Expression of style and individuality is mostly conveyed through fashion jewelry which is also known as costume jewelry. Inexpensive and fun, it is a great way to make a statement in a bold and attention grabbing manner with an array of colors to cater to your wardrobe. It is easy to get your moneys worth to match your mood and costumes.
Although fashion jewelry does not cost much, there are still some important things to know regarding its care and looking after. It is important to care for it as this allows you to make the most out of your money.
Take care that your fashion jewelry is not touched by any form of chemicals such as soaps, oils and perfumes. The harsh chemicals present in these materials contribute to the deterioration of jewelry.
It is important to remove jewelry before any form of activity which directly involves the hands such as sports, washing, laundry and the application of body products.
Ensure to dry out any jewelry items before storing them by means of a soft cloth.
Rubbing or scrubbing jewelry should be avoided. Be gentle.
Use special jewelry cleaner or soft toothbrush that does not damage costume jewelry. Check the ingredients of the cleaning agent. It should not contain alcohol, acid or ammonia. Avoid over scrubbing and follow the instructions.
Safely put your jewelry in a Ziploc plastic bag to keep it away from getting scratched or stained by any other substance.
Keep the jewelry in a clean, cool and dry place.
For buffing use only the specific soft jewelry cloth.
Fashion jewelry is a combination of three substances:
1. An amalgamation of metals like aluminum brass and nickel is maintained to make the fashion jewelry in order to look like the real gold and silver ornaments. The methods are multiple including the following:
Tone: When the fashion jewelry is referred to as having gold tone or silver tone. As the name implies, the jewelry looks like silver and gold in color. In real it has not got any real gold or silver.
Electroplating: This method is quite common. An electric current is used in this method to apply a thin layer like one millionth of an inch on the alloy based metal that is engrossed in a liquid solution of either gold or silver which is going to be used for plating the jewelry.
Layering: This method is one step ahead of the electroplating in a way that longer time is used for plating the ornaments which allows depositing of thicker layer of gold and silver. The layer is almost 20-50 micro inches of precious metal. This thicker plating enhances the life and durability of the jewelry.
Overlay: This method depends on heat and not on electricity for combining the precious metal with the base metal to make a new alloy. This produces everlasting bonds between all the metals making the jewelry strong and long lasting especially if proper care is also taken. Gold layered for gold filled jewelry as it is commonly called is safer for people who develop allergy from costume jewelry made by other methods.
Tehni-Bond: This method of gold plating is most sought after method. In this method a layer of 14kt gold of 40 micro inches is used over .925 sterling silver and not a typical alloy. It is considered the best.
Vermeil: This is the top most reliable and close to real looking gold plating because in this method 100 micro inches of gold is plated over .925 sterling silver. It is more costly and the best substitute of expensive gold.
2. The second constituent of the fashion jewelry is man-made crystals, zirconia, glass, rhinestone and epoxy. The most beautiful and sought after is cubic zirconia because of its unparalleled qualities. It is successfully used for making diamonds, emeralds, rubies and sapphires. Its shine and low price quality lets it adorn the ostentatious ornaments on a larger scale. Color glass is used to replicate many sorts of precious stones and artificial pearls. Crystal jewelry and rhinestone have gained fame due to its swanky attraction and color variety. Acrylic and epoxy are plastic made therefore mostly cheap bead jewelry is made with these.
Some special pieces of fashion jewelry are studded with semiprecious stones like black opal, topaz, peridots or pearls other than man-made stones to give it a finer touch.
3. Some quite unusual materials like stone, wood, or sea-shell is also added with fashion jewelry to create some unique effects. These materials may be colored or left in their natural structure according to the jewelry design and style.