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If you’re like most, you will be hugely disappointed, perhaps even angry, that your partner has been such a ‘cheapskate’.
But is that fair? Or even right?
Let’s look at the plus side of a cubic zirconia ring.
What if you hated your partner’s choice of ring? It would be heartbreaking to tell your partner it wasn’t what you wanted. But it would be worse still to live for decades with something you hate.
Proposing with a cubic zirconia ring means you have something sparkly to show to the world while you go and find your dream one.
Having a cubic zirconia ring instead of diamond would also leave spare cash in your bank account. This could be used for a deposit on a place of your own, payment toward the wedding or even the honeymoon itself.
We are conditioned to believe that if you are expecting an important piece of jewelry, it has to be the real thing. It doesn’t matter that most wouldn’t question the look of cubic zirconia.
Or that unless you’re a jeweler, you probably couldn’t tell the difference.
But once you know, you know. Right?
Well yes, but it’s worth knowing the myths surrounding cubic zirconia before discounting it as a possibility.
To understand our conception regarding fashion jewelry, we need to look at its history.
Early Fashion Jewelry
It seems hard to believe, but fashion jewelry has been part of our culture for about 300 years.
Jewelers made pieces with inexpensive glass during the 18th century followed in the 19th by pieces made of semi-precious materials.
These low-cost prices made it possible for common people to own various items they would otherwise never have had the chance to own.
The 20th century saw the advent of the industrial revolution, and the demand for trendy fashion jewelry increased ever higher. People realized it was both possible and affordable to own beautiful, machine-made replicas of admired and sought-after heirlooms.
And they wanted in.
Fashion jewelry hasn’t stopped gathering strength ever since, yet the stigma of wearing replica or fashion instead of the real deal remains.
Is Fashion Jewelry Tacky?
We all see famous women adorning the front covers of magazines wearing emerald or diamond earrings as big as plates. You know they’re real, you know you couldn’t possibly afford them.
But you could buy almost the same in fashion jewelry.
The thing is, should you? Is fashion jewelry tacky?
The truth is yes, and no.
Good quality fashion pieces don’t have to be tacky and if you accessorize sparingly they’ll do you proud.
There are some excellent trendy fashion jewelry pieces to be had and worn carefully, they will look almost as good as the real thing.
The difference between a woman looking fabulous in her fashion jewelry or downright awful is usually what she’s wearing, and how she wears it.
Drown yourself in jewelry and yes, you’ll end up looking tacky. At this point whether your jewelry is fine or fashion is unimportant. Learn to know when to stop!
Because of its affordability, we tend to be less attentive to our fashion jewelry. Mis-matching, layering and not being afraid to wear it whenever and however we like.
It could also be said that part of the stigma relating to fashion jewelry and its perception for being tacky, is down to people wearing fake jewelry badly.
Thus, those who wear only fine jewelry regard those who wear fashion as unworthy imposters.
If you’re unsure how you should wear your fashion jewelry, take a look online at the people you are trying to emulate. Most famous people whether photographed at a gala or going to the shops wear jewelry sparingly.
Look at these examples taken from various Oscar ceremonies here.
It really is a case of less is more (mostly!)
The Difference Between Fake & Fashion Jewelry
There is nothing wrong with buying imitation jewelry if you know that you’re buying it, and what you’re buying.
Sadly, in some cases, it’s almost impossible to tell the difference between fake and fashion jewelry.
Trendy fashion jewelry is available in many different qualities. From the relatively cheap to ‘bridge’ jewelry, named so because it bridges fine and fashion.
Usually plated in gold, silver or rhodium, at the lower end of the fashion jewelry spectrum the jewelry is made with base metals and simulated stones. At the higher end, items are gold-filled or silver and semi-precious stones are used. Bridge jewelry can cost thousands but looks great and wears well.
It’s often easy to spot the cheap, fake jewelry.
Instead of looking chic, these items just look downright trashy and gives fashion jewelry a bad name. The finish can vary drastically from piece to piece and the stones are mostly cheap glass. Some coatings are so flimsy you can scratch it off with your nails.
The problem we face today is that with so much jewelry sold online, it’s difficult to know how to spot fake jewelry items from quality. Clever photography can make the cheapest item look amazing.
With the selling of budget imitation jewelry on the increase, it’s getting more and more difficult to tell what is real – and what is not.
Is there a foolproof way of knowing how to spot fake jewelry?
Sounds obvious, but usually, the easiest way to tell is the price.
With so many avenues for buying open to us, it stands to reason it’s an open house for scammers. What seems to be the bargain of the century online will, within weeks, or perhaps even hours, probably end up in the trash.
Check online customer reviews before parting with your money.
It’s not just poorly made jewelry that is considered fake.
At one time fine jewelry was made with genuine precious materials and 18kt gold. Using mostly diamonds these pieces were made into classic styles transcending the whimsy of fashion.
Fashion jewelry, on the other hand, was made to be fun and used affordable metals and semi-precious stones. Never would the two meet and those who wore fine jewelry poured scorn on those that didn’t.
Eventually, fine jewelers recognized the need to move with the times, copying fine jewelry pieces and making counterfeit jewelry by introducing semi-precious materials into trendy fashion jewelry pieces.
They say that imitation is the severest form of flattery, but is it ethical?
When an artist has spent hours designing, shaping and making a unique jewelry piece, the last thing they want is for someone to steal their design without their permission.
In the fashion industry, counterfeit jewelry is rife, with high-end pieces being copied and sold online for a fraction of the cost.
Retailers love jumping on a fashion bandwagon and seize every opportunity to sell cheap, fake jewelry copies of celebrity pieces. Made with thinly coated metal, over-sized claws and glass instead of semi-precious stones, these items cost less than your usual coffee.
And will last just as long.
This article for instance on fake Pandora, shows how clever copy items are.
Like most things, however, you get what you pay for, and if an item of jewelry seems to be too good to be true, it usually is.
Trendy Fashion Jewelry.
Often the finishing touch to an outfit, wearing fine jewelry makes you feel confident about yourself and your appearance.
For special evenings out, a pair of elegant diamond earrings will sparkle and catch everyone’s eye.
A pair of pearl studs will complement almost any work outfit, especially if teamed with a single strand pearl necklace.
When we put on fine jewelry, we feel special.
The problem, if you can call it that, is that fine jewelry has limitations. Fine jewelry is bought sparingly and some are afraid to wear it daily for fear of losing it.
This is where trendy fashion jewelry has the upper hand.
Fashion changes every season and each time a new outfit cruises down the runway, so does a new jewelry fashion trend.
As much as we love our fine jewelry, we also love new fashion.
Mainly affordable, we can spoil ourselves each season, giving us the chance to buy more items to accessorize our outfits.
There will always be a place for both fine and fashion jewelry.
We are fortunate today that online buying and social media gives us an unprecedented amount of choice for either.
Unfortunately, this freedom also comes with an increased risk of being tricked into buying fake jewelry items.
Always look for the signs that the site has a secure checkout.
Do you have a preference over fine or fashion jewelry? Have you ever bought imitation because you liked what a celebrity was wearing?
Share in the comments below!