that simultaneously displays time in multiple cities, either with separate hour hands or apertures. Other terms associated with this complication are “Dual Time Zone” and “World Time.”

Mechanical Movement

A movement powered by a mainspring and a balance wheel, as opposed to a quartz movement, which requires a battery. Some mechanical movements are automatic (or self-winding), where the mechanical timepiece is wound by motion of the wrist.     

Perpetual Calendar

A calendar that automatically adjusts for the varying lengths of months (28, 29, 30 and 31 days) and for leap years.      
         

Quartz Movement

A movement powered by a quartz crystal and battery. This synthetic crystal oscillates 32,768 times per second.   
 

Sapphire Crystal

A transparent, shock-resistant, scratchproof, synthetic-sapphire covering used to protect the face of a watch.

Shock Resistance

As defined by U.S. government regulation, a watch's ability to withstand an impact equal to that of being dropped onto a wooden floor from a height of three feet.       

Tourbillon

The tourbillon corrects errors in timekeeping due to the effect of gravity on a watch in vertical positions: in a regular escapement/balance mechanism, the center of gravity shifts, depending on the position of the watch in space (horizontal, vertical), thus affecting its rate.

Tachometer/Tachymeter

A scale, usually located on or near the bezel of a watch, that measures the speed at which the wearer has traveled over a measured distance.

Water Resistance

A watch’s ability to withstand water pressure to a stated depth. Watches marked as “water resistant” without a depth indication are designed to withstand splashes of water only. Watches with high levels of water resistance will reflect this by stating the number of meters the watch is resistant to (usually between 50-200 meters).

Buying a watch is an exciting prospect. Reviewing these important facts will help you make a savvy purchase – a timepiece that can be passed down to future generations.

Timepieces have evolved from complex time-keeping mechanisms to cherished heirlooms to expressions of status and style to futuristic, technological wonders. Whether seeking a special collector’s timepiece for a watch enthusiast or an addition to your fine jewelry and watch collection, our guide to buying fine watches reveal what you should know before shopping for a fine watch with your local jeweler.


Types of Watches


Mechanical

The traditional “wind-up” watch. The mechanical movement is powered when the wearer winds an internal mainspring, by turning the crown on the side of the watch. The spring gradually unwinds and turns tiny interlocking wheels, which move the watch hands to measure seconds, minutes and hours.

Automatic or Self-Winding

Mechanical timepieces that are wound by the motion of the wrist. This motion makes the rotor pivot around a staff connected to the mainspring through a gearing. Overwinding is prevented by a clutch. They can also be wound manually.

Quartz

A quartz watch uses a movement typically powered by a battery. The battery sends electronic impulses through a small bar of synthetic quartz crystal, which oscillates 32,768 times per second. A quartz watch should function properly for years, with a battery life of one to up to five years. Quartz watches are generally more accurate than mechanical watches, for two reasons. One, mechanical watches have many moving parts, which results in more friction and less accuracy as the parts interact. Two, the constant vibrations of the quartz crystal allow for unprecedented accuracy of the measurement of seconds. Quartz watches may also be powered by solar or kinetic energy, instead of batteries.

Analog

An analog watch displays time with traditional hands that move about the dial.

Digital

A watch that displays the time through numerals, usually using LCD or LED technology, rather than with a dial and hands (analog) display. Digital watches have no moving parts.

Selecting the Right Watch

Selecting a watch, like selecting any piece of fine jewelry, should be based on personal taste. Men and women make a definite statement by the watch they choose – sporty, dressy, techie, tailored or sophisticated. When shopping with a professional jeweler, consider the following factors.

Metals

The metal used in a timepiece will affect its wear and the price. Generally, fine watches are offered in steel, 14 or 18 karat gold, or platinum, and combinations thereof.  Each metal possesses different benefits.  Gold is softer than steel and may scratch in very rugged conditions. It is, however, a metal of choice for fine watchmaking, as it offers old-world elegance. Platinum, too, is often used by prestige brands, as it is the rarest and hardest of all precious metals. Stainless steel and titanium are durable materials that are also favorites of watchmakers due to their scratch resistance. See our guide to jewelry metals here.

