5 Tips for Buying Jewelry Online

With more reasons than ever to shop online I, like many others, find myself thanking the Internet for revolutionizing the act of making a purchase. Websites don’t have a dress code, and the Internet doesn’t judge you for feverishly filling your virtual shopping cart at 5am. This great equalizer understands that you may want to start your day with a purchase alongside a cup of coffee, and it is there to help.

One of the less-touted benefits of online shopping is the ability to access a wealth of information about a potential purchase in the form of robust descriptions, fit guides and professional advice. With some tips and tricks, bidding and buying jewelry online can be a fun and rewarding way to start or add to a collection that speaks to your personal tastes.

1. Jewelry for all occasions

The fabulous thing about jewelry is that a few unique touches can transform your wardrobe from day to night and back again. Ask yourself what occasion you have in mind for the earrings or necklace you have your eye on. Do you need a statement piece for a cocktail party? Or a more demure look for a light lunch? Whatever the event, there’s a piece of jewelry appropriate for every moment.

Pro tip: most descriptions use the common denominator for jewelry and precious metals of pennyweights, abbreviated dwts., when determining a piece’s weight.

2. Check the measurements

The difference between a 14 inch and 16 inch necklace may seem minimal, but depending on your size and stature it might make a difference. There is no “average” size neck, wrist or finger, so it’s important to know your measurements and proportions in order to make an informed purchase.

Pro tip: the average bracelet is generally around 6 to 7 inches, but you can measure the length of a well-fitting bracelet you have at home to compare it to one you’re preparing to bid on. If you don’t have a tape measure, wrap a dollar bill (just a hair over 6 inches) around your wrist to gauge potential fit. If you intend to stack your bangles or layer your necklaces, consider how they will work together.

3. Familiarize yourself with quality makers

If you’re fond of a particular jewelry brand, buying at auction is a great way to access their pieces. Jewelry by known and respected makers like Tiffany & Co. and Cartier bring a certain level of consumer confidence, because they have high standards for quality and consistent design principles. Savvy collectors know that these pieces will retain their value and appeal far into the future.

4. Consult a Specialist

When bidding online, you always have the option of asking an experienced (and friendly!) Specialist to share their expertise. Condition reports for Doyle jewelry sales are available online and detail the physical condition of an object. They facilitate a confident purchase by providing you with extra photographs or even video. Want to know how a pair of earrings dangle, how a necklace lies or what orientation of a brooch is up? Don’t be shy - ask a Specialist!

5. Buy what you love

The best collections are those that have been carefully curated by a person of varied taste and curiosity. When developing and defining your taste, trust your instincts, but don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone to find something truly special.

Specialists are always available to try things on for you, so you can get a sense of how something is worn. With their help, you just might take a chance on something daring and fun. Whimsical pieces can add to anyone’s wardrobe and could even become your new "go-tos".

In the end, my best advice is to look for the highest quality in your price range and to have fun! The joy of collecting is in the unexpected discoveries you happen upon during the hunt for your next auction find. If something speaks to you, do your research and pursue it. Buy the best of what you can afford and you can’t go wrong...even at 5am.

You currently have two opportunities to practice these tips -- Jewelry Online at and Spring Jewels at Browse, bid and have some fun!

Ask our Specialists!

Doyle's Jewelry Specialists welcome the opportunity to share their expertise and experience with you. They are available by telephone, email and even videochat to discuss jewelry being offered in our auctions, as well as to provide free auction estimates for jewelry in your own collection.

Meet our Jewelry Specialists


Portrait of specialist Katherine  Van Dell, G.G.
Vice President / Jewelry Specialist
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