Treasures for body and mind

09 October, 2012

How to Stretch Your $500 Part II

Continuing recommendations for stretching your budget while still adding to your collection...

4.  Collect a rising artist.  Like an artist at a gallery or on line?  Work with them to purchase their work (most will work a payment plan with you) and stick with them.  A friend of mine says of her Todd Reed ring, "I got it before he was TODD REED.  I couldn't afford it now."  If you must have a particular artist after he or she is established, shop carefully.  Some artists, like Todd Reed, may never be within your price point unless you shop, shop, shop and get lucky (like that unexpected Ylang23 charm).  If shopping for a particular artist, do not hesitate to contact the artist and ask how much to buy directly from him/her.

Diamond acrylic rings by AMT (Alissia Melka-Teichroew) at  (And these are on sale too!!!)
5. Almost anything you want is on EBay, but research before you buy. There are a lot of counterfeits on EBay. If a deal looks too good, it probably is. That said, there is great jewelry on EBay for prices far below retail. Become familiar with the bidding process and how to evaluate sellers, and you will be amazed at what you find. A woman I know got an amazing Hungarian enameled silver set from the early 1800s for next to nothing, and my Victorian jet and pearl pansy pin was an answer to a prayer. If having a "name" piece matters to you, shop EBay religiously until the piece you want appears at a price you can afford. Visiting can be rewarding as well.

6. Shopping on Etsy takes patience. There is a lot of good stuff on Etsy mixed with a lot of junk. Spend some time, and you can find unique, well made items usually for significantly less than retail.

7. Don't be wedded to gold. Silver is much less expensive and is extensively used for interesting pieces. People are also doing interesting things in titanium, stainless steel, and brass. If it looks good on you, don't stint.

Jali rings by Meghan O'Rourke, made of aluminum
More tomorrow.  Remember...don't buy retail.

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