Fashion jewelry or as it is more commonly known, costume jewelry originally got its name because people used it to complement their costumes. Though many people tend to think of fashion jewelry as transient as the fashion trends themselves and hence inexpensive or imitative of fine jewelry, this is far from being true. Today, you can choose from a vast array of fine fashion jewelry at virtually every fine jewelry store that retail for mind-boggling prices.
(This is guest post submitted by Mandy Bular, a senior jewelry designer at Perigems.com )
So What Is Really Fashion Jewelry?
Creations by celebrated designers like Christian Dior and Chanel not only keep the interest in costume jewelry alive but have been responsible for blurring the line between costume jewelry and fine jewelry. What is fashion jewelry and what is not remains a matter of personal interpretation; pieces made from 14K gold may be costume jewelry for some while for others they may be fine jewelry. Generally speaking, one assumes that costume jewelry will not have any precious stones or metals. However, it is quite common to encounter fashion jewelry that isgold-plated, crafted from sterling silver, low karat and even alloys of gold. It is no longer uncommon for fashion jewelry to feature natural or manufactured gemstones.
Low-end costume jewelry is more often than not mass manufactured in factories with relatively inexpensive metals like copper, silver, brass, etc. with stones of cubic zirconia or generic rhinestone. It is quite common for these items to incorporate base metals that are plated, enamel, pewter, plastic, and even wood. On the other hand, you can find numerous high-end designer jewelry pieces by fine jewelry manufacturerscombining silver or gold-plated silver with a variety of semi-precious stones like topaz or even branded crystals such as Swarovski Elements.
A Peek into the History of Costume Jewelry
Even though it has been around for centuries, costume jewelry got a major boost only in early 20th century. While traditionally, jewelry was always made out of precious metals and stones, the 1700s saw some jewelry manufacturers begin to experiment with glass and other materials that fuelled a demand for stuff that could be worn to complement other pieces that were more costly.
Costume jewelry became really popular after a surge in demand for replicas of fine jewelry worn onscreen by the leading ladies of Hollywood like Lucille Ball and Elizabeth Taylor. Many high-profile designers came into the limelight for their ability to produce high-quality replicas. The trend of designer costume jewelry inspired by the silver screen continues to this day. Even though the cost is relatively high, it still gives fashionable ladies the opportunity to revel in fine jewelry at comparatively reasonable cost.
By no means is fashion jewelry a thing of the past. Even today innumerable contemporary designers remain high on the popularity charts for their haute couture jewelry collections. Right from fine jewelry stores on the high street to local supermarkets or even fashion websites, you will encounter a vast range of exclusive costume jewelry designs that are really attractive and comparable to their infinitely more expensive counterparts.