Costume Jewelry – For Those of Us With Personality

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Costume jewelry is absolutely perfect when it comes to adding diversity and a sheer sense of adventure to your collection. Unlike fine jewelry which seems positively destined to be labeled as classic or elegant, costume pieces can allow the wearer to display the varying facets of their personality. And if its elegance and traditional grandeur you're looking for, then vintage costume jewelry is definitely the way to go and features an assortment of pieces and designs that span over seven decades! You name it, costume pieces are available in any style or type, including:

  • Bracelets
  • Necklaces
  • Pendants
  • Anklets
  • Charm Bracelets
  • Rings
  • Earrings

Also referred to as fashion jewelry, costume pieces can be made out of a wide assortment of materials, including:

  • Sterling Silver
  • Gold Plate
  • Rhinestones of varying quality
  • Glass
  • Semi-precious stones like amethyst, topaz, and moonstone
  • Beads
  • Bakelite

Essentially, the value of the metal and gemstones used to make jewelry is what distinguishing the fine from the costume variety. However, there are actually a large number of factors that help determine the price of vintage costume pieces, including:

  • Market Demand
  • Available Supply
  • Materials Used
  • Originality of Design
  • Durability / Craftsmanship

Essentially, there is both cheap costume jewelry and the more expensive and higher quality vintage pieces. There are still some companies making high quality pieces today but far fewer than during the heyday of the 1920's through the 1960's. Depending on your personal taste, you can find elegant pieces for more formal occasions as well as a host of items that can just be fun to wear around the house. Although costume or fashion jewelry started to wane in popularity in the late 1970's and beyond, it has since made a big comeback and is more popular than ever – and not just in America! It is quite customary in contemporary Indian weddings for the participants to spend vast sums of money purchasing specialized "wedding costume jewelry".

In some cases, the jewelry is only purchased and worn for the wedding itself so it is not only fashionable to purchase the costume pieces – it is very practical as well! Authentic Indian costume jewelry, if 20 years or older and relatively rare, is actually a collector's item and can command relatively large collections at flea markets, on eBay, etc.

But while you are looking for jewelry to attend a wedding or simply to add some diversity and unique styling to your collection, costume pieces are a welcome breath of fresh air in a world seemingly dominated by diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and gold. Collectors of vintage costume jewelry love the challenge of sorting through bin after bin of seemingly "worthless" pieces to find the rare gems that are prized by enthusiasts and lay people alike. If you take the time and know what to look for, collecting vintage costume jewelry can be a very profitable hobby!