Best Place To Buy Real Gold Jewelry Online: Tips To Get Great Deals (2021)

Looking for the perfect place to buy real gold jewelry online?

You're in the right place! 

In this Learning Jewelry guide I'll answer common questions like:

  • What Should You Look For When Buying Real Gold Jewelry Online?
  • Is Real Gold Good For An Engagement Ring?
  • How Do You Know You're Getting A Good Deal?
  • What Are The Red Flags To Watch Out For When Buying?
best places to buy real gold jewelry online

Top 4 Best Places To Buy Real Gold Jewelry Online

If you need the list quick, here are my top picks for finding real gold jewelry from reputable online dealers. Keep reading for more information about each of these shops. 

1. James Allen

2. Clean Origin

3. Blue Nile

4. Brilliant Earth

#1 Buying Real Gold Jewelry At James Allen

james allen white gold jewelry

Every piece of gold jewelry at James Allen is 100% real and solid gold. 

You won't have to worry about running into painted colors, gold plating, hollow gold, or vermeil. They carry a large selection of engagement rings and fine jewelry in white gold, yellow gold, and rose gold. They even have two tone diamond rings like this stunning 14K two tone rose and white gold bypass engagement ring below:

james allen 14k gold engagement ring

James Allen's gold jewelry options carry 14k and 18K solid gold jewelry. Most of their rose gold fine jewelry will be 14K, not all. They don't offer any plain gold jewelry, but that doesn't mean you have to get glitter galore.

Many of their diamond necklaces contain subtle or solitaire diamonds in them. But if you do love glitz and glamour, James Allen is more than happy to accommodate with many options with sparkly melee diamonds.

They have a fantastic warranty that alone makes them worthy of your purchase. 

All of James Allen's fine jewelry comes with a lifetime warranty that covers wear and tear. This includes services for rhodium plating white gold jewelry, polishing and cleaning, tightening stones, and retipping prongs. 

For engagement rings and wedding bands, they give 1 free ring sizing within the first year if needed. If you don't like your gold jewelry from James Allen, they have a 30 day return policy and is easily initiated through their customer service.

Pros

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Free sizing for a year
  • Lifetime upgrade
  • Clear 360 view
  • Cons

    • Not many choices in diamond fine jewelry 
    • Does not cover loss of stones in settings

    #2 Buying Real Gold Jewelry At Clean Origin

    Clean Origin Diamond Earrings

    Clean Origin's big appeal with their diamond jewelry collection is because they only sell lab grown diamonds exclusively. Clean Origin not only just sells loose lab diamonds, but all of the fine jewelry collection is made from lab diamonds as well. 

    They only work in diamonds, so don't expect to see any colored gemstones in real gold settings. They do have lab grown fancy colored diamonds, which is an excellent option for a diamond alternative for an engagement ring. 

    Read also>> What are the most popular diamond alternatives?

    All of the gold jewelry at Clean Origin is made of real gold. Nothing in their collection is plated or under 14K. But if you're looking for plain gold jewelry, you won't find it here. 

    Half Moon Bay Diamond Pendant

    Clean Origin doesn't have a warranty to cover routine maintenance like rhodium plating or retipping prongs. Not too many online retailers do, unfortunately. They do have the manufacturer's warranty that covers. They do have a really unique return policy.

    When you buy gold jewelry from them, you get 100 days to return your merchandise. This is great because most issues regarding defects or simple comfort annoyances are revealed within the first few months. 

    Pros

    • All lab diamond gold jewelry
    • 360˚ view
    • Classic and modern pieces
    • 100 day return policy

    Cons

    • No plain gold jewelry
    • No warranty

    #3 Buying Real Gold Jewelry At Blue Nile

    blue nile gold jewelry

    Blue Nile is also a top-notch to purchase real gold jewelry online. They offer a wide selection of engagement rings and fine jewelry set in solid gold. They have many items that don't include stones and have a massive selection of real solid gold earrings.

    Not only do they carry rose, yellow, and white gold jewelry, they also carry Italian gold, which is a little different than the norm. It simply has been designed in Italy, but it's kind of cool to be able to purchase some from a reputable dealer. 

    If you like diamonds or colored gemstones with your gold jewelry, they have many options for each. All of Blue Nile's gold jewelry will be set in either 14K or 18K. It will always be solid gold. The gold jewelry ranges from affordable prices up to very expensive, like this 18K Italian Gold cuff bracelet from their Extraordinary collection: 

    Two-Tone Golden Weave Cuff

    Blue Nile offers all customers a lifetime manufacturer's warranty, which basically says that if there's a problem within the design or the craftsmanship of the ring itself, also called manufacturing defects.

