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Special Report: Fine Jewelry Vs. Costume Jewelry

Is one really better than the other? Read on and tell us which side you're on.
Special Report: Fine Jewelry Vs. Costume Jewelry Is one really better than the other? Read on and tell us which side you're on.

Jewelry has always been linked to class and sophistication, but the landscape has totally changed along the way. What used to be regarded as something that’s meant for royals and elites has evolved to various (and more affordable) media, thus blurring the line from what really is precious and worth shelling out money for. The big question is: Is fine jewelry something that women still aspire to have, or did costume jewelry already fill that gap?

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE MATERIALS, BABY

In general, what sets fine jewelry and costume jewelry apart are the materials. The former is made from precious metals—gold, silver, platinum—adorned with stones of the highest quality such as diamonds, pearls, and other rare gemstones. The latter, on the other hand, is created with a more accessible mix of elements such as wood, leather, brass, beads, and crystals; which, when done right, can actually look more appealing than the former.

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THE BIG MISCONCEPTION

In a world where “the bigger, the better” is somewhat regarded as Bible truth, does that affect the way people see jewelry, or is it really just a question of money?

“The biggest misconception about fine jewelry is that people think they can’t afford it, and then they go off and buy a 17-inch Macbook Pro or a designer handbag which, when you think about it, are equivalent to very respectable [jewelry] pieces already,” says gemologist and jewelry designer Paul Syjuco. He has a point, but why are most people scared to purchase anyway?

Blame it on paranoia (well, we’ve heard too many horror stories of jewelry snatchers in our lifetime), but is that the reason why costume jewelry is experiencing a boom these days? Famed costume accessories designer and PEFTA finalist, Ken Samudio, has this to say: “Life is too short to be always afraid of getting mugged when wearing fine jewelry in these hard times.”

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But renowned third-generation jeweler Janina Dizon Hoschka, begs to differ. “Fine jewelry is not for special occasions only. I’ve always said that there is no special time to wear special jewelry than now. It really is all about the way you style it.” So yes, you can most definitely wear diamond earrings to the mall, but not in Divisoria, of course.