Variable Cost Considerations

The price of a watch isn't always contingent strictly upon the materials used for the case, bracelet or crystal. Often, 50 to 75 percent of the cost of a watch comes from what's inside it. If it's a mechanical or complicated timepiece that offers additional functions and can have as many as 600 or more individual parts, the price is significantly higher due to the complexity of the movement. Price is also varied by a watch’s features, which can make it more valuable and thus more expensive. These include diamond bezels or gemstone markers; world-renowned brands that have established reputations over the centuries for elegance and quality; or fine watches designed and created by highly trained artisans that are works of art.

Consider the Watch Features/Benefits

Besides the time-keeping functions, many watches have more to offer. There are chronographs (watches that combine stopwatch functions for measurement of continuous or discontinuous intervals of time), alarm watches (that offer an alarm mode), dual-time zone watches (that offer the time in more than one zone), watches with moon phase indicators or power reserve indicators (that indicate power life left before needing rewinding), and perpetual calendars (that offer a calendar day/date readout that automatically adjusts for months of varying length and for leap years).

Familiarize Yourself With Watch Terminology

Watches are technological wonders.  They have so many working parts, it is important to understand the terminology.  Knowing the technology and the terminology will help you find the perfect watch for you and your budget. Review our glossary of watch terminology >

Understand Durability & Reliability

Reliability is a key factor in choosing a watch -- especially a sport watch. To be deemed water resistant, most fine watches are subjected to a pressure test equivalent to a diver's depth of 100 feet. If the watch shows no sign of internal humidity or damage, it can be called water resistant. Degrees of water resistance vary: 50 meters is most standard, but many watches are resistant to several hundred meters or more. Chronometers, that are tested in a Swiss observatory under stringent conditions in various positions, and extreme temperatures, heights and depths, and are then certified, are considered among the more reliable and durable wristwatches.

Water Resistance: A watch’s ability to withstand water pressure to a stated depth. Watches marked as “water resistant” without a depth indication are designed to withstand splashes of water only. Watches with high levels of water resistance will reflect this by stating the number of meters the watch is resistant to (usually between 50-200 meters) on the dial or back of the case. This resistance is indicated in ATM, or atmospheres, which is a unit of measure for pressure. A smart shopper will match their needs and personal wearing habits to the right level of water resistance. Review the chart of the most common ratings.

A Guide to Water Resistance

ATMMax Depth (m)Max Depth (ft)Wearability
1 10 33 Safe from limited exposure to moisture like rain and hand washing
3 30 100 Safe when immersed for very brief periods
10 100 330 Designed for swimming and snorkeling
20 200 660 Designed for snorkeling and scuba diving

Ask About After-Sales Service

Before buying, know about the back-up support of the brand and the retailer. Be sure to find out if the retailer has an after-sales service facility on premises if repairs are needed, and if the brand has a U.S. service center.  If you buy a name brand watch from a jewelry store and feel that it is not authentic, contact the Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC), a not-for-profit trade association, formed in 1912, whose mission is to maintain the jewelry industry's highest ethical standards.  Find JVC contact information at its website: www.jvclegal.org.

Warranties & Repairs

Every watch manufacturer offers a warranty on its timepieces. A professional jeweler should be able to explain the warranties available. Typically, the warranty is for one year, but some companies offer several years or extended warranties. Make sure the watch comes with its original packaging, box and documents. Get a detailed, itemized receipt. Ask your professional jeweler about the after-sale support of the brand and the retailer. Ask how the watch will be repaired if it becomes necessary. Find out if there are repair facilities on site or a professional watchmaker on staff. In addition, check if the brand has a U.S. service center. 

Where to Buy Your Watch

In order to be sure you are getting a true quality watch, buy watches only from authorized retailers. Shop for watches at a professional jewelry store or watch dealer that is authorized to sell the watch brand. This is especially true in the case of luxury watches when the watch warranty or guarantee may not be considered valid by the watchmaker if the dealer is not authorized.

