Fine Jewellery Versus Fashion Jewellery

Fine Jewellery Versus Fashion Jewellery

If you keep stumbling upon the terms ‘fine’ or ‘fashion’ on your jewellery hunt but aren’t quite sure what they mean we can help. In this blog we’re define fine vs. fashion jewellery and the pros and cons of both.

What Is Fine Jewellery?

Fine jewellery refers to jewellery made from precious metals such as gold, silver or platinum. It also refers to jewellery that uses precious gemstones, such as diamonds. Fine jewellery certainly commands a higher price point than fashion jewellery, attributed to by the use of precious metals and gemstones and levels of craftsmanship.

A lot of value is placed in design and craftsmanship, but of course the addition of expensive materials can create an expensive price point! Fine jewellery can reach staggering price points, selling up to millions in luxury auctions.

What Is Fashion Jewellery?

Fashion jewellery, sometimes called costume jewellery, serves an ulterior purpose to fine jewellery. In general, fashion jewellery is for the purpose of fashion, to look beautiful but not necessarily of a lasting quality. Due to this, fashion jewellery tends to be inexpensive, using synthetic materials and base metals.

The term ‘costume jewellery’ dates back centuries. In the 18th century jewellers created pieces with inexpensive glass. By the early 20th century, jewellery was typically created to mimic fine pieces using fewer precious gemstones or materials than the original. For example, 1920’s jewellery often used marcasite, a metallic stone, for diamonds or jade used as a substitute for emeralds and so on. This kind of ‘imitation’ jewellery gave the public an opportunity previously only available to the elite and was often marketed as ‘reproduction’ jewellery.

Pros And Cons of Fine and Fashion Jewellery

Firstly, it’s important to say that both fine and fashion jewellery can be equally as beautiful. Your tastes might prefer the versatility of fashion jewellery, or you might prefer to have one more expensive fine piece that you treasure.

The distinct pro of fine jewellery is quality. With precious metals and gemstones, you can really tell the quality of the piece and it will certainly last with the right care. Genuine diamonds are the most durable gemstone, rated the hardest gemstone in the world and will last several generations. The rarity of some gemstone’s attributes to the con, which is, ofc course, the price! Fine jewellery can reach eyewatering prices, with some of the most expensive pieces of jewellery sold at auction reaching up to $70 million. 

In contradiction, fashion jewellery’s pro is its price. Generally, more affordable, fashion jewellery can be enjoyed by many! It’s also a great way to try out new trends and styles before committing to the real deal. Fashion jeweller’s downfall is of course it’s durability, but if you wanted to trial a certain style or you have an outfit that just needs sometimes specific fashion jewellery is the perfect fast fix.

Fine Jewellery Versus Fashion Jewellery

Value Of Fashion Versus Fine

In some cases, fashion jewellery can hold value, especially sentimental! Beautiful fashion pieces you bought, inherited or were given can hold sentimental value, which is often considered more valuable than financial value. Fashion jewellery is certainly not worthless and can be highly desirable. Many designer brands manufacture fashion jewellery to accompany their designs. Coco Chanel famously introduced costume jewellery to her collections in 1914, turning it into a symbol of modern style. Although generally costume jewellery is more affordable, pieces with good craftsmanship and designer labels often fetch a high price. However, due to the craftsmanship and materials discussed earlier, fine jewellery is considered more valuable than fashion, and often comes at a much higher price point.

If you want to find out the value of your jewellery, we recommend speaking to your local auction house or alternatively you find groups such as the National Association of Jewellers will provide a service to appraise your pieces.

In conclusion, both types of jewellery can hold sentimental value but fine jewellery certainly has the edge when it comes to precious metals and gemstones. Fashion jewellery compliments the fast pace of fashion trends and can be worn for a couple seasons for the ‘in’ look whilst fine jewellery is crafted to last a lifetime and will only appreciate over time.

The author’s views are entirely their own and may not always reflect the views of AC Silver.

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