Costume Jewelry vs. Fine Jewelry– A Review

I was recently asked why this site does not promote fine jewelry in addition to costume jewelry (I often display costume jewelry women necklaces), and my initial response was that fine jewelry is too expensive and that it’s probably difficult for many people to make such a purchase.  But then I thought, who am I to decide for others? The best I may be able to do, perhaps, is to present a comparison of some of the most obvious differences between costume and fine jewelry. As with other competing products, I’m sure that there are many pros and cons to each side. That being the case, here’s what I’m able to present for now. In the end, though, you’ll have to be the judge as to whether there is a better way to go; your own circumstances will determine that.

There is a well accepted understanding that says that fine jewelry is made of precious metals such as gold, silver, platinum, and the like, whereas costume jewelry is made of just about anything else.  The end result being that the cost to manufacture fine jewelry is much higher. 

Costume jewelry, of course, is more affordable and easily accessible, whereas fine jewelry tends to be pricier. However, price is not the determining factor all the time, since it’s quite possible to find a wonderfully well crafted piece of fine jewelry for a price not consistent with the more expensive genre, perhaps a fancy diamond stone set in 18k gold for the price of a high end costume piece.

Be that as it may, here’s a table that broadly describes the attributes of both types of jewelry.  Please note that the images shown to the right of the table came from Amazon, and the ones below, from ItsHot.

Custome Jewelry

Fine Jewelry

  • Inexpensive
    • We found a site (7 Charming Sisters) where the initial banner is “Shop Top Styles for Only $7 (yes, only $7)”. In my opinion that is inexpensive! Even if that’s loss-leader, the site sells many pieces for prices not much higher than that
  • Easily Accessible
    • Finding a costume jewelry store has never been easier. The Internet is a wonderful tool, and doing a search through your favorite search engine will give you not only an innumerable list of online stores, but also brick and mortar stores close to your location.
  • Low Quality Risk
    • One risk that is always present is the fact that at the lowest prices, the quality of your piece may be lower that you’d hoped for. The old saying “you get what you pay for” is certainly applicable here, along with the sage advice “Buyer Beware”. What more can be said?
  • Shorter Life Span
    • When the quality of an item is lower, there great risk of breakage, dullness, scratching, or other imperfections that would make the continued enjoyment of that piece questionable. Most people get a piece of jewelry to proudly display it, and that’s where the enjoyment comes in. If the piece in question is less than perfect, that’s bound to reflect on the wearer’s pride and confidence.
  • Pricey
    • At the opposite end of the scale, we have seen simple (yet gorgeous) bracelets for close to $50,000, watches for over $80,000, and brooches for $166,000. Finding these items may take a bit longer, but they are there, all of them at the Cartier site. It’s a good guess that few people will have the desire to purchase at Cartier, but I found a fine jewelry site (ItsHot) that offers prices far from Cartier’s, while at the same time, offering an enticing product.
  • Difficult to Find
    • Even if high priced fine jewelry is widely available, finding just the right piece to suit your teste could take a little longer, especially when you consider that the expense for the item is considerable, so you want to be sure that your investment will yield the desired return, namely a treasure you can keep for a long time, and potentially pass on to your heirs.
  • Could be Fake
    • What about the possibility that after finding the piece of you dreams you discover that it is fake? the experience can be traumatic, to say the least. Depending on the merchant you aquired the merchandise from, recovery from such an event could go from simply an inconvenience to an arduous and unforgettable trek. Not hat you’d expect after paying a premium for your discovery.
  • Safekeeping expenses
    • There can also be a cost associated with safekeeping. Once you’ve identified and acquired that special possession, you’ll need to make sure that it stays in your possession. You may need to pay for insurance, or you may need to make use of a safe, or you may need to find a way to decrease the risk of losing your jewelry. All of these items have a cost associated with them, and must be taken into account.
ItsHot Diamond Wedding Rings
ItsHot Valentine's Day
ItsHot Men's Diamond Jewelry
ItsHot Valentine's Day

Of course, there are many more attributes that can determine differences between the two types of jewelry; you may have observed them yourself, even if not listed here. The point is that there are some differences that will make a person decide one way or the other, and that decision is always personal, even if not always determined by price as I foolishly though when the question was first posed to me.  It just may be that costume jewelry women necklaces is not what all visitors to this sire are looking for…!

What’s your opinion? Given a choice, which way would you go? Do you have a suggestion that could be incorporated here for others to consider? As for me, I will certainly reconsider my initial feeling when the question came up. I have determined that I will not decide for others, and that I will present both costume and fine jewelry here, and that I will give the opportunity to the prospective buyers to make their own decision.

Please let me know how you view these differences and what other differences you think are relevant. I’ll be sure to make adjustments to refine my view of things.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. My personal feeling is that fine jewelry is over priced in most cases . Ask your self how many times have you walked past a jewelry store offer a huge discount 60%-70% off. Then ask your self this , do your really think they are selling the discounted  fine jewelry at a lose ? I have actually seen jewelry stores having a going out of business sale only to reopen in a new location in the shopping mall …What the Heck ?? I honestly couldn’t tell you if the $7000.00 wedding ring  my buddy bought recently is real or a cubic zirconia , I wonder if he can ? I guess if you have the money to spend on fine jewelry go for it , Costume jewelry is just fine in my honest opinion.

    1. Thanks for your honest opinion Rick, I have a feeling that many people will agree with you.  May be not most fine jewelry purveyors, though!

      All the same, I too wonder how a brooch that costs more than a house can be justified.  In the end, like you say, “…if you have the money to spend […] go for it”.

      Thanks again for the comment.


  2. You are right about the advantages and disadvantages of costume and fine jewelry. I think it is up to the occasion or the wearer. Younger people nowadays prefer costume jewelry since they can express theirselves or show their personality more in costume jewelries. Older people prefer fine jewelries because this category of people are attending more formal parties or occasions. I think it is better to have both.

    1. Dan:

      Thanks for your comments.  You have identified another difference that I’d not considered, and it probably should have been obvious to me.  You’re absolutely right, younger people tend to be more expressive of their personalities and tastes.  And of course, the older generation seems to be more a keeper of tradition.

      Thanks again,


  3. Although custome jewelry is  the Choice I would go for my self. But you  can’t make choice for others you should always let them decide on what they want wherther is custome jewelry or fine jewelry the the buyer should be one to decide for themselves not be presenting both options for yours readers so they can make their own informed decision depending on their financial  Power

    1. Thanks Charles.  Wise word, indeed…!


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