What does fine jewelry really mean? - Alexis Jae Jewelry

What does fine jewelry really mean?

By Alexis Taub

What does fine jewelry really mean? - Alexis Jae Jewelry

What does fine jewelry really mean?

The term "fine jewelry" is often heard in the fashion world, but what makes it different from costume jewelry, fashion jewelry, or semi-fine jewelry? It has nothing to do with carat size. Fine jewelry is based on the materials used and the process to create the piece. Often brands will use fine jewelry, even when it's semi-fine and costume jewelry. It's essential to understand the difference, so when you purchase jewelry, it lasts. 

Fine Jewelry

Fine jewelry is made to last. Of course, you should always be careful with your jewelry, but fine jewelry can withstand a shower or more rigorous wear. Fine jewelry is based not only on the materials used but also the craftsmanship. Customers often look at the materials to determine purchasing a piece. However, it is just as important to buy from high-quality jewelers with a track record of quality pieces.

Simply put, fine jewelry is a high-quality piece of jewelry crafted from precious metals such as solid gold, rhodium, palladium, or platinum. We will most commonly see 18k and 14k gold in fine jewelry pieces. Rose gold, yellow gold, and white gold in high karat concentrations are all considered fine jewelry. Jewelry that has a gold karat concentration of 10k is considered semi-fine. Jewelry designers often use precious gemstones like diamonds, emeralds, sapphires, and rubies to enhance the beauty of their pieces. By using quality materials, jewelers create long-lasting necklaces, engagement rings, and other heirlooms that will be passed down through generations. 

With proper care, fine jewelry is resistant to tarnish and can generally be repaired if it breaks. Fine jewelry can also be resized or repurposed into more modern designs. Gold jewelry and other precious metals can be melted down and reimagined with different gemstones to create infinite types of jewelry. The beauty and longevity of a fine jewelry collection are unparalleled and make it worth the price tag. For this reason, fine jewelry is also much better for the environment. Semi-fine and costume jewelry tarnish quickly and are often not worth repairing. This leads to the jewelry ending up in a landfill over time. 


Semi-Fine Jewelry

Sterling silver jewelry is considered semi-fine. Although fine jewelry is certainly a worthy investment, a piece of jewelry made from sterling silver plated with rhodium, gold, or platinum is a high-quality choice at an affordable price point. These pieces are often made with more affordable semi-precious stones like morganite or lab-created stones such as cubic zirconia. It's important to note that sterling silver or plated jewelry is not meant to be worn in the shower, in the pool, or while sleeping. This type of jewelry is much more susceptible to scratches, tarnish and wear, so proper care is essential. 


Costume Jewelry 

Costume jewelry, also known as fashion jewelry, encompasses trendy jewelry at a lower price. It is usually gold-plated or gold-filled and made from a base metal of brass, copper, or zinc. Stainless steel and gold vermeil can also be used to construct costume jewelry. Beads, textiles, and synthetic stones are hallmarks of costume or "fake jewelry." Fashion companies often mass-produce and sell costume jewelry at inflated prices. You won't find fashion jewelry handmade by a jeweler in your local jewelry store. 


Fashion Jewelry...But make it Alexis Jae

Here at Alexis Jae, our expert jewelry designers specialize in fine jewelry. Some of our pieces have fashion jewelry elements mixed with precious metals and gemstones to change things up and provide high-quality options at affordable prices. This best-selling diamond string bracelet is a customizable piece made of your choice of gold, diamond, and string. It's an elevated way to stay on trend while having the peace of mind that you're wearing high-quality, long-lasting jewelry.


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