Fashion Jewelry vs. Fine Jewelry: What’s the Difference?

Native American Fine Jewelry Bracelet by Carl & Irene Clark for SaleWhen you’re shopping for jewelry, whether for yourself or someone else, you have many decisions to make to narrow down your wide range of options to the perfect piece. The first choice you have to make? Whether you’re buying fashion jewelry or fine jewelry.

To help you decide which type of jewelry is a better fit for what you have in mind, let’s take a look at the difference between the two!

What is fashion jewelry?


Jewelry primarily made with non-precious metals and imitation gemstones is classified as fashion jewelry. Some people also refer to these types of pieces as “costume jewelry”. These are low-cost replicas of finer pieces intended more for fashion wear than long-term use. As a result, fashion jewelry is usually designed to fit with the current trends. You’ll typically find them on racks at department stores.

Bronze, copper, nickel, and brass are the most common metals used in fashion jewelry-making, but are sometimes plated with finer metals like gold or silver. You will also find pieces made of different fabrics, leather, and other textiles.

What is fine jewelry?


Fine jewelry is a term used to categorize pieces that are made using precious metals and genuine precious gemstones. Common metals used in fine jewelry-making are solid gold, sterling silver, and platinum. These metals are often paired with precious stones such as diamonds, rubies, sapphires, etc. or semi-precious stones such as aquamarine, turquoise, amethyst, etc.

Unlike fashion jewelry, fine pieces do not tarnish when properly cared for and stored. Fine jewelry is built to higher standards than fashion jewelry, making it more valuable and long-lasting. Designs are sometimes simple or can be small and intricate, and are typically to be a more classic and timeless style.

How do I know which type of jewelry to buy?


The decision between fashion and fine jewelry should mostly depend on how you intend for the piece to be used. If you’re looking for something that’s more decorative, to be worn with different outfits and swapped out with other pieces when wearing various styles, then fashion jewelry will be a better fit. You’ll also want to go with fashion jewelry if you prefer a low-cost piece.

Fine jewelry is best for shoppers who are looking for special occasion pieces or gifts, such as a milestone birthday gift or wedding ring. Because of their longevity and timeless style, fine jewelry pieces are often passed down for generations as family heirlooms. These pieces can also be worn everyday without losing their quality and repaired if damaged, making them well-worth the larger initial investment.

At the Faust Gallery, we carry a wide selection of fine Native American jewelry that we consider to be wearable art pieces. If you’re looking for something unique and timeless to add to your collection, the work of our American Indian artists is sure to deliver.

Shop for authentic Native American jewelry on our website today!