Costume jewelry is proof that all that glitters may not be gold. It's made from less valuable materials like plastic, glass, base metal and man made stones instead of gems or precious metals. However, that doesn't mean that costume jewelry doesn't have its uses. It's less costly, but can look just as good as many real pieces. If you don't want to spend a lot on costly precious jewelry that might get damaged or broken, costume jewelry can help you make a fun fashion statement.
Many costume jewelry pieces include a little precious metal as plating. For instance, the main piece may be brass or zinc, and gold or silver will be plated on top, giving the piece the look of precious metal. Crystal is used in place of precious, faceted gems, and semi precious stones may also be used. Some costume jewelry makes use of bone or plastic to simulate ivory. The least expensive types are heavily composed of plastics.
Costume jewelry comes in just about every style, and can be found as pendants, bracelets, rings, earrings and more.
You can purchase these pieces in a number of different places, depending on what you're looking for. New jewelry can be found in department stores or lower end jewelry stores. If you're interested in something inexpensive or vintage, check resale shops, Ebay.com, local flea markets and even yard sales for great deals on costume pieces.
Like all jewelry, costume pieces should be cared for to look its best. Fortunately, it only takes a little work to keep your costume jewelry looking great. After you use it, wipe your jewelry off with a soft cloth. That will keep sweat from oxidizing the metal. Keep it in a velvet box or cloth pouch to keep individual pieces from tangling or reacting with one another.
Don't clean your costume jewelry with strong chemicals, though. They can react with the stones and glues, changing colors or causing your jewelry to come apart. Also, never spray perfume or hair spray onto your pieces. Use them before putting on jewelry. This will protect the finish. Periodically, you may have to take costume pieces to a jewelry shop to have it polished, replated, or to have a stone replaced.
If you're thinking about getting some new jewelry, don't rule out costume jewelry as an option. Just because it's not the real thing doesn't mean that it can't make a bold fashion statement. The important thing is to admit your costume jewelry isn't precious. Wear it boldly, and without pretense, and me sure to take good care of it. The right maintenance and careful choice of pieces will help you put together a great look for less.
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