What Is Costume Jewelry?

What Is Costume Jewelry?

Fine jewelry is made from precious metals and precious gemstones. Costume jewelry is…everything else. 

What Is Costume Jewelry?

In this blog we will walk you through costume jewelry and what you need to know in order to make an informed purchase.

What Is Costume Jewelry Made Of?

In this section we will start by teaching you what costume jewelry is typically made of:

Base Metals, Plated Metals, and Simulated Stones

While fine jewelry is made of gold, sterling silver, platinum, or other precious metals, costume jewelry is made from gold or silver-plated metals, brass, bronze, or other low-quality base metals and alloys. Instead of diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and other precious stones, costume jewelry uses synthetic stones that mimic the real ones.

These costume jewelry pieces may look exactly like fine jewelry pieces. However, they are much less expensive. They are not as long lasting as fine jewelry. Fine jewelry can be treasured and passed down for generations. Costume jewelry will fall apart. Fine jewelry can be considered an investment, while costume jewelry is just a temporary adornment.

Other Materials

Costume jewelry can be made from other materials besides metals and jewels. Some are made from leather, textiles, or cords and beads. Anything from a homemade friendship bracelet to an intricate designer piece with leather and fabric is considered costume jewelry.

What Is “Semi-Fine” Jewelry?

Sometimes designers make fine jewelry and sometimes they make costume jewelry. You can always check a piece to see if it has a hallmark. Hallmarks are small stamps in the metal that indicates if it is really a precious metal. A designer piece of costume jewelry may be expensive only because it carries the designer’s name on it.

Some people consider jewelry containing gold vermeil, gold or silver plating, gold filling, and inexpensive real gems “semi-fine” jewelry. Others consider anything that is not one hundred per cent precious metals and precious stones costume jewelry.

Why Do People Purchase Costume Jewelry?

It’s fun!  Not everything in life has to be long-lasting and valuable. Maybe you just want some sparkle and bling to complement a great outfit, an accessory to your business attire, or a little color around your finger, ear, neck, nose, or wherever. Costume jewelry can add to your self-expression without costing you a lot of money.

The Drawbacks of Costume Jewelry

Many times, the metals that costume jewelry is made of trigger allergies in some people. The wearer may get contact dermatitis with rashes and itchiness where the item touches the skin. The skin of the wearer might turn green with some items of costume jewelry

Costume jewelry can not be repaired if it is broken. It is less long-lasting than fine jewelry and once broken, it’s no good anymore. Whereas fine jewelry can usually be repaired. Costume jewelry may tarnish or bend, which makes it unusable.

Should You Purchase Fine Jewelry Or Costume Jewelry?

It’s a great idea to have a mixture of both costume jewelry and fine jewelry. The costume jewelry can be fun little trinkets to brighten your mood. It can be slightly more expensive pieces that make you look like a million dollars, while the worth of the jewelry itself is much less.

Fine jewelry is always classic. It can be cherished by your family for generations. It can be a symbol of enduring love and life. Fine jewelry can be an investment and grow in value through the years.


The craftspeople and gemologists at Luvari are here to help with all your jewelry-related questions. We can determine if your piece is fine jewelry or an imitation. We can repair fine jewelry. We can explain all the different nuances of different materials and designs. We offer a wide variety of fantastic pieces, but if you don’t find what you are looking for, we can custom design your own treasure. Our designers can work on bringing your jewelry design to life. Call or email us at any time. We want you to be thrilled with your jewelry selection.

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