8 Rules For Choosing Between Real And Costume Jewelry

If given the choice between shoes, jewelry, or purses, I will always choose jewelry. Jewelry is the epitome of self-expression, the perfect gift, and the little objects to which we attach so much meaning. An engagement ring, a locket, or a charm bracelet represent so much more than just the precious metal or diamond (although the sparkle doesn’t hurt the eye) it’s made of. However, price tags often get in the way of my jewelry fetish. How do I know if it’s worth it to spend $58 on a brass and rhinestone necklace that could be $35 cheaper somewhere else or even something I could make myself? Here are a few rules to help you determine if that colorful jewelry piece is worth the price.

  1. You can’t get it anywhere else: You’re in Thailand on vacation. The bangle bracelets you want are hand-painted, totally unique, and within your price range (cheers for the exchange rate). In this case, why not? Go for it.
  2. It’s a classic piece: Over the years, it’s worth it to invest in a quality watch, pearl necklace, or diamond studs. It will last forever, and the amount of times you’ll wear it will make it well-worth the price tag.
  3. It’s a trendy item: Punk rock studded cuffs or braided leather bracelets are trendy items that will go in and out of style over time. Don’t break your budget for a seasonal piece you can buy cheap.
  4. You’re absolutely obsessed (for more than 15 minutes): You’ve had your eye on it for months. You’ll wear it until it breaks. If you know this pair of diamond hoop earrings will never leave your ear lobes, then go for it. Treat yourself when you get a raise, after a bad breakup, or just because you’re awesome. You won’t regret it.
  5. It’s “designer”: If it’s a Chanel knock-off, then it’s probably pretty obvious. Even if you think it looks real, chances are it doesn’t. Don’t bother.
  6. It’s really fake: If it’s not at least sterling silver, you shouldn’t be paying a lot of money for it. Green-tinged skin or nasty rashes never make the money saved worthwhile.
  7. You can get away with it: If you usually rock only the real thing, but money is a little tight at the moment, then it’s probable that no one will second guess you if you go for the cubic zirconia necklace instead.
  8. You can make it yourself: Costume jewelry that is beaded or made of fabric is probably easy to make even for the least creative among us. Save your spending money. Head to your city’s weekend art festival or go crazy at your local craft store.