Types of Jewelers

There is a variety of jewelry stores in Solana Beach and nearby San Diego. When the time comes to buying a piece for yourself or a loved one, you’ll need to choose which store to frequent. Different types of jewelers will vary in the types of merchandise for sale, value given for the money, quality of jewelry, and risks involved.

Here are 5 different types of jewelers you may encounter.

Chain Stores

Chain store jewelers are usually found in big malls and shopping centers all over the country and they stock the same pieces and services in every one of their stores. They are owed by corporations located in other states. You can typically take jewelry purchased at a chain store to any of their branches countrywide for service, repairs or returns.

The jewelry at chain stores is usually fairly affordable but tends to be what you see in all the other mall jewelry stores. The staff you will find here may be helpful but probably don’t have a depth of knowledge about gemstones or diamonds.

Designer/ Boutique Jewelers

These stores stock pieces from world renowned designers. The jewelry pieces you will find in these stores are often crafted from rare gemstones or colored diamonds that are difficult to acquire so they may be very expensive. These designers also make really unique pieces that are highly sought after by celebrities. Designer stores are mostly found in major cities like Paris, New York and Los Angeles.

Independent Local Jewelers

If you want a high quality, unique or even custom-made jewelry piece, you will want to go to an independent local jeweler. These stores are usually family-owned and some have been passed down from the father or mother who started the business to the children. Their inventory changes more often than chain stores, so you are more likely to find new pieces to see every time you visit. The salespeople tend to be seasoned professionals who will use their vast experience and knowledge to assist you in getting the best value for your money. Most will also offer other services like repairs, sizing and polishing on site because their bench jewelers are usually in-house.

Online Jewelers

Today, everything is digitized and some people prefer to shop online rather than go to the store. Online shopping can be very convenient. Buying jewelry online, however, has some disadvantages. It may be riskier because you may not get the quality of piece that you’d hoped, and then have difficulty with returns or exchanges. Not being able to physical hold the pieces before buying means you won’t know how to actually looks or fits until you pay for it and receive it in the mail.

Despite common beliefs, online jewelry stores do not have better prices than brick and mortar stores. Such savvy vendors are not going to sell their goods at less than market price, and in fact, many rely on glitzy websites and a finely crafted “story” to beef up their prices to more than you’d pay at a local jewelry store for the same jewelry.


Estate Jewelers

If you are into antique and vintage jewelry, the best place to go to is a jewelry store that sells vintage jewelry. Here you can find some of the most unique pieces around. True antique jewelry can sometimes be fairly expensive but vintage jewelry is often sold at a lower price than similar quality new jewelry, even if it looks like new. People who seek out vintage jewelry are often interested in the history behind such pieces and the sentimental value, because many vintage jewels are family heirlooms or celebrity memorabilia.

The main advantage of estate jewelry stores is that the owners have an in-depth knowledge and passion when it comes to the subject of diamonds and other expensive stones so they will recommend really good pieces. These stores can also appraise your family heirlooms or buy them from you. Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers & Jewelry Buyers are experts at valuing your estate jewelry for purchase or trade-in.