Understanding the difference between fashion jewelry and fine jewellery can be quite simple - it all comes down to the materials the jewelry is made of. Finding out the quality of the metals and gemstones is all that is needed to determine whether a piece of jewelry is considered fashion jewelry or fine jewelry. We walk you through the definitions expert authenticators use when it comes to ensuring jewelry quality so you know what to look for when shopping for new additions to your jewelry collection.
Fashion jewelry, also known as costume jewelry, is generally made from base metals and simulated stones. These parts are usually made of brass, copper or aluminum, which bend and tarnish easily. Jewelry made entirely of textiles or leather, base metal alloys, and even metals plated with precious metals such as gold or silver are also included in fashion jewelry. Simulated stones include plastic stones, cubic zirconia, and Swarovski crystals.
Some jewelry enthusiasts will insist on a medium category called "semi-fine", which is reportedly characterized by jewelry that is made with gold vermeil or is filled with gold. (To discover the difference between gold plated, gold filled, and gold vermeil, check out this post on jewelry metals.) "Semi-fine" jewelry is also made with real gemstones that are much more affordable, such as morganite and opals, or "enhanced" stones, which are heat or chemically treated in a lab to make them appear clearer or flawless or to change the color. of the stone.
The "semi-fine" category may be helpful for jewelry manufacturers to more accurately compartmentalize their jewelry, but it is not a standard by which jewelry experts and authenticators measure. In the eyes of an expert, "semi-fine" jewelry is still considered fashion jewelry due to its incorporation of base metals; Again, the materials that make up the jewelry are the deciding factor behind whether a piece is considered fashion jewelry or fine jewelry. .
Because fashion jewelry is made from materials that are prone to cracking or tarnishing, they don't have a long shelf life. On top of that, they are almost impossible to repair once they have broken because the level of heat that would be required to solder the brass or copper parts would put them back together would simply leave the gold or silver blackened. Fortunately, fashion jewelry tends to be priced much lower than fine jewelry, and a broken piece could easily be completely replaced.
Fine jewellery is used to describe jewellery made from solid gold, sterling silver, platinum, and / or other precious metals. This type of jewelry also often uses genuine gemstones such as diamonds, rubies, real sapphires, etc. Because it is made entirely of solid precious metals and gemstones, fine jewelry is much stronger than fashion jewelry and will not tarnish with proper care and storage. . Besides that, when they break, fine jewelry can be repaired. (For tips on fine jewelry repair, read this post on what to do at such an event.) fine jewellery can be expensive, but in reality, the value and longevity of these pieces are well worth the investment.
If you don't know where designer jewelry falls between these two categories, just look at the composition of the piece. Some designers raise the prices of fashion jewelry simply because of the association with the brand name, which makes it appear that a low-quality piece is actually worth more. But most brands only produce high-quality parts made from precious metals and genuine gemstones. Pay attention to the hallmarks of your jewelry to determine whether it is fashionable jewelry with an elegant brand or truly fine jewellery.
If you are interested in investing in fine jewellery, but the price puts you off, you should definitely consider buying used items. You get all the high quality materials and excellent craftsmanship at a much more reasonable price. LimeLite Jewellery sells premium quality jewelry and watches, all of which have been authenticated by our in-house team of experts.