While you can find timepieces in many types of stores, to ensure you the watch you purchase is high quality and will last for years to come, follow a simple rule: buy from a professional jeweler, someone you can trust. Choose a retailer who has demonstrated a commitment to professionalism and has an established reputation. Ask if the jeweler is a member of Jewelers of America, our members commit annually to the highest ethical business practices. Look for the “J” logo on company’s door or website. Their commitment to customer service ensures that they will be there for your future purchases, repairs or custom design needs. JA members have signed and abide by a Code of Professional Practices, so you can buy with confidence from a JA jeweler.

How to Care for a Watch

Only an expert jeweler or watchmaker should be trusted to repair your watch. While you’ll want to take your watch in for regular “check ups” to your jeweler for optimum performance, there are jewelry care steps you can do at home to ensure your fine watch lasts a lifetime and beyond.

  • Read the manufacturer’s instructions and warranty information carefully.
  • Oils from your skin can build up on a watch. If your watch is water-resistant, clean it with a damp cloth and a mixture of warm water and mild soap. For watches with non-metal straps, consult your professional jeweler on how to clean.
  • Wind your watch in a clockwise direction about the same time each day. Remove from your wrist when winding.
  • Although many watches are equipped with shock-resistant devices, it's not wise to subject it to overly vigorous treatment.
  • Replace broken or scratched crystals immediately at your jeweler. Even a hairline crack can threaten the timekeeping mechanism’s accuracy.
  • Unless the degree of water-resistance is clearly specified when you purchase your watch, do not expose it to water or moisture.
  • Always ensure that locking crowns and cases are secure before immersing a water resistant watch. Be sure to wash your watch off in freshwater immediately after exposing it to saltwater.
  • Have the battery in a quartz watch replaced by a professional before it runs out. Dead batteries left in a watch can leak or corrode, ruining the timepiece.

Finally, if you have any questions, ask your professional jeweler. Your jeweler values you as a customer, and you should trust their expertise and judgment.


This ring guide gives you a quick overview of ring sizes and settings. Visit a jewelry store near you where you can try on a variety of ring styles to determine what looks right. Establishing a relationship with that jeweler means that they’ll also know the right ring styles to suggest at each visit.

The Right Ring Fit

You should go to a jeweler to get your fingers professionally sized, and not just your left hand ring finger. A jeweler should size your knuckle – it should fit gently over the knuckle. Then size the finger. A simple, but accurate, way to do this is by taking a piece of paper wider at one end, wrap around your finger and mark where the ends meet. Then wrap the paper around a ring sizer (called a mandrel) to check the correct size.

Ring Settings

There are many different setting techniques offered by today’s designers. Most often people research ring settings when shopping for engagement rings, but settings relate to fashion rings, cocktail rings, statement rings and more.  If you are uncertain about a term used to describe your a ring’s setting, ask your professional jeweler to clarify it for you. Here is a glossary for some of the most popular ring setting styles:

Flush setting

In Flush settings, sometimes referred to as “burnish setting,” stones are level or flush with the surface of the ring mounting. The technique of flush setting allows the jeweler to scatter gemstones across a piece of jewelry without the need for prongs, channels or groupings of stones to hold the gemstones securely in place. Jewelry with flush-set stones is often modern and stylish with a scattering of brilliance from randomly positioned gems.


Bezel setting

A diamond is completely surrounded by a precious metal border in this setting technique that resembles a picture frame.


Bead & Bright Setting 

Bead and bright setting creates such amazing glitter and sparkle that it is often difficult to see where a gemstone ends and brilliant metal begins. The process sets stones even with the surface of the metal by raising metal beads to secure the stones in place. Frequently used for smaller sized diamonds and gemstones, bead and bright setting can be done in strips or over large areas of metal.

