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Costume Jewelry 101: A Crash Course


If you love jewelry, nine times out of ten you’ll have a large selection of costume jewelry for every occasion. Even if you don’t love jewelry, costume jewelry is a great way to add a little flair to your outfit for special occasions.


While fine jewelry is always fabulous, it can be a bit above some of our price ranges. If you’re on a budget, costume, also known as fashion, jewelry is very inexpensive and comes in a wide array of styles to suit any tastes. So how did costume jewelry come about?


Costume jewelry has been a part of our culture since the early 18th century, where it was made with glass. Fast forward a bit, and it started to be made from inexpensive simulated gemstones and set in pewter, silver, nickel, or brass. Modern costume jewelry is made from a much larger pool of materials, including high end crystals, cubic zirconia, semi-precious stones, gold or silver plated brass, and sterling silver.


Costume jewelry is so incredibly popular today due to Hollywood movies of the ‘40s and ‘50s. Actresses would wear expensive pieces and then endorse ‘knock offs’ created by other designers. This allowed regular, every day people to wear the styles they so admired, giving costume jewelry a set place in our wardrobes.


When choosing your costume jewelry, or any jewelry for that matter, make sure you’ll actually wear it. It doesn’t matter if it’s $30 or $300, if you don’t wear it – it’s money wasted.


Start by choosing pieces that are always in style and suit multiple occasions, like ‘pearl’ earrings and necklaces, ‘diamond’ studs, and a nice cocktail ring. If you don’t find yourself particularly enjoying a certain metal tone, go for the one you like most.


If you want to begin expanding your collection, start by showing off your own personal style. Begin incorporating statement necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. While the faux pearls and diamonds will always be in style, statement pieces often go in and out. Spend a bit more money on the former and a bit less on the latter if you’re trying to get the most bang for your buck.


At the end of the day, all jewelry, both fine and costume, should be chosen because you love them. Always keep your own preferences at the forefront, and regardless of ‘trend’, select the pieces that speak to you the most.



If you’re looking to find the perfect piece of fashion jewelry to add to or begin your collection, visit IMG Jewelers. We are a quality jeweler that has served the Cleveland area for more than 50 years. Please stop by our Lyndhurst showroom and we can help you select the perfect piece. You can also contact us with any questions.




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