    But... 

    If your jewelry is damaged due to wear and tear, you'll be out of pocket if you need rhodium plating or stone tightening. 

    If you're not a fan of Blue Nile's gold jewelry, they also offer 30 day returns, money back guarantee. The process is pretty simple and shouldn't cause much stress as you can initiate it online. Keep in mind that Blue Nile does have many special order items and special orders can't be returned.

    Pros

    • Range of different styles
    • High and low prices
    • Many plain gold options

    Cons

    • Warranty doesn't cover breakage or polishing
    • special orders can't be returned

    #4 Buying Real Gold Jewelry At Brilliant Earth

    Brilliant Earth - Recycled Gold Jewelry

    Brilliant Earth is a familiar name when talking about loose diamonds and responsible sourcing. The biggest way they do this is by providing blockchain diamonds and recycled diamonds.

    Blockchain diamonds have a trail of where the loose diamond has been in every stage of its production. The Kimberly Process ensures that diamonds sold weren't used in civil wars. Brilliant Earth argues that is not enough. They wanted even more transparency. Their non-block chain diamonds are also from Canada, Russia, or Botswana. 

    While Brilliant Earth isn't a green company, they are maximizing their efforts to giving back  in many ways. One of the ways they do this is through their gold jewelry. They use recycled gold to ensure responsible sourcing and to be better for the environment.

    Not all is recycled, but most is. They carry 14K or 18K gold.

    Lenore Light Brown Diamond Earrings

    Like others, they don't carry any plain gold jewelry. All of it is solid gold too. They do carry a wide selection of unique gemstone gold jewelry. They don't have every gold color option for every piece. 

    Another way Brilliant Earth gives back is through its donations. Currently, the piece above supports Feeding America's COVID Relief Fund. 

    You get a free lifetime manufacturing warranty when you shop gold jewelry at Brilliant Earth.

    Unlike some other retailers, they give you the option of purchasing a 3 year warranty to cover routine maintenance. The price of the warranty is based on a sliding scale. It also can't be added without calling the company, which is inconvenient in my opinion. 

    Pros

    • Gives back to the community
    • Many loose colored stones for gold jewelry
    • Customers know origin
    • Clear 360 view

    Cons

    • Have to call after purchasing online to buy warranty
    • No plain gold jewelry

    FAQ When Buying Real Gold Jewelry Online

    Is Real Gold Good For An Engagement Ring?

    Gold is the most popular metal for diamond engagement rings. Often time, people don't realize that real gold come in colors other than yellow gold. I've heard often over years people saying they prefer silver to gold. But usually what they're referring to is the actual color of the gold. 

    Sterling silver is not great to wear as frequently as most engagement ring and wedding bands are. It doesn't stand up to everyday situations and moisture the way that gold goes. So, if you're the person that likes the color silver more than yellow gold, you'll be wanting white gold. 

    Keep in mind that because gold at its original form is naturally yellow, white gold will need rhodium plating from time to time. This gives gold that bright silvery color of white gold. Buying a white gold engagement ring from a retailer that gives free rhodium plating for life like James Allen is essential. 

    All solid gold is suitable for engagement rings, as long as it's not in high karat. As the gold karat amount increases, the ring's durability decreases.

    Is Real Gold Jewelry More Expensive?

    There are a number of reasons why the price of gold jewelry may increase or decrease. The value of gold itself actually increases and decrease for those selling it, much like the stock exchange numbers. Thankfully, gold jewelry at jewelry stores do not fluctuate unless the manufacturer's deem it so. 

    Real, solid gold jewelry is comes in a range of prices, but is generally more expensive than other metals. Exceptions to this may be gold jewelry that also contains high quality diamonds or gemstones. Another factor that can contribute to the cost of a piece of gold jewelry is the brand.

    High profile-name brands like Vera Wang or Neil Lane will be more expensive than unbranded gold engagement rings.  

    In general, most real gold jewelry is going to be over $100. Gold-plated jewelry may be less expensive, which is real gold, but not solid. You can find cheap gold plated jewelry on Amazon.com. 

    Solid real gold should be more expensive than other metals like stainless steel, sterling silver, or other alternative metals. It's possible to find gold jewelry pieces that are two-tone with sterling silver that aren't usually over $300.