Channel Setting 

Popular for mounting rows of small, uniformly sized stones, this setting technique uses two strips of metal to hold the stones in between, resembling a railroad track. Used for round, baguette and square-cut stones. Gems set in this style offer a continuous row of brilliance with no metal separations in between. The finished appearance is sleek and sophisticated and the nature of the style leaves no metal prongs to catch on clothing. 

Pavé Setting

A setting technique for small diamonds in which the stones are set so closely together that no metal shows. A pavé surface appears to be paved with diamonds.

Solitaire Ring

A ring mounted with a single gemstone. This is the most popular engagement ring setting.

Tiffany-style setting

Named after Tiffany & Co. who brought this ring setting to popularity in the early 1900s. A Tiffany-style ring is a four- or six-prong setting using long, slender prongs to hold the stone.

A guide to various chain styles for necklaces & bracelets

Images provided by Midas Chain

Box Chains

MidasBoxChain 400x400

Box chains have squared links rather than round links for a boxy appearance. Thin versions of box chains are popular for women's jewelry paired with pendants. Box chains are not only very popular but also usually relatively simple for an experienced jeweler to repair.

Cable Link Chains

MidasCableChain 500

One of the most popular open link chains, the cable link is made from connected round or oval links. A great foundation for charm bracelets, this chain is also great for simple metal necklaces and bracelets. Cable link chains can be difficult to repair.

Curb Chain

MidasCurbChain 500

A curb chain is a chain in which circular links interlock and lie flat close together, often having a masculine look. Curb chains can come in a variety of widths, and their links are uniform in size. Compared to other styles, these links are wider. Curb chains are some of the most durable chains and, fortunately, are also relatively simple to repair by an experienced jeweler.

Flat Link Chains

MidasSerpentineChain 500

Flat link chains, like serpentine and cobra links, are usually very durable, and when they do break they are generally easy to repair. Twisting and turning is the primary cause of failure for flat link chains, so not best for hanging a heavy charm or pendant.

Herringbone Chains

MidasHerringboneChain 500

One of the most popular chains, the herringbone chain mimics the herringbone pattern individual links overlapping each other in an intricate manner, and they are usually very thin. This thinness and overlapping structure contribute to a herringbone’s tendency to twist and kink and is challenging to repair.

Rope Chains

MidasRopeChain 500

Rope chains are made from strands of gold that intertwine to resemble a genuine rope. These chains vary by thickness and tightness of braid (or weave) which effects the price. For example, the tighter the braid, the more metal is used resulting in higher price. When comparing different chains, look at whether the chain has a tighter or looser braid. Rope chains can be difficult to repair, especially hollow ones. 

Snake Chains

MidasSnakeChain 500

Snake chains get their name from the snakeskin-like texture that results from the chain rings tightly fit together to form a flexible tube. Snake chains are usually thin and delicate and ideal for pendants.
Visit a jewelry store near you where you can try on a variety of necklace styles to determine what looks right. Establishing a relationship with that jeweler means that they’ll also know the right necklace styles to suggest at each visit.

Use this guide to necklace styles so you know what to look for and what your jeweler may suggest. For more information on specific necklace chain styles, see our chain style guide here.

Necklace Lengths & Styles


Necklaces near your collar:

Collar - 12”-14” - Sits above the neckbone, directly against the throat. 

Choker - 14”-16” - Rests at the base of the neck on the neckbone.

Princess - 17”-19” - Hits below the neckbone.

Necklaces near your bust:

Matinee - 20”-25” - Falls from below the collarbone to the bust.

Necklaces below your bust to your navel:

Opera - 26”-36” - Hangs below the bust and is long enough to wear as single strand or wrap as double strand, or knot at the neck.

Rope - 37” and longer - Longest necklace length, when unwrapped or tied these will fall below the navel.

When necklace shopping for necklaces with beads, gemstones or pearls, consider if you want a uniform style where all stones are about the same size or graduated where the size changes uniformly (usually increasing) from the ends to the center.

