Jewelry Blog

What is Imitation Jewelry?

Write By: Valentin Rosca on


Imitation jewelry is easy, right? The majority of people not only change the subject quickly with it, but they often think that they know what it refers to. Contrary to popular belief, imitations are not the same as replica jewelry. Imitations are also known as costume and fashion jewels and they are widely appreciated for boasting exquisite looks for an affordable price. However, things are not as simple as they seem.  There are also people who claim that costume and fashion jewelry are not the same thing. We have also discussed about this matter in our Ideas for Trendy Fashion Jewelry guide, but we will approach the subject in a more direct matter here.  



The Similarities of Imitations and Costume Jewelry

Woman-holds-her-hat-on-her-headImitation jewels, along with costume jewelry were, in fact, designed for the same purpose: they are meant to look good and be accessible for anyone. While they maintain the same exquisite look, they are a few times cheaper because of the materials that are being used. Gold, silver and platinum are precious metals that require a fine touch and permanent care once they are produced. Imitations, on the other hand, are far easy to take care of and, because of their price, there is absolutely no issue if you lose, mistreat them or if the jewels go through some unfortunate accident. The most common materials that are used for imitations are as follows: nickel, aluminum and pewter. As for the gemstones, you will most likely encounter colored glass, rhinestones and acrylic or plastic beads. Either one of these materials can withstand heavy damage and, despite being broken, give their wearer the freedom to purchase any other jewel at any given time. But why would you want to wear such things in the first place? Where did all the quality talk go? What about all the suggestions about investing into precious metals? As much as we would all like to have exquisite jewels, we have to be a little realistic about the situation. Not anybody can afford premium jewels.


Of course, everyone can save money in order to invest into jewels from time to time, but events do occur while we are saving that money, right? Instead of saving an extra few pounds this month, one can easily resort to imitations for a gorgeous look. But what about taste? It has nothing to do with taste. Or, if it does, a person with good taste will always pick an imitation that looks very natural. Do not fall into the trap of thinking that all imitations are detectable. You would be surprised to find out what beauties you could behold with just a few extra pounds. The trick here is that we could easily fall into a trap that we shouldn’t aim for in the first place. Fashion is a domain which cherishes beauty in all of its forms. The people who desire to look good, even though they do not yet have the funds to do so, will still look better who do not want to look good at all. What is of more importance? Judging one person for not wearing a top brand or admiring them for the cost-efficient beauty they have chosen to look good in? In truth, it is all about the point of view. Imitation jewels help us look better and they also contribute to our confidence a lot. If you look good, you feel good. If you feel naked, you feel exposed. So why not go with imitations instead of nothingness, right?



Tips and Tricks

Girl-with-black-shirt Have you ever wondered why imitation jewelry works in the first place? Of course, jewel experts are able to see whether someone is wearing a great jewel or not, but the large majority can be tricked into thinking that you are wearing some top notch accessories. But how is that? Gold and platinum have a certain glow about them while metals such as pewter or nickel can appear to be quite dull. How does one make up for the missing glow? The answer is simple: you add a little silver and gold to them. This process I called plating. The process is what allows the jewel to remain cost-efficient while also giving the jewel the glow that it needs. Diamonds and gemstones are no exception. Glass blowers always need to keep their senses sharp when they attempt to imitate the shapes and colors that precious stones pride themselves with. They sometimes resort to semi-precious gems which offer some of that beautiful glow and it is also good to know acrylic beads can be used to imitate pearls quite nicely. Suffice it to say that gemstones, in general, are a little harder to imitate. Although manageable, there are many people who consider that, if you want to choose imitation jewels, you are better off going for metals only because they can be trickier to identify.


Then there is the subject of rhinestones. Rhinestones were previously known as rock crystals that had metal flakes in their composition. The fact that they were collected from the Rhine, a famous European river, earned them the name that we are accustomed to today. If you are lucky enough to have had your rhinestone jewels in the hands of an extraordinary artisan, you will notice that they can give the exact diamond glitter under a certain light. This is why they were also called diamante. The art of crafting rhinestones became so popular that people simply needed to differentiate them from actual diamonds. On top of that, Swarovski made rhinestones super popular back in the 50s when certain treatments were presented to the world. These treatments made rhinestones more beautiful than ever and this is why there are plenty of customers worldwide who still order such stones. They are aware that the looks are as realistic as possible and they also come with a fair price.  



What are the Differences?

Girl with-jeans-admires-the-sunThe thing is that fashion and costume jewelry are both imitations. In fact, fashion jewelry is costume jewelry evolved. It all started with people’s needs back in the 30s. Costumes and jewelry were imbued with the heritage feature far more than they are today. Having a costume or a jewel that was two generations old was a great pride but, contrary to what should have been done, these accessories were rarely worn. Bear in mind that we are also talking about things that occurred almost one century ago. Materials were different and production was different, so it is also understandable why people did not want to wear them I the first place. So costume jewelry was born. The jewels were ordered to look like the old ones, but the materials they were made of were a lot cheaper and nobody would mind if they endured a crack or two. It was an economical decision that played its part well and it lived long enough through the years to even become an evolved practice. Fashion jewelry came 50 years later, in the 80s, and it moved away from the usual seriousness to something a little bit more fun. While previous designs were meant to protect older jewels, today’s fashion accessories are only meant to help people keep up with the current trends. The financial factor slightly changed as well. Rather than being a way to save money, purchasing fashion jewels has become more of an investment. The reason is very simple: everyone knows that trend will be cool for one year or two at most. If you are one tight or limited budget there is absolutely no need to invest in luxurious or premium jewels. Keep things simple and buy some imitations. You will not regret the investment. So what is imitation jewelry, in the end? It is an investment. It is a way to maintain a certain look without giving away too much money. It is effective, quite liberating, and it helps you save money for other jewels or other personal desires. Imitations are not at all bad or disgraceful in any way.


On the contrary, they require financial intelligence and good taste. Getting your imitations right is no easy thing. One requires a fine eye so that they can detect the jewels that actually have good impact. Did we also mention that using imitations requires strength of character? Let’s be fair: we live in a rather materialistic world and we are tempted to judge many times. People who are initiated in the art of craftsmanship or spend a lot of time studying jewels will spot imitations from miles away, but wearing an imitation with confidence is not exactly the easiest thing to do. If you want to make a good impression, you need to also lift the spirits in the room. And what better way to do it than being confident? In the end, imitations have become a way to fit in. The heritage factor has also diminished over the years and we live in an era when we have plenty of options. As long as imitations help us blend in, or even stand out occasionally, they care become a girl’s best friend in no time.

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