Are you in the process of adding to your jewelry collection? Or are you thinking of selling a few pieces you no longer wear? Do you want to be sure you’re getting what you’re paying for? It’s important to know the differences between three kinds of jewelry: fashion, semi-fine, and fine jewelry. Understanding the various distinctions will assist you in choosing the right pieces. Read on to learn more.
Also known as costume jewelry, fashion jewelry is most often made from fake gems and inexpensive metals. The term “costume” jewelry comes from theatre prop departments in the 1930s. Actors needed to look elegant and adorned on stage, but costume designers didn’t want to worry about expensive pieces getting stolen, damaged, or lost. Therefore, they created replicas. Throughout the decades, women started wearing this jewelry with their everyday wear (though not eveningwear) and it became a fashion statement, giving it a new name.
The current fashion jewelry generally has a base of nickel, brass, aluminum, or copper, then sometimes electroplated with a thin layer of more precious metals such as silver or gold. The gems are cut glass or plastic. The beauty of fashion jewelry is that if the wearer gets tired of it, the piece can be put in the back of the jewelry box or given to a friend. Or if it’s lost or broken, the amount of money spent is minimal.
Semi-fine jewelry is the bridge between fashion jewelry and fine jewelry. These necklaces, rings, earrings, etc., are usually gold-plated, gold-filled, or made with gold vermeil, which is a thicker kind of gold plating. Semi-fine jewelry can also be made of sterling silver, which is a durable, quality metal. If stones or gems are on the piece, instead of cheaper glass or plastic, these are real stones such as opal, morganite, aquamarine, turquoise, coral, etc.
When wearing semi-fine jewelry, treat each piece as if it were fine jewelry. Do not wear it in the swimming pool, while exercising or sleeping, or allow cleaning products, skin creams, or perfume to get on it. The oils, water, and chemicals will cause the gold plate or silver to disintegrate.
Fine jewelry is not difficult to distinguish from costume or semi-fine. These pieces are always made from the precious metals of silver, gold, platinum, or a combination. When there are gemstones, they are genuine rubies, emeralds, diamonds, pearls, sapphires, etc. Nothing is ever an imitation. Because fine jewelry must meet higher and stricter standards than fashion jewelry, it is designed to last and can be passed down from one generation to the next. Wedding rings, strands of pearls, special brooches and others, are often left to daughters and granddaughters in estates.
Fine jewelry generally costs more because it is made from precious gems and metal. These pieces should be considered an investment that can be worn for many years to come.
Do you have fashion, semi-fine, or fine jewelry you no longer wear? Are you thinking of selling it? We can help! Consultations are free, so call or stop by today!