Select the Right Necklace for Your Body

While there is no wrong way to wear jewelry, when choosing necklace styles there are certain body features can affect what looks best on you. We’ve highlighted some body features to consider when selecting your necklace:

Face
Heart – 12”-16” necklace lengths, especially chokers and collars
Round – 26”-36” lengths, especially those that form a lengthening V- shape. Avoid necklaces that sit close to the collar (choker, collar, bib)
Long/Rectangular – 12”-16” length, shorter necklaces will create the illusion of a shorter jaw
Oval – all necklace lengths work with this face shape

Figure 
If you have a wide neck or broad shoulders, avoid chokers that can make the neck look wider and seem out of proportion
To accentuate the bust, 20”-22” necklaces work best
For full-figured bodies, necklaces that sit higher on the body 22” and under will sit the best on your body.

Height
Short (below 5’4”) – 16-20” necklaces will look best on you. V-shapes will also elongate your neckline and add the appearance of height
Tall (5’7” and above) – wear any necklace length, but longer styles will fit best with your frame

Shop With Confidence

Your local jeweler can help you find the perfect necklace to enhance the wearer’s beauty and fit their lifestyle. Visit a jewelry store near you that is a member of Jewelers of America, so you can shop for jewelry with confidence. Establishing a relationship with that jeweler means that they’ll also know the right necklaces to suggest at each visit.


Earrings are a jewelry accessory that adds so much to an outfit, but especially highlights the face. The right earring can brighten eyes, soften the face and add sparkle to style. They make wonderful gifts, because there is no wrong “fit.” However, there are a few factors to consider to make sure you get the best fit possible, like face shape and earring backing fit.

The Right Earring Styles for Face Shapes

Since earrings sit so close to the face, a perfect pair of earrings will take into consideration the wearer’s face shape. Ideally, the earring shape with balance the face shape. A basic style guideline is to avoid matching the earring shape to your face shape. For example, a round face should avoid wide chandeliers and front-facing hoops.

Use these earring style guidelines to help you select the perfect earring style for you:

Oval Face: every type of earring works well with oval shaped faces, so you don't have to avoid any particular earring styles

Round Face: long drop earrings, linear earrings, straight drops
Avoid: hoop earrings, button earrings, larger stud earrings

Square Face: long drop earrings, linear earrings, straight drops
Avoid: wide geometric shapes like triangles

Long/Rectangle Face: button earrings, stud earrings, hoop earrings
Avoid long: linear style drops, chandeliers earrings

Wide Jaw: Linear earrings are best,
Avoid: bottom heavy chandelier earrings, triangle shaped earrings

Earring Backs

It’s a special misery to suddenly touch an ear and realize you’ve mysteriously lost an earring. Use this earring clasp guide to help you choose earrings that stay secure for years – even generations -- to come. This is an area where quality matters, fine jewelry will generally have better, more secure clasps. Most jewelers offer several clasp options, and they’ll be able to advise you on the best back for your lifestyle.

Friction or Push back

Security: Medium
Friction or push earring backs (sometimes called “butterflies”) are probably the most common. They simply slip onto the earring post (the metal wire behind the earring). Over time, these backs can loosen, get lost, or allow the earring to slip off the ear. They come in different sizes, the larger the diameter, the more secure the clasp. Larger push backs firmly hold earrings against the lobe even if a piercing is stretched and help keep heavy earrings upright.

Screw back

Security: High
Screw back earrings look like push backs, but the earring post has ridges, and the wearer screws the back onto the post to provide a tight, very secure fit. Screw backs are more time-consuming to put on and take off, but for some it’s worth it to protect high value diamond studs and gemstone and metal earrings.


La Pousette

Security: High
This earring back is offered with high-end fine jewelry, like diamond stud earrings, because of the high security it provides. The back has two small spring-loaded clips on either side that the wearer must squeeze and release to move the earring post on and off.  Jewelers sometimes have to special order these backs.

