Considering a new piece of jewelry? Beautiful, fashion-forward jewelry can be found at any price point, and some may wonder whether those items that carry a higher price tag are worth the cash. Cheaper fashion jewelry is certainly appealing, but fine jewelry may be worth the investment.
What's the difference?
Fine jewelry is defined as pieces made from either sterling silver, gold or platinum that may also feature pearls, semi-precious and precious gemstones.
Fashion jewelry tends to either imitate fine jewelry using more inexpensive materials, or use more unconventional materials like rubber, plastic, wood or leather. When someone buys fashion jewelry over fine jewelry, it's usually because it's cheap. The lower price point makes it easy to keep up with quickly passing trends while not breaking the bank on pieces that may be out of vogue by next season. Of course, not ALL fashion jewelry is cheap, but it's safe to assume that not too many people reading this article plan on plunking down thousands of dollars for a designer necklace made from brass, pewter and plastic.
Our 14k gold and freshwater pearls necklace, which is an elegant, classic example of fine jewelry.
Some fashion jewelry is silver or gold-plated, which gives a more luxurious look for a lower price, while some fashion jewelry is described as "silver tone" or "gold tone," meaning that the jewelry is merely painted to look like the real thing. It also means it's almost guaranteed to turn your skin green.
Gold plated jewelry doesn't have to mean a compromise in quality. This aqua chalcedony necklace is rose gold plated sterling silver.
Why choose fine jewelry?
For only a few dollars more than what most "silver tone" fashion jewelry costs, you could purchase a piece made from solid sterling silver, which will look beautiful for years to come with the proper care. Gold and silver jewelry tends to be of higher quality and will always be highly prized, ensuring that your pieces will last and be appreciated for a lifetime and beyond.
Fashion jewelry can also be a gamble if you are someone with sensitivities to certain metals, as the metals used in fashion jewelry tend to be a mystery. Gold, especially yellow gold, is a much safer choice if you are worried about allergic reactions to metals like nickel. Red, swollen earlobes aren't cute.
Gold earrings like these are great for sensitive ears.
If quality and longevity matter when it comes to your jewelry, fine jewelry is almost always a wiser choice.