Costume Jewelry Or Fashion Jewelry: Things To Know Before You Buy

While fine jewelry is something we normally reserve only for special occasions, such as an engagement, graduation party, birthdays, and seasonal holiday celebrations, costume jewelry is perfect for everyday wear. [caption id="attachment_4954" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Chanel Necklace Chanel Necklace[/caption]  

Costume Jewelry Types

Fine jewelry deserves its title for a stunning workmanship, genuine precious stones, and materials it’s made of, like gold, or say, platinum. Costume jewelry, also known as fashion jewelry, as a rule of thumb, is made with non-precious or semi-precious stones and metals such as brass, bronze, copper, etc. [caption id="attachment_7729" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Miriam Haskell Pearl Bead Necklace Miriam Haskell Pearl Bead Necklace[/caption]   Costume jewelry categories include: rings, necklaces, earrings and bracelets made with Swarovski crystals, beads, leather or acrylic materials. [caption id="attachment_6593" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Chanel Charm Bracelet Chanel Charm Bracelet[/caption]  

What Custom Jewelry Is Made Of

Custom jewelry can also include some made of silver, gold plated or gold vermeil jewelry. The majority of costume jewelry brands and designers create their jewelry pieces with brass or bronze, and jewelry made in this materials is not normally plated. [caption id="attachment_3357" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Chanel Gripoix Runway Bangle Chanel Gripoix Runway Bangle[/caption]   One of the benefits of not plating these metals for costume jewelry is that they can be polished using any standard polishing cloth, and it makes your everyday wear jewelry's maintenance simple and inexpensive. This is to say, if you purchase a brass bracelet or a bronze ring and you find that they start to look a bit dull, just grab a polishing cloth, give it a quick rub and it will be shiny and as good as new in a matter of minutes. [caption id="attachment_7884" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Erickson Beamon Crystal Necklace Erickson Beamon Crystal Necklace[/caption]  

The Origin of The Word “Costume”

Some might be confused by the term “costume jewelry”. The word “costume” in the past referred to what we call an “outfit” today. Costume jewelry has been part of the fashion world since 18th century, when jewelers began making pieces with inexpensive glass and non-precious metals. In the 19th century, costume jewelry made of semi-precious materials came into the mass market as they were more affordable, and customers could have a new piece to accessorize every outfit without breaking a bank. [caption id="attachment_5271" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Hobé Vintage Necklace Hobé Vintage Necklace[/caption]   In the middle of the 20th century costume jewelry have reached the rank of the fashion world stars. The demand for costume jewelry was fueled by industrial revolution. The revolution made possible the production of convincingly looking replicas of admired exquisitely crafted fine jewelry pieces for a fraction of the cost. [caption id="attachment_4747" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Burberry Prorsum Crystal Chain Necklace Burberry Prorsum Crystal Chain Necklace[/caption]  

History’s Influence On Costume Jewelry

The term “costume jewelry” came into being during that period, and it can be characterized by each history period in which the jewelry piece was made. For example, during the depression years, even the use of rhinestones was downgraded to reduce its production cost; during the World War II, sterling silver was often incorporated into costume jewelry designs because the components that were originally used as the costumes jewelry base were needed for military purposes. A fair number of sterling silver costume jewelry was produced at that time and some interesting pieces can still be found with a help of vintage and antique jewelry dealers today. [caption id="attachment_7988" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Valentino Faux Coral Pearl Necklace Valentino Faux Coral Pearl Necklace[/caption]   Contemporary costume jewelry production utilizes a wide range of materials: From high end crystals, cubic zirconia simulated diamonds, and some semi-precious stones to gold- or silver-plated brass. Lower-priced costume jewelry items made outside the United States may also include lead on their list of base metals. [caption id="attachment_4147" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Kenneth Jay Lane Necklace Kenneth Jay Lane Necklace[/caption]