Costume jewellery is known by many names. Some of them are: fashion jewellery, junk jewellery and they are also referred to as fake jewellery. The first jewellery manufactured as ornamentation for the masses, costume jewellery like any other type of jewellery complements clothing and even costumes. Used instead of ‘fine’ jewellery, costume jewellery is made using less valuable materials such as glass, plastic and synthetic stones in place of precious metals and gems. Using base metals, costume jewellery is sometimes plated in gold or silver as well.
Some of the different types of costume jewellery are Cloisonné (enamel divided by sections of metal) Diamante (set with rhinestones) and jewellery made from papier-mâché or Bakelite.
– Bakelite jewellery – incredibly rare, Bakelite jewellery belongs to the world of vintage costume jewellery. A high quality piece of Bakelite jewellery in good condition can fetch a price in the thousands.
– Cloisonné – refers to an ancient metalworking technique used to produce jewellery as well as other decorative items. It is used for either enamel or for gemstone inlays. For either, a shape, making the design is surrounded by a thin metal edge which forms a compartment of sorts. Liquid enamel is then poured into it. For gemstones, a pre-cut matching piece of inlay is hammered and then glued into it.
– Diamante – also called a rhinestone, it is a diamond simulant made from rock crystal, glass or acrylic. Used as an imitation of diamonds, they are produced in Austria, Czech Republic and Northern Bohemia. In the US, they are called Austrian Crystal.