What is the difference between costume and fashion jewelry? Is there really a difference or do we use the words interchangeably? Maybe a better question is should we use the words interchangeably? To find an answer, we first need to go back in time a bit and review the history of jewelry.Although the use of materials, or specifically gold, to adorn the body easily dates back to Egypt in 3000 BC as evidenced by finds in tombs such as Tutankhamen’s, we need to move forward to the 13th Century in Medieval Europe and England when Sumptuary Laws were enacted, to see the beginning of “fake” jewelry. Commoners, or yeomen and artisans, were forbidden from wearing gold, silver, pearls or gemstones. Since precious gemstones and pearls were highly prized, a market developed for good glass imitations. The Italians, especially those from the glass making areas of Venice and Murano, began to make imitation glass gems and pearls that were of very high quality.By the 17th Century, garments had become very ornamental utilizing jewelry pieces called dress ornaments on the stomacher, or front, sleeves and skirts. It became acceptable to wear fake jewelry by day and fine or real jewelry by evening. Pearls were worn in abundance and during this era, Jaquin of Paris patented a process for making fake pearls. About the same time, a compound of white lead oxide and potash, called paste, was developed and became widely used for making fake gems. These fake gems were pasted onto theatrical costumes, thus becoming known as costume jewelry.Moving forward to the late 1800’s, jewelry production started to move to America and Australia, and resulted in lower quality standards. Resistance to the lesser quality pieces prompted jewelers such as Tiffany to begin to make very high quality fine jewelry. By the early 1900’s, we began to see recognizable names influencing the mass produced jewelry industry. Designers such as Rene Lalique, Coco Chanel, Elsa Schiaparelli and Napier made fake or faux jewelry fun and fashionable. This faux jewelry was more commonly known as cocktail jewelry, or costume jewelry, thus popularizing the term.The Second World War saw fine jewelry dwindle in production since metals were rationed. Quality costume jewelry flourished, and the post-war 1950’s Art Deco period signaled the acceptance of more extravagant costume jewelry. Some of these quality pieces have attained vintage status making them of interest to collectors. The 1980’s and 1990’s saw the influence of TV shows, movies, and celebrity sponsorships, make costume jewelry fashionable. And the term fashion jewelry came in vogue and began to refer to any jewelry that was not considered fine or real jewelry.The usage of the terms costume and fashion jewelry has become analogous and interchangeable, and is often based on tradition and locality. Anything of lesser value and lesser quality materials than fine gold, silver, or diamond jewelry is now referred to as costume or fashion. In today’s usage, while costume jewelry is generally thought to be less expensive than fashion jewelry, many components are common to both. Costume jewelry will often have gold plating over pewter, nickel or even lead, and may contain beads or gems made of plastic or acrylic. Fashion jewelry usually will be one step higher in quality, utilizing electroplated gold or silver over brass, gold over silver, or even sterling silver as the metal base and may be accented with high-end crystals, simulated gemstones, CZ, semi-precious stones, or other natural materials. Styling in fashion jewelry will often imitate real or fine jewelry designs.So to answer the original question, what is the difference between costume and fashion jewelry, we must draw a very fine line of distinction. Looking at the quality, materials, design, and price should help clarify which terminology fits the situation. Either is correct; neither is incorrect! But personally, I prefer the term fashion jewelry as I want to be fashionable, not attired in a costume!
Jewelry is one of the most personal things you can give someone as a gift, a jewelry that has a story to tell, that was given for a reason from someone and for something is always much more precious than the price of the stones and gems in the jewelry itself.The history of jewelry is in fact the story of custom made jewelry, usually when the people wanted to award someone with a prize or with a token of appreciation they found a way to make a jewelry that fitted the occasion, naturally the taxation system soon followed and the monarchs were the next to get the unique works of early jewelry makers.Today it is far more difficult to make custom made jewelry since it is much more expensive than the regular, mass produced jewelry that is out on the market, but most people discover that with a little effort you can almost always find a way to make your jewelry unique and special, without the need to resort to buying something of a shelf, that will immediately be replaced by the same piece.There are many young artists and students who learn the art of making jewelry, it is always a good thing to look for one talented person that is only at the beginning of his or her way and try to create something together, on your side you will be receiving a unique piece of jewelry and the other you will help an artist in his way. Young artists and students are also very keen on making jewelry and will put a lot of attention and heart into their work, this is something that will be very hard to find in today’s market.The jewelry industry, as many other industries, has changed because of the internet, today you can compare prices and even compare the jewelry online without doing the foot work and walking from shop to shop, fighting off the sales people as you go. The fact that the information is available on the internet can make the life of a unique jewelry seeker a little easier, once you understand what you have in mind will involve and you have a good idea of how much you want to spend, you can start looking for young freelances that offer their services on the internet.For those who have the means and can spend a little more, it is always a good idea to look at as many jewelry design shops as you can, once you find someone that does things you like and you think that this person could interpret what you have in mind in a good way, walk in and start talking, many of the designers will be happy to try new directions and you just may find that the jewelry designer will be more interested in you that you in the jewelry.Getting a unique, custom made jewelry for someone is so special that the value of the stones and material is not important, what makes the jewelry is the intention, the idea and the communication that it has to the person that will use it, this is why everyone looking for jewelry should at least consider getting custom made jewelry.
