Tips For Obtaining and Affording Replikates

A follower contacted me to ask how I manage to afford the replikates I buy. This post will offer advice and tips on developing a financial strategy that will allow you to purchase the replikates you covet.

1) Save money whenever and wherever possible:  When I am saving up for a replikate, I don’t buy $5 lattes or go out to lunch or buy magazines. I tell myself that the lattes can wait but the replikate is more important to me. If I reserve the money I spend on frivolous and unnecessary purchases, that means I will reach my financial goal (and the item I want to buy) much faster. I nearly always bring lunch to work so I can save money on eating out.

2) Set a savings goal: For example, I want to buy the Monica Vinader Siren Wire Earrings in Green Onyx. They cost $195 so my target goal is about $200. Once you settle on a real number, your goal becomes easier to focus on.

3) Check social media: Many replikaters change their minds about their purchases and put them up for sale. Some will resell at reduced prices and some will sell at full retail value. Either way, it is worth frequenting Twitter, Facebook and Instagram on a regular basis to find out of stock or hard to find replikates.

4) Check EBay and use general search terms:  If specific search terms bring you no luck, try general search terms (ex: “LK Bennett dress” instead of “LK Bennett Cayla”. This is more of a repli-Diana and not a replikate, but I obtained a pair of the Metropolitan Museum of Art Venus earrings by using this search technique. The seller was unaware of the earrings’  true name or their famous connection. If I had searched for “MMA Venus earrings” instead of “MMA jewelry”,  my hunt would have most likely continued to be fruitless. I was even able to buy them at half price because the seller had no knowledge of their FRV.

5) Make lots of replikater friends: Apart from the fantastic and fulfilling friendships I have gained in the replikate community, I have been able to gain a few replikates through connections I’ve made online. An Italian friend sent me a pair of Accessorize earrings as a gift because replikating is not as prolific in Italy as it is in the U.S. The earrings were sold out in my country. I am very grateful to my friend for helping me out, and I know I would have never gotten them had she not mailed them to me.

6) Be patient:  Sometimes it takes weeks or months to finally get what you want. It took me a year to save up for the Catherine Zoraida Double Leaf earrings. It was agony waiting for them, but my patience paid off in the end!

7) Look at international sites and department stores: Many people look at the company website and forget that department stores and other businesses carry the same lines Kate wears. Check these sites for restocking events. If you are fortunate enough to live in a town that has such a department store, go directly to the store and physically search for the garment. Some stores include replikate items under general store sales. Neiman Marcus recently held a 20% off sale which applied to Kiki McDonough jewelry. Keeping an eye on department store sales could lead you to deeply discounted replikates.

8) Wait for holiday sales:  Many companies offer holiday sales. Links of London usually has a 20% off sale during the holiday season. Catherine Zoraida also offers discounted items at the end of the year (my Fern Hoop earrings were purchased for about $165 because they were discounted and I had a code for 10% off). I recall Claudia Bradby had a good sale going on in late August or early September, and the Camellia necklace was on sale at that time. Check the websites frequently for orders

9) Sell anything valuable you don’t need and do odd jobs for extra cash:  I sell off my old jewelry and other items then put the money toward my next replikate purchase. I baby-sit, clean apartments and fulfill cookie orders (people really enjoy my baked goods) to earn extra cash. If there is an odd job or side gig you are able to do, do it and put the money in your replikate savings.

I hope you found my advice useful and beneficial. Please comment below if you have advice to contribute.

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Shopping with Diana: Metropolitan Museum of Art Venus Earrings

I’m diverting attention from Kate’s jewelry collection to talk about a somewhat famous pair of earrings: Princess Diana’s Venus earrings. She was photographed wearing her Venus earrings starting in 1990. Among Diana fans, these earrings are quite famous.

During one of my frequent Ebay searches, I was astounded to come across a seller offering a pair of vintage (stamped 1964) earrings for just about 50% less than the museum’s retail price. The seller was not even aware of the earrings’ true moniker or their history as a favored pair of a British royal’s jewelry collection. It was fortunate for me, because if the seller had named them as the Venus earrings, I do not think I would have had the chance to buy them. They would have been plucked up by someone else.

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The earrings are made with simulated glass pearls and gold overlay. The posts are gold-filled.

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They are 1.25 inches long. Here they are next to a bottle of OPI nail polish to give you an idea of how big they are.

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This is their appearance from the front.

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The pearls are somewhat large but not too heavy. In fact, I can barely feel them on when I wear them. I think they are big enough to be semi-statement earrings but still demure enough for everyday use.

I purchased mine for $32. The Metropolitan Museum of Art sells them for $65. 

