How to Know if your Costume Jewelry is Worth Anything

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Is your costume jewelry worth anything? Learn how to tell if your costume jewelry is worth selling in this handy guide.

Dressing up nicely is one of the best pleasures of life. Outfits, make-up, shoes, sandals, handbags constitute an essential part of a person’s wardrobe. However, no matter how perfect one is looking, one thing that can make or break their entire personality is jewelry.

Whether it is about necklaces, chains, bracelets, rings or earrings, men and especially women around the world are extremely passionate about jewelry. Jewelry has the power and ability to highlight a person’s personality and bring out his or her best features. It has great importance in a person’s life as it makes the wearer feel special, stylish and beautiful.

What is Costume Jewelry?

The term costume jewelry dates back to the early 20th century. It reflects the use of the word “costume” or what is now usually referred to as “outfit”.  

  • Costume jewelry is generally low priced jewelry, using brass, low carat gold and sterling silver as base metal, and with use of semi-precious or ordinary stones. 
  • Modern costume jewelry incorporates a wide range of materials such as high-end crystals, cubic zirconia, simulated diamonds, and some may also have semi-precious stones.
  • It is beautiful and affordable jewelry and can be worn on a daily basis, simple occasions as well as to the parties.
  • There are various high-end brands manufacturing costume jewelry such as Crown Trifari, Dior, Chanel, Miriam Haskell, Kramer, Corocraft and on the other hand, there are plenty of small scale manufacturers also producing costume jewelry.

Why do People Buy Costume Jewelry?

  • It is affordable: Costume jewelry is generally made from inexpensive material such as sterling silver, brass, and semi-precious or synthetic stones. Hence, you neither have to empty your pockets nor have to spend too much to buy costume jewelry of your choice.
  • It offers a wide range of designs: With changing trends and fashion, you can buy an array of costume jewelry to match your outfits, latest trends or occasions. And since it is affordable, you also don’t have to worry about decreasing bank balance.
  • It can make you look chic and classy: You can mix and match your costume jewelry with your outfits to create that chic and classy look.
  • It requires lesser care: Costume jewelry does not require a very strong care regime as with fine jewelry. As it is affordable, you don’t have to worry much about your costume jewelry losing its shine over time, oxidation or scratches.
  • It gives tough competition to fine jewelry: With the advancement of technology, high-quality jewelry pieces are produced nowadays.  It is now very hard to differentiate costume jewelry from real fine jewelry, as it possesses the same sparkling shine like that of fine jewelry.
  • It gives out stylish self-expression: It is truly said that our clothes reflect our personality, but, adding accessories to it takes it to the next level. When costume jewelry is worn suitably with our outfits, it undoubtedly gives out stylish self-expression. Like when you are happy, you will wear something bright and vibrant, but on some somber days, you will pick something minimalist.
  • It can be worn as a statement piece: An oversize piece of costume jewelry is a good way to add an interesting element to a simple outfit. It can be in the form of a dramatic necklace or a dangling pair of earrings. (However, do remember not to go overboard with it.)                

Is Your Costume Jewelry Worth Anything?

It happens with all of us that once we loved those dangling earrings, that sparkling ring, stone-studded watch or that fancy bracelet with all our heart. But now with time, these jewelry pieces have lost their appeal and are sitting idle in our closet.  It may also be a possibility that the old jewelry is out of fashion now or perhaps is a gift from someone who didn’t fit your style and therefore is lying still packed in that attractive gift box.

Why should it be left taking up space in our closet without knowing its real value? There are ways that can help us find the true worth of our costume jewelry.

  • Hallmarks: One of the first things to do when you buy or get new jewelry is to look for hallmarks.  Jewelry having a hallmark is usually a good sign as hallmark tells us the metal content of a piece.

Common gold hallmarks include 18K, 14K, 10K, 750, 585, 375. Common platinum hallmarks include 950, PLATINUM, PLAT. Common silver hallmarks include 925, Silver, 800, Sterling.

