Jewellery Materials

I. Introduction

  • Brief explanation of why jewellery materials are important in the UAE market
  • Brief history of jewellery making in the UAE

II. Common Jewellery Materials in the UAE

  • Gold
    • Types of gold
    • Gold purity standards in the UAE
    • Trends in gold jewellery in the UAE
  • Silver
    • Types of silver
    • Silver purity standards in the UAE
    • Trends in silver jewellery in the UAE
  • Pearls
    • Types of pearls
    • Pearl quality standards in the UAE
    • Trends in pearl jewellery in the UAE

III. Other Jewellery Materials in the UAE

  • Diamonds
    • Types of diamonds
    • Diamond quality standards in the UAE
    • Trends in diamond jewellery in the UAE
  • Gemstones
    • Types of gemstones
    • Gemstone quality standards in the UAE
    • Trends in gemstone jewellery in the UAE

IV. Sustainable and Ethical Jewellery Materials in the UAE

  • Trends in sustainable and ethical jewellery materials in the UAE

V. Conclusion

  • Summary of the importance of jewellery materials in the UAE market
  • Final thoughts and recommendations for consumers and jewellers in the UAE market.

5 Gems of Glory- Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Picking Staple Jewellery Material In Dubai

I. Introduction

When deciding on staple jewelry it typically comes down to a battle of the metals. Do we go gold or is silver superior? Gold is one of the few commodities that only seems to appreciate with time, so it’s an incredibly valuable asset to have. But silver is often a lot more versatile and can be a smarter investment in certain instances.

Here are a few things to keep in mind before you make that ultimate choice.

A brief history of jewellery making in the UAE

The war between gold and silver goes back several generations. Gold jewelry in Dubai dates back to the bronze age often crafted for royalty and other dignitaries. In the 19th and 20th centuries, metals like silver began gaining popularity and were often woven into intricate curved patterns called filigree, a style influenced by the ottomans. These patterns often featured other precious gems as well, and these materials have only grown in popularity in the region since then.

Carnelian and agate beads also made a resurgence in popularity in the 20th century, but they have existed in the area since the prehistoric era. So have various other gems like rubies and emeralds. And of course, Dubai was also at the forefront of the illustrious pearl trade. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the UAE supplied European royalty and much of the world with beautiful, natural pearls. Amazingly, Dubai is still home to the oldest pearl in the world.

II. Common Jewellery Materials in the UAE

  • Gold

In Dubai, gold is undoubtedly king. Dubai is known as the city of gold as it is the highest trader of gold in the world. Gold has also been the most popular jewelry material. Most of the country’s gold isn’t locked in luxury stores, but in the Gold Souk, a traditional market where one can find all manner of genuine jewelry for cheaper than almost anywhere else in the world.

And when it comes to quality there is no better place to buy gold than in Dubai. The government maintains a pretty stringent authenticity standard, often conducting unexpected inspections in the Gold souk to ensure that the stated gold is what it presents as.

Types of gold

There are essentially 4 different purity levels for gold in the UAE. 24K is the purest gold, tested and proven to be 99.9% pure and unmixed with any other metal. It’ll be hard to find jewelry of this purity though, as this gold is often too soft to be formed into jewelry. Also keep in mind that jewelry made with 24K gold are vulnerable to scratches and tarnish.

22 K

The most unadulterated gold jewelry will likely be made from 22 Karat gold. This means that it is 91.67% gold, mixed with another metal. These tend to be durable jewelry and due to their purity, they tend to be more expensive as well. The expense is typically worth it though, as this is a jewelry piece that can be passed down for generations.

21 K and 18 K

21 Karat gold is is 87.5% pure. It is more durable and more affordable than 22K gold, so it is still a solid jewelry option for priceless pieces.

18 Karat gold is 75% pure and is another high quality gold you can find.


14K gold is made up of 58% gold and 42% alloyed metals. This is an incredibly durable gold, but still retains its quality. 14K is perfect for everyday jewelry that you know won’t tarnish easily.

