For centuries, women and men alike have adorned themselves with jewelry. We are generally raised to invest a great deal of our self-worth in appearance. Having nice sparkly baubles to wear is inclined to make one feel brighter, happier and more beautiful. In addition, jewelry is often thought to be an indicator of social status. Whether it’s expensive jewelry or cheap jewelry seems to be the differentiator in this case. Jewels can be bought for almost any body part; ears, neck, fingers, arms and ankles. It is also available in a very wide range of prices, from extremely expensive to very very little.
First let’s discuss the “very very little” priced variety. Cheap jewelry is often referred to as “costume jewelry”. It’s believed that this term originated from the theater, where actors and actresses wore expensive-looking jewelry as part of their on-stage costumes. Costume jewelry is readily available all over the world and is very affordable to almost anyone. These items are usually made with hard plastic or less valuable painted base metals. Also, cheaper jewelry is typically encrusted with glass or less expensive gemstones.
On the other hand, more expensive jewelry can easily range from a few hundred dollars to millions. They are made of precious metals such as gold, platinum, silver and palladium and embellished with rare precious gemstones and diamonds. The most expensive jewelry is often ornate and extremely detailed. Some people purchase fine jewelry for very special occasions such as weddings, significant birthdays or anniversaries. Others consider expensive jewelry an investment, since their components are becoming scarcer and more valuable each year.
Many factors come in to play when deciding which pieces to splurge on and what to buy cheap. A good “rule of thumb” might be that if the item seems like a trend that may become passé rather quickly, then its best not spend a fortune on it. Many trendy items are replicated as costume jewelry that can be enjoyed for just a while. I personally love wearing pins, broaches and long necklaces that are unique and self-expressive (purple!). If I lose or break one of these items, it’s a little bit disappointing but quickly and easily replaced. And then there’s the expensive jewelry, which is much more precious and not so easily replaced.
When do you take the step of purchasing something very special? Each of us may have their own reasons, but I believe that answer is, when you know you’ll wear it and enjoy it forever. When you see yourself passing it on to the next generation as a family heirloom. As the slogan goes, “diamonds are forever”. So is gold and platinum! They will never lose their value. They may go out of style and become outdated, but will always be significant for their materials as well as their sentimentality.
Cheap jewelry or expensive? For fun, wear both. For “forever”, get the real deal!