    While many of these factors can be chalked up to personal preference or a "if you like that sort of thing" notion, there are a few things you can be sure of when it comes to the price of real gold. The more gold karats the jewelry contains, the more expensive it'll be. 

    You'll find that most fine jewelry collections will carry either 14K or 18K gold jewelry. Some have special collections that have jewelry in 22K . Most 24K jewelry is used in other countries, as 24 is pure gold. You can still find pure gold jewelry in America, you're just less likely to happen upon it unless you're searching for it. 

    The reason is because 24K pure gold is soft. Gold by itself is extremely soft and malleable. 24k gold rings would not stand up to the hustle and bustle of the day, even if you weren't working a manual labor job.

    Your ring would be more likely to bend, scratch, dent, and get nicks in it. Not exactly what you'd call a durable wedding band, right? Not to mention, pure gold will be very expensive for less durability. 

    Read also>> 10K vs 14K vs 18K vs 24K

    did you know best place to buy real gold jewelry

    That's why there are other karats of gold metal that is used more frequently. If 24 karat gold is pure, 18K gold has 18/24 parts gold. Likewise, 14K is 14 parts, 10K is 10 parts. The number of parts gold is always in front of the K for karat. 

    The remaining parts in a jewelry piece that aren't gold are a mixture of different metals called alloy. You might see it referred to as metal alloys as well. White gold alloys contain white metals like palladium, nickel, platinum, and silver.

    Other gold alloys may be copper, iron, cadmium, and aluminum. Most jewelers agree that 14K is the norm for engagement rings. 18K rings are still doable, they just may require a little more upkeep.

    What Should You Look For When Buying Real Gold Jewelry Online?

    While it's pretty easy to pop online and see a multitude of different white gold jewelry, there are a few things to keep in mind when choosing the right white gold jewelry for you. 

    Gold Content

    Personally, I don't recommend 18K for engagement rings or bracelets and bangles, there's not too much of a threat with a pair of gold diamond earrings. Unless you're not taking care of them, it shouldn't be hard to keep the slightly more delicate 18K diamond stud earrings in good shape. 

    With chains, I'd be careful the higher karat you go. Gold chains are not 100% durable and usually will break at some point. Throw in some softer gold, and it will be even less protected. Also keep in mind that 18K white gold will need rhodium plating more often than 14K because the natural gold color is increased. 

    Knowing how much gold content you need or don't need for your purposes will make your quest for gold jewelry easier to narrow down options.

    Allergies

    When it comes to precious metal in general, many people don't know that it's possible to be allergic to them. We've all probably heard a story or two about how someone purchased a cocktail ring from a department store like Walmart or Kohls and it turned their finger green.

    Many people automatically assume this is due to the gold not being real. 

    This is only half true. Most of the cheap jewelry bought at department stores, Amazon, Ebay, or Etsy is gold plated. They're supposed to tell if so, but not all trustworthy dealers do. When the plating wears off, the base metal is exposed. Many statement pieces and cocktail rings are gold plated. 

    Nickel is the leading cause of metal allergies. Most fine jewelry today is either nickel free or contains trace amount. People with mild nickel allergies will be able to wear 14K gold without any issue. Rare, severe, nickel allergies may not allow some to wear gold that is mixed with any alloy. 

    This also means that the less gold in the piece of jewelry, the more exposed you are to nickel allergies, so this should always be a consideration in purchasing real gold jewelry.

    Read also>>Best earrings for sensitive ears

    Red Flags When Buying Real Gold Jewelry Online

    Shopping for gold jewelry is pretty straight-forward, especially when compared to the realm of diamonds and gemstones. But there are some red flags when buying real gold online. 

    Real gold isn't always solid. It can be plated, hollow, filled, and even vermeil. 

    When looking for gold jewelry for an engagement ring, you hands down want solid gold. If you want your jewelry to be repaired easily, you'll want solid gold jewelry. 

    Real gold should be stamped with the amount of karats it is followed by either K or KT. Legally, gold jewelry should be stamped. But if you're not buying off our recommended retailers, you could get duped. Here are some of the gold jewelry you might come across in your search.

    Real Gold Plated Jewelry

    In your online search, it's highly possible you'll come across jewelry that is either described in the title or description as plated or gold plated. You may even see it phrased as "real 14K gold plated jewelry". It's not lying, to an extent. 

    When a piece is labeled as gold plated, it means a thin layer of real gold has been painted (electroplated actually) over another metal called the base metal. Base metals of gold plated jewelry can be sterling silver, stainless steel, surgical steel, or unnamed metals.  