Lever, Latch & French Backs

Security: Medium-High
These backs are usually seen with hoops or large drop earrings. The backs are connected to the earrings so you can lose them. A lever is a curved thin post, like a fish hook, that latches on behind the ear. A latch back is hinged with openings or a slit in the metal that the post pushes through to secure. A French back (also called Omega) has is shaped like a metal curve or loop that the post enters and is held in place.

Shop With Confidence

Your local jeweler has expertise in jewelry sizing and can help you find the perfect earrings to enhance the wearer’s beauty and fit their lifestyle. Visit a jewelry store near you that is a member of Jewelers of America, so you can shop for earrings with confidence. Establishing a relationship with that jeweler means that they’ll also know the perfect earrings to suggest at each visit.



Visit a jewelry store near you where you can try on a variety of bracelets to determine what styles look right on your wrists. Establishing a relationship with that jeweler means that they’ll also know the perfect bracelets to suggest at each visit.

Use this quick shopping guide to bracelet styles to know what to look for and the styles your jeweler may suggest.

Bracelet Styles


Bangles

A cylinder that is rigid in form, either slipped on the wrist with no clasp or has a spring-based opening.

Chain & Tennis Bracelets

Chain bracelets are flexible and fasten with a clasp. Learn about the variety of bracelet chain styles here. When a strand of individual diamonds or gemstones is set in a row they are often referred to as "tennis bracelets." Clasps should have a second locking device, called a safety to prevent loss if the clasp opens.

Charm Bracelets

Charm bracelets are chains with small charms that affix to the chain. They make wonderful gifts, as you can continue to incorporate special memories via additional charms through the years. They are treasured by their owners and often passed on to other generations.

Cuffs

Wider than bangles, but similar in form, usually C-shaped with an opening at ends to slide on wrist.

Select the Right Bracelet Size

Your local jeweler has expertise in jewelry sizing and can help you find the perfect bracelet.  There are some general guidelines to help you find the right sized bracelet for your wrists:

  • Ideal bracelet size = .25”-1” larger than your wrist size, depending on the bracelet style and your preferred fit.
  • For link or chain bracelets, you should be able to slide one to two fingers between the chain and your wrist.
  • A bangle should not slide onto your wrist easily.
  • A cuff should fit snug, not loose, on your wrist or forearm.

How to Layer Bracelets

Bracelets are fun and expressive, especially when layered. Some common ways to layer bracelets and get a look that is creative and under control, rather than messy:

  • Use color as an anchor when stacking/layering bracelets.
  • Select similar sized bracelets in a variety of materials.
  • Mix metals and textures with clean, less ornate designs. Think yellow, white and rose gold, and matte with shiny textures.
Build a fine jewelry wardrobe in the same way you build a clothing wardrobe: always begin with the best-quality basics you can afford and then add pieces. Start with pieces that have classic shapes and look appropriate with different outfits, then add pieces that offer versatility or have a fashion touch.

Some classic jewelry every woman should own include diamond or pearl stud earrings and a long pearl necklace that can be wrapped to various sizes; men's staple jewelry accessories include a fine watch and a set of gold, silver or black cufflinks. Yet your jewelry wardrobe should be as unique as you are and express your personal fashion and everyday wardrobe.

When buying a piece of fine jewelry, be sure to inspect it carefully for quality construction. Make sure the catches of fasteners work easily but are secure. The backs of pins and earring posts should be strong and firmly attached, with no soldering marks visible. Lay chains flat and make sure the links don’t kink or bend.

Pricing is based on four factors: metal purity, gem materials, weight, design and craftsmanship. Remember that each piece of fine jewelry is unique and, if cared for properly, can last a lifetime.

To get tips on how to select the best jewelry styles for you, review our style guides on BraceletsEarringsNecklacesRings and Watches.

Shop With Confidence

Your local jeweler has the expertise and jewelry selection to help you find the perfect jewelry to match your style. Make sure you visit a jeweler where you can shop for jewelry with confidence, like members of Jewelers of America that support the highest ethical standards in their business practices.


Find a JA Jeweler

There are over 8,000 JA Member jewelers across America. Find a store near you:

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