Thu. Oct 6th, 2022
costume jewelry

So, what is costume jewelry. We have all heard of it, but really, what is it. The dictionary definition is, “jewelry made with inexpensive materials or imitation gems, jewelry that is designed for wear with todays fashions. We can read in Wikipedia that, “Fashion Costume Jewelry includes a range of decorative items worn for adornment to compliment a particular piece of clothing or an outfit”. So let us take a closer look ! Tiara & Necklace Fashion Ring

HISTORY – Where Did Costume Jewelry Come From

The truth is that, Costume Jewelry, had its origins almost 300 years ago, wow ! It was during the 1900’s that some jewelers began to make pieces of jewelry using colored or clear glass. This of course was far less expensive than using genuine diamonds or other gemstones, and of course, due to the cost being so low, it was now possible for everyone to own and wear beautiful Costume Jewelry.

Fashion Costume Jewelry really came into its own during the last century. The rapidly growing segment of society known as the  ‘Middle Class’ wanted access to beautiful jewelry at an affordable price. All social segments of society could obtain and wear this beautiful but inexpensive jewelry.

With the introduction of Hollywood movies in the 1940’s and 1950’s actresses would often wear pieces of costume jewelry made by a wide range of designers and worn by such movie legends as Bette Davis and Elizabeth Taylor. Well known designers such as Coco Chanel were creating special pieces for Jacqueline Onassis and Audrey Hepburn. Often these stars of cinema would appear in commercials wearing costume jewelry thus increasing the market for the middle class.

Some special pieces of costume jewelry have reached the level of being collectable which has caused them to increase in value over time.


Costume Jewelry soon became a ‘necessary accessory’ for the modern woman. Manufacturers were located throughout the world in China, the United States and India. The industry had been somewhat lacking in regulations for a long time when human rights claims were being made as well as a concern over some of the toxic metals, such as cadmium,  being used in manufacture. There were other concerns involving the importing and exporting of products as well as the laws governing world wide trade having an impact on the industry.

Wholesalers in the US and other countries would purchase costume jewelry from  various suppliers and then import or export to various other wholesalers who would in turn ship to their retail markets.

With the advent of the World Wide Web (Internet), global trade changed in an instant. The number of trade shows for wholesalers to visit to find new products were drastically reduced and instead, were now available online. Suppliers were now available in a lot more countries such as Thailand, China, Korea, Indonesia and India, etc.  The Fashion Costume Jewelry industry became truly Global.

It wasn’t long before jewelry enthusiasts began to make their own jewelry at home creating another entirely new branch of retail supply. These hobbyists would create for themselves primarily and then they began to market their jewelry at public markets as well as online.

Because of the tremendous increase in the value of gold, the demand for costume jewelry has literally skyrocketed by as much as 85%

There are a number of well know designers of costume jewelry whose pieces are always in demand. Some of the most well known are ‘Butler & Wilson’, ‘Miriam Haskell’, ‘Sphinx’ and ‘Crown Trifari’.

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Womens Chunky Necklace in antique gold      Chunky Gold Necklace





Bohemian Style Turquoise Rhinestone    Bohemian Style Necklace





Bocar Link Chain Party Long Necklace    Chain Party Necklace






Goldtone & Black Rhinestone Bracelet    Gold Tone Bracelet





Womens Tri Tone Stretch Bracelet    Tri Stone Stretch Bracelet





Leather Wrap Crystal Bead Bracelet  Crystal Beed Bracelet




Vintage Fashion Ring   

Vintage Fashion Ring

Cushion Cut 4 ct Zircon Diamonds Stone    Cut Diamond Stone Ring

Promise Ring    Promise Ring


As you can see, Fashion Jewelry has come a very long way in its 300 plus year history. Designed by some of the worlds most renowned jewelry designers. The quality of materials and workmanship is absolutely beautiful. The variety of what is available has never been so vast, and due to the internet, any piece you might wish to have is only a few keystrokes away. We would invite you to begin your search for that piece of costume jewelry you have been thinking about for some time now. (To see more Visit Amazon by clicking on the two photos at the top of the page –  or here)

Once again, we thank you for reading this post. Please post your comments or questions in the comments box below. We would love to hear from you.




Nine West Women’s Bracelet Watch, Gold

Nine West Women’s Bracelet Watch Gold

Nine West Women’s Bracelet Watch, Gold-Tone, Quartz Movement

Nine West Women’s Crystal Accented Bracelet Watch

Nine West Women’s Bracelet Watch

Nine West Womens Bracelet Watch

Nine West Women’s Floral Dial Strap Watch

The Best Way To Clean Your Jewelry At Home

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By admin

  1. Jewelry is a copy of expensive jewelry, but for example some pieces like rings, necklaces and earrings can really look enchanting. Of jewelry, I like earrings the most and I often buy them. I like to buy for others, because it’s a great gift if you have no more ideas.

    1. Costume jewelry can of course be a copy of a more expensive piece, however, todays ‘Fashion Costume Jewelry’ is an industry unto itself. Designers are making beautiful and unique pieces just for this market. As you know, you can purchase virtually anything from rings and necklaces to bracelets, earrings and beyond in costume jewelry, and they are a great gift for someone special in your life as well.

  2. Thank you for your research on the history of costume jewelry. I would hazard a guess however that costume jewelry did not start in the 1900s but long before in African and first people traditions. I am aware that in South Africa about 75,000 years ago amulets and bracelets were created using string and mollusk shell beads. That said costume jewelry has cemented itself as a viable alternative for many because of its price particularly and the ability to closely imitate the real thing. The downside however is its ability to last and not have allergic reactions as occurs with certain skin types. As the design, materials and production techniques improve the growth of costume jewelry is only set to further rise. 

    1. You are absolutely right, and I thank you for contributing additional facts to our post. I see that in Kenya, about 40,000 years ago,  beads were made from different materials, while the oldest African jewelry discovered in 2004,  are estimated to be over 75,500 years old, WOW ! It took until  the 1900’s for designers to start making costume jewelry in North America. Today, Fashion Costume Jewelry has taken a front seat when it comes to popularity world wide. As time goes on, I’m sure we will see many new designs and materials being used to create this beautiful jewelry.

  3. Costume jewelry , when worn in such a way to supplement and enhance today’s fashions bring incredible results. It is an essential part of the attire of the person wearing it, but, is very flexible in use so that it may add to the attractiveness of more assembles of clothing. The complete look will include clothing, costume jewelry, hair pieces or attachments and even the facial application of lip stick and other makeup. In this way you will look very attractive and have a completely stunning look!

    1. Hi Toplink, we appreciate you stopping by and leaving your comments. You are right of course, there is a lot of very beautiful costume jewelry for women today. A woman can find pretty much any piece she wants to finish off her outfit, whether it be formal, casual, beach wear or just kicking around the house.

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