2. 3. Stones must be natural gemstones, which possess all the visual, chemical, and physical properties of mined gemstones to be categorized as fine jewelry. All pearls that are naturally formed are categorized as fine jewelry. Many people become confused about pearls because they are unsure if cultured pearls are authentic. Cultured pearls are natural pearls. They are cultivated in oysters that are specifically used for the scheduled production of pearls. Since they are natural, cultured pearls are categorized as fine jewelry. All natural diamonds are considered to be fine jewelry. Many manufactured stones are not in the category of fine jewelry because they are not genuine diamonds. Some of these synthetic stones include briolite, cubic zirconium, Diamonique, glass, moissanite, plastic, quartz, rhinestone, and strontium titanate. Diamonds consist of pure carbon. Lab-created diamonds are of the same chemical properties as diamonds; however, when lab-created diamonds are sold, they must be identified as being lab-created. The price of lab-created diamonds is significantly lower when compared to natural diamonds. Many people like the idea of having the choice to set a lab-created diamond into their jewelry because they can get the stones for a fraction of the price of a mined diamond. However, the value of the piece will not be worth as much if they decide to sell it later on. These stones are considered to be substitutions for mined diamonds. 4. Costume jewelry first appeared in the 1930s. Wearing costume jewelry was a way to embellish a costume or an outfit. When the term costume jewelry is used today, it is sometimes interchanged with the term fashion jewelry. Both have become synonymous with one another. The term is generally dependent on the place where the jewelry was 5. purchased. These terms are used to describe jewelry that is usually constructed of inexpensive mass produced materials. For consumers, the biggest difference between costume and fine jewelry is the price. High-quality craftsmanship and metals command a much higher price. Designers who are well-known and popular design jewelry that is not classified as fine jewelry, but many of their pieces are highly sought after by consumers. This usually drives the price higher; however, consumers love these pieces. Many designers have become household names through their costume jewelry designs, and their pieces do well in today's marketplace. 6. Most costume jewelry is constructed with plated metal. There is only a thin coat of metal over other, less expensive metals. Brass is a base metal often used for this purpose. Some costume pieces have no precious metal at all, and they are painted over a less expensive metal to resemble gold, silver, or platinum. Jewelry considered to be costume also includes authentic gold, silver, or platinum settings that are set with manufactured stones. If the stones are natural, but the settings are plated, the piece is categorized as costume jewelry. If the main stone in the piece is natural, but the surrounding stones are manufactured, the piece will be classified as costume jewelry. The same is true if the surrounding stones are natural and the main stone is manufactured. Mixing natural gemstones with manufactured gemstones in a precious metal setting may significantly lower the value of the piece in the retail market. 7. The methods used to tell the difference between fine jewelry and costume jewelry are simple. Fashion jewelry is not made of precious metals, natural gemstones, natural 8. pearls, or diamonds. There are some exceptions with precious metal pieces. These include precious metal settings that feature a main stone as a natural stone, but the surrounding stones are manufactured. The opposite is also true. When the main stone is manufactured and the surrounding stones are natural, the jewelry will be classified as costume jewelry. The term costume jewelry is generally interchangeable with the term fashion jewelry. Many of today's designers design fashion jewelry, and consumers enjoy collecting their pieces. Although a designer name may increase the price, their pieces are trendsetting items that are highly sought after. Modern designers have become very popular through their lines of costume jewelry, and their pieces sell quickly within the marketplace.