We all know that when a bride to be has already spent practically twenty years planning her wedding before she even knows who the groom is, the image that she dreams of is how she will look on her wedding day. Every little detail counts and is carefully pondered upon before making the all important wedding decisions.The first part of the dream is “The Dress”, the wedding gown, her day, her style. The selection of the wedding gown is one of the most important items a bride to be must decide upon. The dress no matter what the style should always be a selection that the bride to be feels elegant and beautiful in. Whether a bride envisions herself in a simple white gown, a lacy gown or a bright pink gown, the bride’s attitude in the dress is what makes that bride an individual and beautiful bride on her wedding day. The selection of the wedding gown should always remain fun and as stress free as possible, buy what makes you feel beautiful.Now that the dress has been chosen, you have been measured and the all important deposit has been made, you are committed to “The Dress”, you need to finish off your bridal look for your wedding day. This is where all of the little details that you hem and haw about for hours come together to make a magnificent and magical combination of the perfect bride! The shoes, the garter, the something old something new and last but certainly not least, the bridal jewelry!The bridal jewelry that the bride to be decides upon should coordinate with the wedding gown she has selected to wear for the big wedding day. Keeping in mind the style of your dress, the bridal jewelry selection must be made with as careful of attention to detail as when choosing your wedding gown. The bridal jewelry chosen by the bride should finish off your look and bring the entire ensemble together.Some suggestions to follow as to the style of dress you are wearing to match the style of the bridal jewelry you will wear follows.Open Backed Dress – When wearing an open back dress, adding a bridal jewelry lariat is a great way to add the final detail to show off your beautiful wedding gown. A bridal lariat is a piece of bridal jewelry that the bride wears around her neck like a normal necklace; however; the back of the neck will have a longer dangling piece of jewelry to finish off the look. Depending upon the piece of bridal jewelry, lariats can be purchased that are adjustable, which will be a better fit for any bride with a backless dress. Another great way to show off a backless dress is a bridal jewelry choker or bridal jewelry collar with a hanging jewel embellishment in the back. Bridal chokers have become a very modern and popular choice for brides that want an edgier bridal look and feel that still embraces the classic and elegant bride.V Neck Dress – When a bride is wearing a v neck style wedding gown, Y- drop necklaces are a very nice touch for bridal necklace jewelry. The Y- drop necklace takes the same angles as the v neck wedding gown line. Bridal chokers are also a great selection for the bride that is wearing a v line dress. The choker gives clean lines and does not distract from the v neck style of dress. Regular simple and double strand necklaces also work very nicely for this style of wedding gown, as they provide a simple but elegant style that compliments the v neck.Square Top Dress – For the brides that select a very traditional square top wedding gown, simple single strand and double strand bridal jewelry necklaces are a great way to finish off the neckline. They bring contrast and attract the eye towards the cut of the dress. For a very clean lined look, bridal jewelry chokers are the most perfect style of bridal jewelry necklines for the square top dress. The bridal choker has become more and more popular as the years pass, now with so many options available; brides are finding it easier to select the perfect bridal jewelry choker that fits the style of their gowns.The Sweetheart Gown – The sweetheart gown style of wedding gown is accessorized nicely with a y – drop necklace, as it follows the line of the top of the wedding gown. Also with this style of gown, bridal chokers go nicely, as well as pendant necklace and simple round necklaces. The sweetheart gown is such a nice choice; the bridal jewelry that you select to wear with the gown should always compliment that neckline.Strapless Dress – When a bride wears a strapless gown, there are many options for the bridal jewelry necklace. A bridal jewelry choker is such a great way to compliment the line of the top of the dress. A choker brings a symmetrical and parallel line, and adding a sparkly pearl or swarovski crystal bridal jewelry choker or collar with a strapless gown is so elegant and sophisticated. In addition to the bridal choker, simple pendant necklaces as well as single strand and multi-strand necklaces make great choices for the strapless style wedding gown. Wearing a strapless gown draws much attention to the shoulders and neck region, so wearing the perfect bridal jewelry that looks spectacular with that line of dress is very important for your bridal look.Halter Top Dress – The halter top dress calls for a certain type of bridal jewelry. A dangle backed necklace or lariat are perfect for this line of wedding gown. The attention is drawn on the front and the back, making use of the entire wedding gown to compliment your bridal jewelry. A halter dress also looks beautifully pulled together with a y drop necklace or pendant necklace. The y drop necklace was just about made for this style of wedding gown; the y drop centers the entire look and feel of this type of gown.Off The Shoulder Dress – When wearing an off of the shoulder dress, any style of bridal jewelry necklace works. A regular single or double strand necklace can frame out your entire bridal look with simplicity. If you choose to wear a bridal jewelry choker, that brings the eyes up to the face with ease as it finished off your bridal look. Y drop and lariats work great with the off the shoulder dress. Depending upon how much of your back shows, a lariat can look elegant from behind when standing at the alter, and a y drop necklace really brings focus to the bride with this gown. What ever style you choose for this line of dress, you cannot go wrong.One Shoulder Dress or Asymmetric Dress – With the asymmetric gown, it is best to choose a great bracelet and pair of earrings, as a necklace will look unbalanced and unnatural. The one shoulder dress is a bold move; wear a bold bracelet and glamorous earrings.Scoop Necked Gown – When wearing the scooped neck gown a simple one or multi-strand necklace is perfect. A necklace such as the simple one to five strand bridal necklaces will frame out the top of your wedding gown perfectly. A bridal jewelry choker is also a really nice selection for this style of dress. It is a simple and even topper to the scoop neckline, a great selection.Whatever your dress selection, choose bridal jewelry that makes you feel gorgeous when you put it on. Your bridal jewelry is your icing on the cake and the selection of the bridal jewelry is just as important as the selection of the gown. Your bridal jewelry will be bridal accessories that you cherish for a life time. You will never wear your wedding gown after the big day, but you can wear your bridal jewelry when ever you want to. Wearing your bridal jewelry is your memory to the most special day in your life. What ever your bridal jewelry selection, look spectacular on your wedding day because you waited for this special moment for a lifetime!