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4 Types of Jewelry You Shouldn’t Buy

Written by Annabelle
May 14, 2020

While it’s fun to buy all different types of jewelry, from our experience there are a few things we just don’t recommend because of how they’re constructed. From metals that can’t be sized, to items that have fragile integrity, here are 4 types of jewelry you shouldn’t buy.

Jewelry You Shouldn't Buy

1. Tungsten


An engraving was removed off of this tungsten ring, but left behind highly visible marks and porosity.

Tungsten has appeared on the market as a “strong alternative” to men’s rings, and it’s garnered a popular following due to its nice weight, its attractive matte gray color, and its general affordability. However, tungsten isn’t actually as durable as it’s marketed to be- with high impact or enough grip against another object, tungsten can shatter quite easily.
To make matters worse, tungsten can’t be repaired. It doesn’t take metalwork, it doesn’t solder, and it barely polishes out without leaving a lot of porosity (small holes in the metal.) Because of this, it’s impossible to size a tungsten ring, making it a bad choice for anyone who’s looking into this as a wedding ring alternative.

2. Hollow Rope Chains


This rope chain shows the difference after repair.

Hollow rope chains are popular because of their affordability- the chain is solid gold, but it’s woven to have a space in the interior, not unlike that of a tube. However, it’s this structure that makes them near-impossible to repair with the same kind of structural integrity after they snap. The chain becomes flattened in one area after soldering due to the hollow structure, and there’s a possibility it will continue to unravel. The repair will never restore the chain back to its original strength, and a tug will undo the soldered location.

3. Gold Plated Alloy Jewelry


This pendant was recreated in sterling silver and gold plated with an antiqued engraving. The original item was made from zinc and couldn't take plating.

While most gold-plated jewelry can be worked with, very cheap costume jewelry made from unknown alloys are the worst when it comes to repair. In fact, some of them are impossible to fix as the metal components of the jewelry underneath the plating often contain lead, pewter, or even zinc. These materials do not take solder, gold electroplating, and in the case of zinc, it can even crumble.

4. Hollow Hoops


A hollow earring, dented at one area.

Hollow structures are common in jewelry because they help to make solid gold affordable, but if you’re not ready to invest a lot of time and care when it comes to maintaining your earrings, hollow hoops are not a good investment. Once these items dent, they can’t be repaired, and big holes can’t be patched up because of the structure of the earring.

Now you’re up to date on jewelry you shouldn’t buy! Comment below; which of the following bad purchases are you guilty of making?

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It might be nice if you offered alternatives to achieve the same goal but are a better value like you did with the plated piece in sterling silver. Maybe instead of tungsten for a man’s ring- tantalum which is supposed to be very durable and tough or even silicone which is safe for mechanics so they don’t lose a digit or a hand at work and is affordable and attractive. Instead of hollow hoops, how about sourcing sturdier hoops made in a lower karat gold like 10k or even 9k. I have seen pieces in 9k that were over 100… Read more »