What To Consider When Buying Jewelry

November 6, 2017

Jewelry is an easy way to pull a look together.  Bracelets, necklaces, earrings, rings, you have a wide variety of options that can elevate any outfit.  In addition to what piece of jewelry you want to own, there’s another, even more important consideration to keep in mind—are you going to buy costume jewelry or fine jewelry?

In order to decide which option you want, you have to consider what quality of metal and stones you want your jewelry to have.

The Difference Between Costume and Fine Jewelry

Costume (or fashion) jewelry is made from a variety of materials including: plastic, wood, crystals, leather, fabric, cubic zirconia, sterling silver, and occasionally even includes manufactured or semi precious gemstones.  The price point for costume jewelry can run the gamut, but it is best known for being an affordable option and these pieces are typically mass produced.  Costume jewelry is bought to compliment a specific outfit and does not typically last from generation to generation.

Fine (or real) jewelry is made from precious metals including; gold, sterling silver, platinum, and palladium, as well as natural gemstones, pearls, and/or diamonds.  The price point for fine jewelry is typically much higher than the prices for costume jewelry.  These pieces are often considered “investment pieces” and are purchased as keepsakes, collectibles, with the intention to pass down the item from generation to generation.

The Versatility of Fine Jewelry

Since fine jewelry is known to last, there’s one more factor you should keep in mind before you buy—how versatile you want the piece to be.  To get the maximum value from your money, your going to want your fine jewelry pieces to work well across seasons.  One fine jewelry brand that I like is AUrate, which is a fine jewelry company that produces their products in NYC.  By doing so, they eliminate a fair amount of overhead, which brings the price point of their fine jewelry pieces to a more wallet friendly range.  Learn more about AUrate, including what makes them different from other jewelry companies by reading their story here.

But there’s another reason why I prefer AUrate, their pieces are very versatile, which is a must for me when looking to spend a little more for jewelry.

Let’s take a look.


AuRate Feather Ear Cuff from summer to fall.

My first pick is the Feather Ear Cuff.  The gold color and sharp edge to the design ties in nicely with the gold zippers and structured style of my black blazer.  Looking at the summer outfit, by swapping out my pointy toe flats for over the knee boots, replacing the white short sleeve t-shirt with a black long sleeve t-shirt, and adding a fun hat, I’m able to take this look from summer to fall using the same pair of earrings.

Summer Outfit: Blazer (similar), White Short Sleeve T-Shirt, Skinny Jeans (similar), Pointy Toe FlatsAUrate Feather Ear Cuff

Fall Outfit: Blazer (similar), Black Long Sleeve T-Shirt, Skinny Jeans (similar), Over The Knee Boots (similar), AUrate Feather Ear Cuff


AUrate Flower Earring Back Large for Summer.


AUrate Flower Earring Stud for Fall.

For my second look, I’m using the AUrate Flower Earrings. And to up the ante, I’m going to work with both the Flower Earring Back Large and the Flower Earring Studs. The floral design from either pair of earrings would tie in nicely to the floral print top in both of my outfits. In fact, I could have picked just one earring option as I did for the first outfit, but why not up the ante and use 2 options instead?

I opted for the large, longer flower earrings for the summer look and the stud version for the fall outfit.  Why?  The hanging earring echos the free movement from the cardigan in the summer outfit, while the stud version ties into the structured vibe from my fall look.  Besides, I liked both earrings, so why not feature them both in outfits, right?

Summer Outfit: Cardigan (similar), Floral Shell, Pink Skinny Jeans, Ballet Flats (similar),  AUrate Flower Earring Back Large

Fall Outfit: Blazer (similar), Floral Shell, Pink Skinny Jeans, Wedge Booties (similar), AUrate Flower Earring Studs

What are your favorite earrings from AUrate?



  1. I never buy anything but vintage jewelry. The markup is horrible, not to mention the fair trade issue. For the most part, I skip costume jewelry. I bought a number of pieces some years ago and basically stick to my signature pieces at any time. Every so often I get bored and swap them out.

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