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Costume Jewelry vs. Fine Jewelry in Cleveland: What’s the Difference?

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If you’ve ever purchased jewelry from retail jewelers in Cleveland, you’ve undoubtedly heard the terms “fine jewelry” and “costume jewelry” before. As its name suggests, costume jewelry, also referred to as fashion jewelry, is manufactured as ornamentation. On the other hand, fine jewelry is regarded as a collectible, keepsake, or investment.


The History and Evolution of Costume Jewelry


Costume jewelry dates back to the early 20th century, at a time when outfits were referred to as costumes. Coco Chanel introduced costume jewelry during the Art Deco movement, when industrialization made the mass production of beautiful yet affordable jewelry possible. Even working-class women were able to afford costume jewelry.


Originally, fashion jewelry mostly consisted of long pendants, cocktail rings, bangle bracelets, and elaborate accessories, like cigarette cases, and it was made out of inexpensive materials or imitation gems. Today’s fashion jewelry incorporates a wider range of materials, including the following:


  • High-end crystals
  • Semi-precious stones
  • Plastic
  • Acrylic
  • Leather
  • Wood
  • Sterling silver
  • Vermeil
  • Gold- or silver-plated brass


Costume jewelry was originally meant for wearing with a specific outfit. Like a costume, it was seen as a temporary accessory. While fashion jewelry is more affordable and budget-friendly than fine jewelry in the short-term, it tends to go out of style or get worn out more quickly. It is also easier to overdo it when you wear costume jewelry because it tends to be flashier in appearance. Conversely, fine jewelry is understated and elegant, so a little bit goes a long way.


Why Invest in Fine Jewelry?


Fine jewelry is a significant investment that is built to last and stand the test of time. Fine jewelry is defined as jewelry that is made out of precious metal, such as gold or platinum, and set with precious or semi-precious gemstones. Fine jewelry pays for itself in the long run because it rarely goes out of style and continues to sparkle and turn heads for years to come.


Take a diamond tennis bracelet, for example. This is a simple yet stunning piece of jewelry that will probably never go out of fashion, and it adds brightness to any outfit. You don’t have to wear a ballroom dress to look great in fine jewelry – it is even appropriate for everyday wear. Plus, fine jewelry is so sturdy that it can last long enough to become a family heirloom.


Fine jewelry is also considered safer than costume jewelry. There are costume jewelry manufacturers located throughout the world, with especially high concentrations in India and China. Due to the lack of regulations in the manufacture of such jewelry, small amounts of toxic metals are sometimes added during production.


If you’re looking for fine jewelry stores in Cleveland, look no further than IMG Jewelers. Our stunning jewelry collection is built to last a lifetime and is made right here in the United States, so you don’t have to worry about questionable materials or labor practices and you can rest assured that the jewelry you purchase will be of the utmost quality. Visit our Cleveland jewelry shop today if you’d like to view our jewelry collection in person. 



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