JEWELRY TALK: THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FINE JEWELRY AND FASHION JEWELRY
The difference between fashion jewelry and fine jewelry all comes down to the quality and expense of the materials used to create that jewelry.
The term fine jewelry is used to describe jewelry that is made out of precious metal. The main ones used in fine jewelry are gold, rhodium, palladium, platinum and silver. Precious metals are also called noble metals which essentially means that they are durable, resisted to corrosion and oxidation and are relatively expensive to extract from the earth.
Fine Jewelry made from precious metals is often partnered with gemstones like real diamonds, rubies, sapphires and other gems. Because fine jewelry is made from quality materials they are often more durable, stronger and expensive to make. A jeweller requires a high level of skill and equipment to create original pieces made of precious metals and precious gemstones. Fine jewelry is often smaller and delicate in design and style due to the cost of producing it.
With proper care and storage, fine jewelry will not tarnish as quickly and can possibly last survive thousands of years. They are also recyclable, can be repaired, changed and resized. Fine jewelry has a higher status in society and is often bought for investment purposes and special events such as weddings, anniversaries and other meaningful occasions. Creators of fine jewelry are legally required to hallmark their jewelry with standardised stamps that indicate the type of precious metal used. Examples of well known High end jewelry designers are Tiffany & Co, Cartier, Bulgari, Van Cleef & Arpels and Georg Jensen.
Fashion jewelry is also known as costume jewelry, imitation jewelry and fake jewelry, and are made with much cheaper base metals and simulated stones. Common metals used in fashion jewelry includes brass, copper, zinc alloy, metals that are more abundant than precious metals used in fine jewelry. The cheap metal is plated with a more expensive noble metal such as gold, platinum or rose gold, this covers the cheap metal to make it stronger, more attractive and to give it the fine jewelry look without the price tag.
Fashion jewelry can also be made from anything such as textiles or leather, base metal alloys, and often include simulated stones such as plastic stones and Swarovski crystals. The best part of fashion jewelry is that due to the cheaper cost of production more larger and exciting pieces are made. More variety of design and styles are available and so accommodates changing fashion trends.
Because fashion jewelry is made of lower quality materials that are not as durable nor do they have the longevity of the precious metal used in fine jewelry. In addition to that, they tarnish and break easier and are difficult to repair as they have been plated so any disturbance to the surface will ruin the plating on the surface of the piece. It would not be worth the price to repair as it will cheaper just to replace it. So take note Fashion jewelry needs tender loving care if you want it to last, such as taking it off every day, and avoiding contact with water, sweat and perfume. Major players in the fashion jewelry sector are Swarovski, Chanel fashion jewelry and Michael Kors.
Sorry to say the brutal truth but all high-end fashion designer labels charge an overinflated price for their fashion jewellery. The materials used in producing their jewelry are basically the same as the cheap franchised jewelry stores found in every shopping mall. You are basically paying for the brand name.
Always ask them what metal is their jewelry made from and they will often avoid the subject by telling you it’s gold plated or rhodium plated, which is true but they do not really answer the question. Ask what metal is underneath the plating, which is usually a cheap zinc metal alloy (zinc, copper, nickel). One famous jewelry brand exclusively uses cheap materials but has elevated their brand with clever marketing giving consumers the illusion that they are buying quality, having said that they do produce great jewelry designs. Most luxury fashion designers include a fashion jewelry line alongside their seasonal clothing collections such as Chanel, Prada and many others.
“Semi-fine” jewelry is a relatively new term used to categorise jewelry on the lower end of the fine jewelry spectrum. They are usually made with 925 sterling silver which has been plated over with gold, rhodium, rose gold or platinum plating. Affordable real gemstones or semi-precious gemstones or lab-created gemstones like cubic zirconia, coloured quartz and lower grade gemstones, or “enhanced” stones, are often used in semi-fine jewelry. Jewelry labels dominating this category include Thomas Sabo and Pandora.
Elevate Jewelry Co are a dedicated online jewelry store committed to providing a great range of quality jewelry to suit any style and occasion. We offer everything from classic faux diamond earrings to the latest on trend jewelry styles.
So whether you’re shopping for a gift for yourself or someone else, our exquisite range of rings, earrings, bracelets, chains, pendants and necklaces makes it easy for you to find the perfect jewelry gift. Our designer jewelry consists of 925 sterling silver, we also have a designer fashion jewelry line, all at affordable price points.
Pay less for your favourite designer jewelry
Shop at Elevate Jewelry Co: Elevate Jewelry Co
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