Fashion vs Fine Jewellery: What Is The Difference?

There is a big difference between both fashion and fine jewellery. Something that a lot of people will notice is the difference in the price. Some people might be able to tell the difference in quality between the two. The common thing with both of these is the materials. 

Gemstones are something that will often be found with fine jewellery pieces however there are simpler jewellery pieces out there that don’t consist of a gemstone. Here, we will discuss the difference between both fine and fashion jewellery and how you can differentiate between the two. 

What Is Fashion Jewellery? 

Fashion jewellery is your more affordable piece and it will often be referred to as costume jewellery. The materials that you will often come across with this type of jewellery will be brass, copper and aluminium as these can easily be shaped and moulded. They are also much more affordable compared to the materials that are used with fine jewellery. Due to the poor quality of these metals, they will often damage and tarnish easily. 

A lot of jewellery experts would say that there should be another jewellery category between both fashion and fine jewellery. They would often be referring to jewellery pieces such as gold vermeil, gold plated and gold-filled jewellery. Many people will often opt for these kinds of jewellery as they look more luxurious and are more affordable compared to fine jewellery. 

Gold Vermeil

Gold vermeil jewellery is very popular with those that wear jewellery. It is similar to gold-plated jewellery however, it will be a specific thickness of gold layered over the top of silver which is 2.5 microns. It will also be more expensive than gold plated jewellery as well as sterling silver jewellery. 


Gold-plated jewellery will be a thin layer of gold laid over the top of other metals. It would also be cheaper but weaker compared to the other types of jewellery on here. Furthermore, the metals that would often be used for this type are copper, brass, aluminium and other cheap materials. 

Gold-Filled Jewellery

Gold-filled jewellery is the opposite in terms of quality compared to gold-plated jewellery. It would be much stronger and of better quality. To make gold-filled jewellery, it would be a thick layer of gold layered over the top of silver or another type of metal. The thin layer for gold-plated jewellery will often wear off the jewellery as time goes by however, with gold-filled jewellery, it would be better quality. 

These three different types of jewellery that we have recently discussed will often be referred to as semi-fine jewellery. Furthermore, these particular types of jewellery can sometimes consist of gemstones but would be much more affordable or, be fake. Some gemstones that would be used for this type of jewellery would be morganite and opals. You will also come across fake pearls as well. They will also be altered by using a chemical reaction or heat to change the colour and make them look clearer. 

Jewellers will use these categories to help their customers understand the difference between these types of jewellery. Many customers won’t understand the difference in quality with certain metals which is why a jeweller will use these categories to give them a better understanding. If you are one of those people that only understands the difference between the jewellery because of the cost, ask a jeweller and they will explain it to you.  

Fine Jewellery

Fine jewellery will be much higher quality compared to those that have been previously mentioned. They will also be much more durable and expensive. You can also come across fine jewellery with high-quality gemstones, that is why many people choose to wear this. Furthermore, fine jewellery would be a common piece for antique engagement rings, something that’s becoming a popular trend among those who are recently engaged. 

One thing that you can be sure of when you are purchasing fine jewellery is that it is expensive. That is because of several things such as the materials it consists of, the quality of the design and, the brand of who made the jewellery piece. The price can also vary depending on the brand who made it so make sure you shop around. 

Fine jewellery will be of high quality, meaning that it won’t tarnish or break easily. To help you come across high-quality jewellery pieces, look for certain brands as you can be confident that they will be durable. Just remember you will be spending much more money than usual. 

When it comes to purchasing jewellery, we suggest that you check the hallmark before you buy it. Here is a breakdown of the different hallmarks that you would come across in a jewellery store. 

Gold Jewellery

916 or 917 – 22K

583 or 585 – 14K

416 or 417 – 10K

999 – 24K 

750 – 18K

500 – 12K

375 – 9K

333 – 8K

As you can see, there are many qualities of gold jewellery, with 24K being the highest quality of them all. As the hallmark number gets lower, it becomes less quality. 

Platinum Jewellery

Platinum jewellery is one of the strongest metals out there for jewellery. The way platinum is measured is not like gold and instead would be measured as a percentage. Here is a list of the different qualities of platinum jewellery. 

999 – 99.90%

950 – 95%

900 – 90%

850 – 85%

Fine jewellery is always going to be expensive. Make sure that you shop around to find the best pieces, at a reasonable price. A lot of people will often shop for vintage/ fine jewellery as they believe it can be cheaper however sometimes, it may be more expensive. It is becoming a popular trend for many of those who like to wear jewellery to buy vintage jewellery. One of those reasons is because you can guarantee its quality. Not to mention that it could be one of its kind. 

To Conclude

If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on jewellery then that is understandable. If you are wearing jewellery to complement your whole outfit then we would advise you to wear fashion/costume jewellery. For special occasions or as a gift, we would recommend that you wear fine jewellery. 

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