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 !
HISTORY – Where Did Costume Jewelry Come From
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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.
THE BUSINESS OF COSTUME JEWELRY
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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AVAILABLE TODAY – A Few Examples
Womens Chunky Necklace in antique gold
Bohemian Style Turquoise Rhinestone
Bocar Link Chain Party Long Necklace
Goldtone & Black Rhinestone Bracelet
Womens Tri Tone Stretch Bracelet
Leather Wrap Crystal Bead Bracelet
Vintage Fashion Ring
Cushion Cut 4 ct Zircon Diamonds Stone
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)
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