  • Names: Look out for any name on your costume jewelry. Most of the costume jewelry designers place their names somewhere on the piece of jewelry like Trifari, Miriam Haskell, Wiess, Coco Chanel, etc.
  • Clear detail: When you see the front of a costume jewelry piece, you see a number of stones that are either synthetic or semi-precious. Inspect the back of the jewelry and look carefully at the design details. If it’s sloppy or running together, it most likely is cheap, but if it’s clean and has a clear detail to it, then the quality will be higher.       
  • Appraisals: One of the most accurate and precise ways to find the true worth of your jewelry is to bring it to a professional appraiser. With many years of experience, an appraiser can identify the accurate value of your costume jewelry.
  • Prongs: Some higher quality costume jewelry use prongs in the same way as they are used in fine jewelry. Prong in high-quality costume jewelry is well crafted with each stone is set in an intricate prong setting.
  •  Material: It is important to identify the base material of the costume jewelry to know its worth. While some costume jewelry is made with low-quality materials, others use gold, silver and certain stones of value.
  • Designs: Many of the costume jewelry designs are based on the designs of high-end jewelry brands such as David Yurman, Buccellati, Cartier, Harry Winston, etc. It is a wise idea to check if your costume jewelry is real or imitation of any of their designs.

How to Buy Costume Jewelry

While window shopping or surfing the internet, you come across low-quality yet appealing costume jewelry. You like it instantly and purchase it immediately which is absolutely fine. However, buying quality costume jewelry is a better deal overall. Quality jewelry will hold its value and you can wear it better over time.

Some of the ways which can help you to buy quality costume jewelry are : 

  • Best vintage costume jewelry brands: If you want to invest in a high-end costume jewelry piece, look for the best vintage costume jewelry brands. Brands such as Trifari, Coco Chanel, Kramer, etc. make some of the best jewelry in the world. These brands produce high-quality and remarkable pieces of jewelry.

Click on the link below to know more about best vintage costume jewelry brands –

  • Unique quality: Each of the best costume jewelry brands possess a certain kind of unique quality. Kramer jewelry has innovative designs; Hattie Carnegie jewelry features bold and colorful pieces whereas McClelland Barclay jewelry is famous for its bold and rare costume jewelry. So look out for that truly unique feature that you wish to have in your jewelry.

Click on the link below to know more about top brands jewelry –

  • Search for the best shops: There are plenty of shops selling costume jewelry. However, it is often difficult to find the best ones as the market is flooded with fake and imitation jewelry. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to buy jewelry from the best shop only.

Click on the link below to find some of best online costume jewelry shops –

  • Consider your personality: There are people who love bold, flashy or oversized pieces of jewelry and there are some who prefer sober and austere pieces. So, it is really important to consider the kind of jewelry that you feel comfortable to wear. You should look for size, durability, color, and overall style before buying a piece of jewelry.  

How to Take Care of your Jewelry

  1. Your costume jewelry should avoid coming in contact with water. Don’t keep it in moist areas and remember to remove jewelry before taking a shower or swimming.
  2. Keep costume jewelry in a jewelry organizer to prevent messy tangles that may harm the jewelry.
  3. Keep away from acids in hairspray and alcohol in perfumes. Wear your costume jewelry after spraying the hairspray or the perfume.
  4. Gently clean the costume jewelry using cotton buds or merely a soft toothbrush with distilled water. Ensure it is thoroughly dried before storage.
  5. Remove your jewelry before doing laundry, cooking, washing or any such task to avoid any potential damage.
  6. Use vacuum bags or Ziplocs to prevent jewelry from oxidation.
  7. Remember that your costume jewelry should be the last thing that you put on and the first thing that you take off.

Click on the link below to know more about cleaning the vintage costume jewelry –

Good things come in small packages especially when it is jewelry.

Jewelry is not only a part of our collection and a piece of art, but often has personal significance attached to it. Engagement or wedding rings, as a gift on important events such as birthday or anniversary, as heritage passed from one generation to the other and much more makes jewelry part of a person’s collection of memories.

So now, when you know so much about the worth of costume jewelry, it’s time to add more to your collection.   

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1 thought on “How to Know if your Costume Jewelry is Worth Anything”

  1. You made a good point that the variety of designs is one of the unique things about costume jewelry. I'd like to help my mother look for vintage costume jewelry buyers because she has a small collection of them. It might be a good time to liquidate those now.


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