Blabbing About Baubles: Gold

Kate has worn yellow, white and rose gold in her jewelry pieces. Let’s take a look at its chemical composition and what it really is.

Gold is a chemical element, found on the Periodic Table of Elements with the symbol Au and is a group 11 element. It is one of the least reactive chemical elements, and is considered to be a transition metal.  Under normal conditions, gold is firm and not liquid-like. Because of this solid state, it is often found in nuggets or grains.

Photo credit: www.nevada-outback-gems.com
Photo credit: http://www.nevada-outback-gems.com

 

Gold is considered to be the most noble of the noble metals and is the most malleable of all metals.

Have you wondered why there are different colored golds? Pure gold is slightly reddish yellow in hue. This happens with alloys, which are a combination of pure gold and another metal.  By definition, pure gold is 24k. Colored gold alloys are less than this. Denominations such as 10k, 14k, 18k, etc inform the consumer on how much pure gold is in a piece. This explains why the higher numbered karats tend to be more expensive. The increase in the amount of pure gold in the piece increases the value of the item.

White gold– an alloy of pure gold and a white metal, such as nickel, manganese or palladium.

Rose gold- an alloy of copper and pure gold. As one can imagine, the higher the content of copper, the more red/rosy the gold would appear to be. If the gold appears to be pinker than red, it contains more gold than copper.

Yellow gold- an alloy mixed with silver or copper.

Here is the link to Kate’s gold jewelry  as well as her white gold jewelry

Poll: Favorite New Earrings of the Royal Tour of India/Bhutan 2016

Which earrings did you like best from Kate and William’s  tour of India and Bhutan?

Vote below!

Blabbing About Baubles: Morganite

Today I will be talking about pink morganite, which we’ve seen Kate wear once.

Photo credit: www.jewelsofsayuri.com
Photo credit: http://www.jewelsofsayuri.com

 

Photo credit: www.gehnabazaar.com
Photo credit: http://www.gehnabazaar.com

 

Morganite is an aluminum beryllium silicate. It is known as  “pink beryl”, and among the beryls, morganite is the rarest form. The color can range from pale pink to peach to violet-pink (as shown in the photos above).

Morganite is named for American banker and gemstone collector J.P. Morgan. The two most significant morganite deposits are found in Brazil and Madagascar.  Some other noteworthy sources for fine gem-quality morganite include Afghanistan, China, Mozambique, Namibia, Russia, Zimbabwe and the USA (California and Maine). Pink morganite was first identified as such by gemologist George D. Kunz in 1910 in California (George was also a buyer for Tiffany & Company).

Morganite is not usually heated or alternated, but sometimes low heat is used to enhance the color and erase undesired yellow tones.

Morganite is considered to be somewhat rare. This could explain why Kate’s morganite drops are so expensive.

Kate’s morganite jewelry:

Kiki McDonough Morganite Cushion Drops 

 

Blabbing About Baubles: Peridot

Today we’re talking about a gemstone I have come to be very fond of.

Photo credit: www.gemsngems.com
Photo credit: http://www.gemsngems.com

Peridot is a type of gem-quality olivine (olivine is a silicate mineral). Interestingly, peridot is one of the few gemstones which only exists in one color: olive green. The amount of iron in the gemstone determines how light or dark it can be.

It is found in lavas and xenoliths of the mantle. It can also be found in meteorites. It is not a rare gemstone, but it is rare to find peridot which is gem-quality. Peridot tends to be chemically unstable at the Earth’s surface, so it must be found at subterranean level.

Kate’s peridot jewelry:

Kiki McDonough Kiki Classic Peridot and Blue Topaz Double Oval Studs 

Blabbing About Baubles: White Topaz

Today we’ll be taking a closer look at white topaz.

Photo credit: www.igmla.com
Photo credit: http://www.igmla.com

 

Topaz is the silicate mineral of aluminum and fluoride. It’s crystals tend to be prismatic crystals (formed as multi-faced crystals) with pyramidal faces (formed as triangular crystals) and other faces.

Pure topaz is colorless (clear). Topaz that contains impurities have some hue to them. They can be red, white, yellow, blue-brown, gold, reddish-orange or reddish-yellow.

Orange topaz sometimes gets confused with citrine. I speak about this a little in my post about citrine. 

Topaz can be heat treated to reach a desired hue. Depending on the natural color of the stone, it can be heat treated to create pink topaz, blue topaz, and other shades. For example, pink topaz (which is rare), can be created from brown or pale topazes.

I didn’t know this until I looked it up, but it seems like some people purchase white topaz engagement rings instead of diamond engagement rings. You can read about it here.

Kate’s white topaz jewelry:

Kiki McDonough Grace White Topaz Stud Earrings

Links of London Hope Egg Earrings