Friday, April 17, 2009

One of my favorite jewelry resources: CaratGems on eBay

I've been an eBay member for many years now, and have slowly cultivated a list of favorite sellers I go back to again and again because they offer incredible products at unbeatable prices.

One of my very favorites is CaratGems, who specializes in hand-crafted sterling silver and gemstone jewelry reminiscent of designer Nicky Butler's--and, in fact, CaratGems' jewelry is made by the same artisans--but at a fraction of the price. How much of a savings are we talking about? Well, Butler's pieces run in the $200-$300 range, and most of CaratGems pieces (necklaces, bracelets, pendants, rings and earrings) sell for between $19 and $39.

They've been selling their jewelry on eBay for over 10 years, and have a feedback rating of better than 99 percent. Their jewelry is imported directly from Jaipur, India, where it's crafted by second-generation artisans, and the seller is a GIA-certified gemologist. In other words, he knows his stuff, and stands behind the excellent products he sells.

Most of the pieces feature heavy carat weight in genuine semi-precious stones (such as the piece I've pictured here), and all the designs are trademarked. I've purchased five or so pieces from him over the years, and I'm extremely pleased with the quality (and the inevitable compliments I get). The pieces are unique, comfortable to wear, and a truly good jewelry investment.

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