Types of Gold

  • Gold can be mixed with several other metals to make different varieties, marked by their color. For example rose gold is gold alloyed with copper to give a pretty, soft pink color. White gold is a combination of gold and nickel (or palladium and zinc) and is shiny white. Yellow gold is the color of pure gold, but it can also be gold fused with sterling silver, copper, and zinc for reinforcement.

o Trends in gold jewelry in the UAE

Gold jewelry is and always has been popular in Dubai. Currently, jewelry in Dubai trends toward being bold and bright, featuring artistically unique designs. Gold tends to be ideal for necklaces, pendants, and earrings. Wearing gold with a white outfit is an easy way that immediately makes someone appear sophisticated and ‘clean’.

Gold dresses up any outfit and is also a must when it comes to Emirati bridal wear as they’re a main feature of the festivities.

  • Silver

Despite the popularity of gold, silver is still preferable for staple jewelry in certain cases. If you have a cooler undertone, chances are silver will look better on you than gold. They’re also a great jewelry option for those with sensitive skin as both silver and sterling silver are hypoallergenic and unlikely to cause a breakout. Additionally, silver is perfect for jewelry that is meant to be understated and muted like anklets and bracelets.

Another advantage of silver jewelry is that you can usually buy quality pieces at a more affordable price than gold. There are also more varieties of silver than gold.

Types of silver

Unlike gold, you can find jewelry in 99.9% pure silver. This is known as fine silver and is the highest-grade silver jewelry one can get. However, getting the purest silver might not be the best option for most people. Fine silver pieces aren’t long-lasting at all- they tarnish, bend and break pretty easily. Additionally, the dull coloring can be a turn-off if you're looking for something to make you pop.

Still, if authenticity is your main concern, fine silver is a solid option

Sterling Silver

The most commonly recommended high grade of silver is Sterling Silver, which is a 92.5% purity. This silver is usually mixed with 7.5% copper or occasionally nickel to create that bright shiny color. They're highly durable, some say even more than gold. One drawback is that sterling silver can tarnish too, although it can regain its shine pretty easily with the right cleaning products.

Argentium Silver

Argentium silver is another innovative option for high-quality silver that actually lasts. It contains a minimum of 92.5% pure silver with the rest of its make-up being copper and germanium. Germanium makes the silver more durable and harder to tarnish. This increased resistance makes Argentiunum one of the more expensive types of silver.

Silver-filled/ Silver-plated

Silver-filled and silver-plated jewelry typically have 10% or less silver in them. Silver-filled jewelry has sterling silver on its surface but the rest of it is a combination of different metals. Silver-plated jewelry has even fewer traces of silver on the surface. These are typically the cheapest types of silver you can buy and are often used for costume jewelry.


There are also pieces such as Tibetan silver and Nickel silver that are silver in color alone and not in the actual material used in the jewellery.

Quality silver pieces often bear a stamp, obvious under a microscope. to verify their purity level.

Trends in Silver Jewellery in the UAE

Silver is common in Dubai for more understated pieces like anklets, bracelets, and necklaces. The Payal is a traditional anklet that is typically in silver. Silver is also great for costume jewelry or an affordable way to get elaborate trendy pieces.

  • Pearls

Pearls are known as 'the teardrops of the moon.' They’re a romantic type of jewel used to add elegance and feminity to any peace. Pearls often feature jewelry for the upper class, but they're also fun jewelry to have.

Dubai and Abu Dhabi were once home to some of the most well-known pearling sites in the 19th century. The pearl trade was integral to the advancement of the UAE economy and traces of those periods are evident in pearl jewelry today.

o Types of pearls

There are four major types of pearls.

South Sea Pearls

The rarest and most valuable pearl is the south sea pearl. They tend to come in large irregular shapes and aren’t usually white. In fact, the purest of these pearls are yellowish in color, with more color signifying better purity. These pearls take 2-4 years to make, and it is very rare to find one in a regular spherical shape.

Perfectly round South Sea Pearls are the most expensive type of pearl, easily costing close to 1 million AED.

