Jewelry Shopping? Here’s How to Get More Bling for Your Buck

Jersey jewelers and shop owners advise on scoring sparkly finds.

Vintage black and gold Chanel jewelry
“Hunting for vintage jewelry is a thrill," says Jennifer Ward, owner of Ward Vintage in Bernardsville. Photo courtesy of Ward Vintage

Lynn Meisler, owner of Duet Curated Consignment in Livingston, opened her doors in 1995. Her take on selling fine and estate jewelry is unique.

“We have a Gemological Institute of America diamond-grader gemologist in the shop every Friday, so consignors can bring in vintage or new jewelry, and we will appraise it in writing and can consign it on the spot,” she says. (Find more on NJ’s best consignment and thrift stores here.)

Duet carries more than 300 pieces of jewelry, including new items and also estate jewelry by Van Cleef & Arpels, Cartier, Bvlgari, Tiffany and others, all for less than retail prices.

Jennifer Ward, owner of Ward Vintage in Bernardsville, sells decades-old bangles, necklaces, rings and earrings from the 1940s to the 1990s, created by older American designers like Kenneth Jay Lane and Trifari, as well as Chanel, Dior and Givenchy. “Vintage jewelry has the quality and workmanship you find with fine jewelry, but at a more approachable price point,” she says.

“Hunting for vintage jewelry is a thrill. Some of the best costume-jewelry brands were founded by people who had worked for Cartier, Harry Winston and other great designers. A piece doesn’t have to be signed for it to be of quality. If you find something that speaks to you, get it,” says Ward.

Dreaming of a bigger diamond for less? Bob Diffin, owner of Mendham Jewelers for 38 years, says, “Buy from a reputable jeweler and be honest about your budget so they can best advise you. For example, if you want one carat in total diamond weight, you will often save money by choosing earrings at a half-carat each rather than a diamond pendant with a one-carat stone.”

Whether you buy new or vintage jewelry at a retail store or from a reseller, doing your homework can pay off in sparkly savings.

Want more ways to live the luxe life for less in New Jersey? Check out more tips and tricks for saving on everything from entertainment to your taxes in the Garden State.

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