Birthstones were first developed when historical cultures were looking for a way to associate a gemstone to a specific zodiac sign. Throughout time those gemstones have evolved into birthstones and they are a popular form of jewelry
that just about everyone owns.
Birthstones are commonly set into a specific piece of jewelry. They are commonly inserted into rings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and pendants. Birthstone jewelry is a popular gift idea for many children or parents. It is not uncommon for a child or teenager to get a piece of jewelry with their birthstone set in it. Many parents wear rings or necklaces that have the birthstones of all of their children attached.
The market for birthstone jewelry is a fairly large one; however, there are many individuals who are distributing fake or cheap birthstone jewelry. To the untrained eye it may be difficult to determine the quality of a particular birthstone, but there are specific tips and other techniques that a shopper should use to determine the quality of an item that they are shopping for.
The majority of jewelry stores will only sell quality or genuine birthstones. If a piece of jewelry that they are selling is not genuine or of full quality the majority of stores will post a notice or inform their shoppers. A shopper may be able to determine if a piece of birthstone jewelry that is found inside a jewelry store is of quality by examining the price on the item. Look around to other pieces of birthstone jewelry and if one piece is significantly cheaper than the others it might be a sign that the birthstone is of less quality. This would be the time to talk to a jeweler or store associate to determine exactly why the jewelry piece is priced lower than the rest.
Another place to purchase birthstone jewelry is from a department store or discount retail store. A traditional department store may a have a jewelry department that is similar to a traditional jewelry store. The majority of items purchased from the case of the jewelry department are genuine or of full quality. Discount retail stores or some department stores often place their imitation jewelry on a traditional store rack that is not staffed or watched by store employees.
Imitation birthstones are stones that are not made from real gemstones. A piece of imitation birthstone jewelry is likely to be made of some sort of plastic or other cheap material. The birthstone may look real to the eye, but many may tell the difference by looking closely or touching the stone. Many pieces of imitation jewelry are not sold at a counter, but they are attached to tag and can often be found hanging on a standalone jewelry rack or a peg on a store shelf. Many of the tags may have a fine print message that states that the birthstone is not genuine and may be made from imitation materials.
Sometimes the only way for a shopper to determine if the piece of birthstone jewelry they are purchasing is real and worth the money is by asking. Many jewelers will not be insulted or angered by having a customer inquire into the origins of the birthstone. It is highly likely that if they were on the other side of the counter they would be asking as well.