When costume jewellery first appeared in the fashion world, it was a temporary fix. Something that was cheap and disposable to be worn with a particular outfit. Times have changed slightly- costume jewellery made today goes with anything, but is still much more affordable than genuine gold.
What is costume jewellery
Costume jewellery is both flashy and over the top or designed to imitate another, more up-scale piece of jewellery.
Cheap metals and fake precious stones, such as costume pearls and cubic zirconium, are used to create unique pieces.
It can be found in antique shops, second-hand stores, and even retail stores and catalogues.
Although they are not made from top quality metals and stones, they are not always cheap.
So, knowing what you are buying before you shop can make a difference, especially when buying gold costume jewellery.
Gold-plated or gold-filled?
Differences between gold-plated and gold-filled
Although costume jewellery is made from various cheap metals to look expensive, most gold costume jewellery is either gold plated or gold filled. Gold plated jewellery
The majority of gold costume jewellery you find today is gold plated.
No matter what design or piece you want - necklaces and earrings, bracelets and charms - most use gold plating over a cheaper metal.
How this works is several plates of metal are laminated onto a base metal, which is usually tin.
The top layer is a very thin layer of gold, although in pricier pieces several thin layers of gold are used to make the piece more durable.
Most gold-plated jewellery does wear fast, losing its colour in as little as a year depending on thickness and wear.
Sometimes, the base metal is silver and when the gold wears off the silver shines through and can tarnish.
Some designers will add copper or nickel over the silver before adding the thin gold layer so the gold colour lasts longer. Gold-filled jewellery
Gold-filled jewellery lasts much longer than gold plated, up to thirty years if taken care of properly.
In most cases, gold-filled looks so real most people are not even aware that it is not true gold.
The process in creating gold-filled jewellery is much more straightforward than gold plated pieces.
Using a base metal of brass, a solid layer of gold is bounded by pressure and heat over the brass.
The finished pieces tend to look as if they are actual 18- carat gold. Final word
For anyone who loves gold jewellery, but the real stuff is out of their price range, gold costume jewellery is a perfect choice.
A good piece can last forever or until you save enough to buy the real thing.