Is it more elegant or trashy to wear jewelry that is currently in vogue? Actually, that is a real possibility. BUT 24 carat diamonds, rubies, and gold may also be ideal. How you style it will determine its effect. The phrase “cheap” may have many meanings when referring to jewelry. It can indicate both inexpensive and low-priced. Since both definitions of “cheap” apply to discussions about costume or fashion jewelry, we will divide them here. It’s fashion at its best.

Priced reasonably (not prohibitively)

You won’t be able to tell the difference between high-quality fashion and costume jewelry and jewelry crafted with genuine metals and stones. The most common kind of diamond imitation, cubic zirconias (CZ), is distinguished from real diamonds by its extreme fire and sparkle. Since then, the industry has refined the fire to the point that it is now indistinguishable from diamonds to the unaided eye. It’s probably not a diamond if it’s too big and flawless to fit in a safety deposit box. This is the fastest and easiest way to determine whether or not a stone is cubic zirconia. However, the problem is that low-quality jewelry is widely available, especially at high-volume quick fashion retailers like H&M and Zara. Take these H&M ear studs as an example.

These fake rings seem so cheap because they are. Instead of being coated with 18k gold, it’s more probable that they were stamped out of sheet metal and manufactured using a gold-colored alloy. They were likely made for about $0.20. There is a place and time for this kind of thing, but you should know that you can get almost identical rings from a retail shop for an extra two or three dollars. These rings, however, would be cast rather than stamped, and they would be gold plated rather than created from a gold-toned alloy.

inexpensive stones stand out more. Take these H&M rings as an example once more.

These rings are obviously constructed of faceted plastic, and their reflecting qualities are limited at best by the mirrored foil backing. Even when the rings are fired accurately, this remains the case. A high-quality fashion ring, such as the one seen above, is another option.

Although the ring’s stainless steel and cubic zirconia components cost less than five dollars each and are not considered to be valuable metals or stones, on first glance, you would never know the difference between them and a ring made of platinum and diamonds.

The key point to remember is that although costume and fashion jewelry might seem like a bargain, it can also look identical to the real thing. In most cases, the price difference between costume jewelry that can be seen from across the store isle and that which requires a jeweler’s loupe to certify its authenticity will be no more than a few dollars, and usually much less than ten or twenty.


You would probably assume the wearer was a fake and had terrible taste in apparel if you spotted them strolling down the street with this on. In reality, the diamonds in this ring are real, and the total cost of the stones alone is likely to exceed $200,000. Even if cubic zirconias were used, it would still only cost approximately twenty or thirty dollars to create, and to the untrained eye, it would seem just like the original. The takeaway here is that one might be using all genuine precious materials and yet come out as tacky.