    Over time, the gold plating will start to fade. If it's white gold plated, that silvery color will start to diminish. If it's plated over silver, you'll notice the dullness appearing through the rhodium of the white gold plating. If you have a yellow gold ring that has a silver base metal, that ring will be looking unsightly as it fades. 

    Not all jewelers will replate jewelry either, so keep that in mind. Gold plated jewelry often causes fingers to turn green because the base metal below the plating contains nickel. Many rings that are described as alloy metal contain nickel. 

    Gold plating won't usually have a physical stamp on the jewelry, but should be indicated in title or description as what karat the gold plating is. It can be found labeled in some places as 14K GP for gold plated.

    Real Gold Filled Jewelry

    Gold filled jewelry contains 5% of the value of solid gold. The name itself is misleading, because the words "gold filled" leads you to believe it's..filled with gold. But this isn't quite the case.

    Gold filled jewelry has a thick layer of plating that is usually done over brass or another base metal. Gold filled jewelry is similar to gold plated jewelry. It'll last longer than gold plated jewelry, but will eventually meet the same fate. 

    You won't find gold filled jewelry at any of our recommended retailers. It is possible to find gold jewelry labeled as gold plated, since the difference between the two is only how thick the plating layer is.

    Read also>>Where to buy the best gold chains?

    Real Gold Hollow Jewelry

    Hollow gold jewelry is made up of real gold, and air. That's right, you're paying for air. Instead of your gold being heavy the way that gold normally is. Hollow gold jewelry is like the proverbial empty soul of gold jewelry. 

    Aside from the dramatics, hollow gold jewelry is very lightweight. The outside frame of the jewelry is pure and solid gold, but inside its empty. I've seen hollow gold jewelry at both Kay and Zales in for the form of 14K gold hoop earrings and even in gold rope chains. 

    kay outlet 14k yellow gold earrings

    While the price is  cheaper than solid gold jewelry, it does leave something to be desired. Hollow gold jewelry feels even cheaper than it is. Hollow gold jewelry is stamped with the gold karat on the piece as technically the only metal is real gold.

    This is also why hollow gold jewelry is one of the more expensive variants of real gold jewelry.

    You simply can't tell the difference between hollow and solid gold jewelry on a website. But it won't be hard to notice once you have it in your hands. Places like Amazon, Ebay, Etsy, and Overstock may sell hollow gold jewelry without disclosure. 

    This is why we recommend purchasing from our trusted recommended retailers that have a solid return policy. Both Kay's and Zales has a great return policy and may carry hollow gold jewelry. 

    Real Gold Vermeil Jewelry

    Vermeil gold is silver jewelry that has been plated with real gold. The difference between vermeil and gold plated jewelry is that gold plated jewelry is plated over any base metal. True vermeil pieces are plated over silver. 

    How To Get The Best Deal When Buying Real Gold Jewelry Online

    I'm going to leave you with a couple lasting tips and reminders to think about when buying real gold jewelry online.

    Lifetime Warranty

    When you buy gold jewelry anywhere, it's important that you purchase from a place that sells lifetime warranties. Contrary to consumer belief, no jewelry lasts forever. It is susceptible to damage. This is especially true for rings. 

    If you're a white gold fan, you'll want a lifetime warranty to keep up with rhodium plating. If you have diamonds in your ring, you'll want to make sure they get tightened should they ever come loose. When prongs eventually start catching on clothing, you'll want to get them retipped. 

    Read also>> Where to buy white gold jewelry

    Warranties that cover wear and tear will cover all these services. Otherwise, you'll have to pay out of pocket over the years. Do yourself a solid and buy from someone like James Allen that give it free for life!

    Check the Return Policy

    One of the biggest reasons why we urge you to purchase from our recommended online diamond retailers, is because we trust them. While you may come across reviews and isolated stories of bad experiences customers have had, remember that many are situationally based and we don't always know the whole story. 

    What makes our retailers a trusted place is that many of them have 24 hour customer service, online chats, and are required to communicate with customers in a timely fashion. All of them also have a solid return policy. Make sure that no matter where you purchase real gold jewelry from, it has an easy and painless return process just in case you don't like it.

    Trio Love Knot Earrings

    I just love the contrast of all these gemstones together. Other notable combinations for peridot would be with citrine or tanzanite. A combination of brightly colored gemstones like these would add a splash of excitement in your jewelry collection. 

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