Differences between Costume Jewelry and Fashion Jewelry
In real terms there is no difference between costume jewellery and fashion jewellery, and are terms basically used for the same thing, jewellery made from non precious metals or gemstones.
Everyone would love to own a piece of gemstone clad jewellery from Harry Winston or Tiffany’s the price involved in their pieces though is often a factor that puts people off. Thus those looking for pieces of jewellery look for something cheaper, perhaps settling for 9 carat gold rather than 18 carat, or else looking for something even cheaper, costume jewellery.
Go into any clothes store today and it is likely that there is a stand dedicated to jewellery, and yet it is immediately obvious that the pieces for sale are not in the same league as though sold by a reputable jeweller. Normally costume jewellery is made from gold plated or silver plated metals, normally the likes of nickel or brass, whilst gemstones are replaced by coloured glass or beads, although it is not unknown for cubic zirconia or equivalent to be used. This being said though all items available from the top jewellers will be replicated in costume jewellery, be it necklaces, pendants or rings.
Many people do now associate costume jewellery with the theatre, and the items worn by actors and actresses in their costumes. It is though more to do with the everyday costume worn out and about, with the jewellery used to finish of the costume or outfit.
The earliest costume jewellery is normally accredited to the eighteenth century where cheap jewellery was manufactured with glass rather than precious stones. Even prior to this though jewellery had been replicated with cheaper products, and the term faux jewellery was coined to describe it. These cheap replicas though ensured that it was not just the rich who could afford jewellery and soon it was something worn by all and sundry.
The term costume jewellery was though changed to fashion jewellery in the twentieth century when many of the world’s most famous designers started to make costume jewellery. Indeed the likes of Dior and Chanel made their own pieces. Many designers copied the pieces worn by the stars and soon the public could buy them in the likes of Woolworths, and so as the public could keep up with the latest fashions without having to spend a fortune.
Modern costume jewellery may be a fraction of the price of gold or silver jewellery, but some of the older pieces can attract collectors, many of whom are willing to spend a small fortune on the rarest items.
Costume or fashion jewellery may be a lot cheaper than real jeweller but this isn’t to say that care is not to be taken with it. The same basic rules apply when dealing with faux jewellery as with more expensive pieces, jewellery cleaners are best avoided as it is probable that any base metal present will be damaged. Cleaning is probably best done with a damp cloth, although of course any damage caused is going to hit the pocket less severely than with 18 carat gold, diamond encrusted jewellery.
Costume jewellery may be cheaper than the pieces sold by a jeweller but does serve a purpose, and can set off an outfit with the same look as more expensive pieces of jewellery. Of course that is the whole point of fashion jewellery; just don’t be too disappointed with the value of any items inherited.