“Costume jewelry is not made to give women an aura of wealth,
but to make them beautiful”
― Coco Chanel
Costume jewellery in a nutshell has been described as:
- Fashion jewellery
- Fake jewellery
- Junk jewellery
- Fashion statement pieces
- Cosmetic jewellery
There is more to costume jewellery then meets the eye. First off, it has been around for a while.
Bangle bracelets, cocktail rings and geometric jewellery designs were a big hit during the Art Deco period. Between the 1920’s-1930’s [considered the Art Deco period] Coco Chanel embellished the costume jewellery movement. Her style [and outfits] always seemed to be so perfectly complete like a costume, so it is no surprise she topped off her signature pieces with some costume jewellery.
Though costume jewellery came on the radar in the 1920’s it only became popular in the 1930’s.
Secondly, some may think costume jewellery is just large, chunky, or tacky – I beg to differ. What is so excellent about it is it’s diverse and changes [and has changed] with the time just like clothing and furniture trends.
By the mid 1930’s all the way to the 1950’s Retro designs were all the rage. This was when plastics met natural materials. Flowers, moonstones, sunbursts and luxurious looking pieces like brooches were stylish at this time.
The Art Modern period [1945 -1960] came into play nearing the end of the bold and beautiful retro period and brought with it a more scaled down and plain form of costume jewellery. During this period you could get your hands on ornamental pins and charm bracelets.
Costume jewellery has come a very long way since the 1960’s. In more recent years I have noticed with the increased complexity of costume jewellery designs there has been a hefty increase in price. However with this being said if you are thrifty and enjoy the thrill of the hunt you can find some pretty fascinating pieces for a reasonable price. I generally find estate sale [bedrooms] are your best bet.
Sleek and Bold – I love it all! Costume jewellery is here to stay and I cannot wait to dig through the next box of trinkets I find. Sometimes when getting a lot of costume jewellery you can find real fine jewellery mixed in. Some people cannot tell the difference between the two.
The main difference between fake (costume) and real (fine) jewellery is the metals they are made of and the stones [Ex. gemstones need to be real to be considered fine jewellery] placed within the piece. The lifespan of fine jewellery also usually surpasses that of fake jewellery. I have personally seen both real and fake jewellery get passed down from generation to generation. The difference is some pieces are investment pieces and others may just be a walk down memory lane…
With valentines day coming up I am sure many people are thinking about jewellery whether it be new age, vintage, real or fake. Now that we have touched on what fake jewellery is all about come back real soon to learn how to differentiate fine jewellery from costume jewellery.