HELOISE Know what to look for when shopping for jewelry

Dear Readers: If you're getting ready to shop for fine jewelry, make sure you know what to look for. Buying real jewelry can be a little intimidating, so here are some hints to help you find that perfect item:
UStart by dealing with a trained gemologist. Ask your jeweler if he/she is certified and has gemological training.
UBuy the best quality you can afford. Many times, a smaller stone of higher quality is a better value.
UCompare similar items when comparison shopping. Not all diamonds and other gemstones are created equal, thanks to Mother Nature.
UMake sure your precious metals really are precious. Remember, there are differences between electroplated, 18-karat and 14-karat gold. If you don't know the difference, ask!
UBe leery of big discounts. An item on sale could have been marked up many times its regular price before being marked down to a "sale price."
UUse caution when buying through the mail, online or by phone. What you see might not be what you get! Heloise
Dear Heloise: When a loved one dies, please tell your readers to take their time and go through everything thoroughly. When my father-in-law passed away, my husband took three months and went through every inch of the property. He knew that his dad liked to keep money hidden around the house for emergencies. Well, it was a good thing that my husband did, because he found a total of more than $10,000 hidden around the house, barn, garage, even in the toolshed and in the freezer as wrapped meat. Sylvia, via e-mail
Dear Heloise: I like to wrap gifts with things that can be reused again. For a wedding gift, I found a pretty piece of lace fabric, and for the ribbon I used pretty beaded trim, also found in my fabric stash. The fabric and trim can then be used again, maybe to cover a scrapbook or to make a small keepsake.
Many things already come in nice boxes and really only need a ribbon and a small tag to dress it up. Fabric scraps can be made into drawstring gift bags for reuse. Christine Leith, Falls Church, Va.
Dear Heloise: Fill in the address before writing a note on a postcard. You would be surprised how many postcards without addresses we see at the post office. And then we are to blame for losing it or not delivering it! Bill W., Marion, Iowa
Dear Heloise: When someone has long nails, it might be difficult for that person to scoop up cream from jars of body and facial creams. A solution is to use a very small kitchen spatula so the cream does not get under the nails. J.P.C. from New Jersey
King Features Syndicate

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