Difference Between Fine and Fashion Jewelry

Both the online and offline stores are inundated with beautiful and eye-catching pieces of fine and fashion jewelry. Given the rising prices of designer fashion jewelry, it often becomes difficult for a layperson to tell the difference between the two.

Following is a guide for distinguishing between fine jewelry and its fashion counterparts:

Fine Jewelry – This is authentic jewels that women have been buying and wearing since time immemorial. It is made of precious materials like gold, platinum, sterling silver and gemstones and has a much longer lifespan than the fashion jewelry items. The rich and famous love to have fine ornaments customized as personalized jewelry with their initials, name or even a special date/message engraved on it.

There are specific guidelines for a piece of jewelry to fit the fine category – like the gold should be 10 carats or higher and the gemstones should be natural only. For this purpose, cultured pearls are categorized as equivalent to natural pearls. But lab-created diamonds, manufactured gemstones or fresh water pearls cannot be considered fine jewelry. In fact, if a gold or platinum ornament is inset with manufactured stones or vice versa, they will not be considered as fine jewelry.

Fashion jewelry – Also known as costume jewelry, this is made of relatively inexpensive and mass-produced materials like brass, nickel or even copper. The trendy pieces may have a coating, filling, rolling or dipping of a precious metal or may just be painted to resemble a gold or silver finish.

In fact, fashion jewelry makers often copy authentic ornaments to produce exact imitation pieces at a fraction of the price. The appearance and making is such that it can often be difficult to tell a fashion piece apart from a fine one. But all you have to do is scratch the surface and the truth will be clear for all to see. You also have to be careful while using costume jewelry as any contact with fluids or even moisture can spoil the shine and polish of the trinkets.

You may be wondering why some pieces of fashion jewelry are very expensive, sometimes almost equivalent to fine jewelry. This is because popular designer houses like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Michael Kors are designing and manufacturing stylish pieces of fashion jewelry that are much sought-after by the public. The popularity and quality of the designer label is responsible for the relatively high prices.

It follows that fine jewelry pieces are always expensive and considered a worthy investment that will appreciate in value. They are stored safely and often handed down from generation to generation until they become heirlooms. On the other hand, fashion jewelry is basically considered as baubles that can be bought and worn for temporary pleasure. Authentic jewelry is often custom-made to suit the buyer’s needs and tastes and can even take the tone of personalized jewelry.

Now that you are aware of the basic differences between fine and costume jewelry, shop carefully and do not let a fashion jewelry maker con you into paying the price of a fine ornament!

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