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TrueFacet's Fine Jewelry and Watch Guide

What is the Difference Between Costume and Fine Jewelry?

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Whether you’re buying an engagement ring, a Rolex watch, a pair of Tiffany and Co. earrings, or diamond cufflinks, you have one thing on your mind- knowing this is “real” jewelry and not a knockoff or fake. When you shop with us, we don’t want you to ever wonder if you’re buying the real thing. That’s why we want to go over a few things with you, like how to tell genuine fine jewelry from costume jewelry.

The term costume jewelry describes pieces that are usually constructed of mass-produced, inexpensive materials. Most of it is constructed with plated metal, meaning only a thin coat of the expensive metal is applied on another, less expensive metal. In general it is not hard to tell the difference between this and the better-quality items, as long as you know what you’re looking for.

How can you know for sure? What’s the difference? By far, the number one difference between costume jewelry and fine jewelry is the materials the piece is made with. Costume jewelry or fashion jewelry is made from plastic, brass, copper, aluminum, glass, and crystals. Silver, gold, and platinum are used in luxury jewelry. When the yellow or white gold is at least 10 karats or higher, then it can be classified as fine jewelry. It all comes down to the quality of the metal that is used in the piece. If a piece isn’t real gold, it isn’t fine jewelry- plain and simple!

Diamonds and other precious stones are found in fine jewelry as well. Costume jewelry pieces may also have simulated stones created in a lab to look similar to the real deal. Real diamonds consist of pure carbon, whereas synthetic stones are often made of cubic zirconium, glass, and quartz. Stones are considered fine jewelry when they are natural and possess all the visual, physical, and chemical properties of mined gemstones. Naturally formed pearls are categorized as fine jewellery. Cultured pearls also fall in the fine jewelry category, because they are cultivated in the oysters and are therefore considered to be natural.

When you buy fine jewelry, you can pass down these pieces to family members, as they will last for generations to come when cared for properly. Costume jewelry isn’t made to last. These pieces will be broken or tarnished in just a few years, if they even last that long. That is why they are far less expensive.

You can always buy with confidence when you shop on our website, because these pieces are authentic fine jewelry. We don’t just say it; we promise it! Our Authenticity Promise means you can focus on the stunning pieces and not whether or not it is a cheap costume knockoff. This confidence is something we are proud to give you!