Akoya Pearls

Akoya pearls are the most common type of pearl in jewelry. They come in a neutral whitish color and are circular and small (5-9mm). They are typically what we imagine when we think of a classic pearl.

Tahitian Black Pearls

Tahitian black pearls are unique in that they come in a variety of dark colors. They are often green blue, brown or grey, with the most sought-after color being peacock green. These pearls are more expensive than the Akoya pearls but are cheaper than the South Sea pearls

Freshwater Pearls

Freshwater pearls, as the name indicates, can be found in most freshwater like lakes and ponds. They’re a pretty common type of pearl and tend to be relatively inexpensive as a result. They can cost as little as 75 AED (20 dollars).

Freshwater pearls also come in a variety of colors but tend to be pastel-themed.

o Pearl quality standards in the UAE

o Trends in pearl jewellery in the UAE

While there is no standardized grading system for pearls, it is important to look into a few things to ensure the quality. The size of the pearl (typically bigger pearls are more valued than smaller ones) and the general appearance fo the pearl. Regular shapes are more valued than irregular shapes. A pearl with a smooth surface means is also of higher quality as it means a lot of effort and attention was put into the layering process.

III. Other Jewellery Materials in the UAE

  • Diamonds

Diamonds are a symbol of status in Dubai. Like gold, they come in different carats to indicate purity but per weight, they are more expensive than gold. There are various types of diamonds with endless cuts and quality. They are judged based on 4 elements, cut, color, clarity, and carat.

The most expensive diamond typically has high clarity, meaning that no flaws can be seen in the formation of the diamond. Internal faults are known as 'inclusions' and external ones are called 'blemishes'. Diamonds with virtually no blemishes or inclusions are termed as FL-IF (internally flawless).

A flawless diamond also tends to be colorless rather than yellow, with a lack of color indicating higher purity. Like gold, a diamond is also divided into carat but this is based on the weight of the diamond One carat is 200 mg.

The most subjective judge of the diamond's quality is the cut of the diamond. The cut not only refers to the shape of the diamond but how light bounces off it to create amazing visual effects. We have a round cut, heart-shaped cut, oval cut, and many more.

o Diamond quality standards in the UAE

o Trends in diamond jewelry in the UAE

Perhaps the most trending diamond jewelry in recent years has been the diamond tennis bracelet. This has been a staple of celebrities, popularized by Hollywood stars and Tennis legend Chris Evert. Diamonds are of course well known for rings (engagement and wedding rings) and are the ideal accompaniment when you just want to bling out.

  • Gemstones

o Dubai is also known for gemstones such as ruby, emerald and sapphire. Each gem can be tested for quality by the Dubai Central Lab and there are penalties for selling counterfeit material. Gems are popularly adorned on necklaces bracelets and such to add an interesting dimension to the pieces.

o Gemstone quality standards in the UAE

Like diamonds, gemstones are graded on four different components; the weight, color, cut and clarity. The most expensive gems are heavier, more true to color (in their natural hue), and free of inclusions. The value of a cut, however, is even more subjective than with diamonds, as it mostly comes down to personal style and which cut can display the fewest inclusions.

o Trends in gemstone jewelry in the UAE

Bold colorful gemstones are all the rage in Dubai. Be on the look out for unique shapes and colors, the bigger the better.

IV. Sustainable and Ethical Jewellery Materials in the UAE

Dubai like most of the world is now trending toward sustainable and ethical jewelry. There is a growing popularity in companies like Etika jewels, which uses recycled jewellry to make new pieces. The packaging is also important, and companies like Gafla Jewellery use silk wrappings, that are easily reused and repurposed. Finally, most sustainable companies in Dubai, ensure that they’re sourcing materials ethically.

V. Conclusion

  • Summary of the importance of jewelry materials in the UAE market

Jewellery materials are one of the main drivers of fashion in the UAE, and jewellers are at the powerhouse of these machine. Picking out a staple style can be intuitive but an educated buyer is a more confident one. Remember to keep the pros and cons of each material in mind, when purchasing that one special piece.