All that glitters is not gold
After stumbling upon Clara’s post about precious metal jewellery over costume jewellery (via Google, no less!), I felt inclined to discuss my opinion on the topic, which is the same as hers, but does not really line up with my obsession for cheaper alternatives to “real” jewellery.
Like Clara, I like to wear jewellery and not have to worry about it being damaged simply by completing day-to-day activities like washing hands, washing dishes, eating, and so on. Unfortunately, most costume jewellery, as lovely as it is, is of cheap quality and corrodes from a few drops of water or simply by making contact with the skin. It is a bit of a bother having to take rings off every time I wash my hands, and as much as I love my rings, sometimes I don’t bother putting in all that effort, so I don’t take them off. Worse, I put more effort into trying to keep my hands clean just to avoid the need to wash them, just so my rings are safe.
I’ve been obsessed with cheap jewellery from the moment I started earning my own money (circa 2007). I usually buy fake jewellery at a fraction of the price, waiting until discounts or sales are run. I might get a handful of rings for $10 (3 for $10 deals), one ring for just $5 (where the original price is about $15), or make use of discount cards (maybe up to 30% off). I’m well aware that some of these pieces will probably be soiled and tarnished within three months, longer if I am lucky. You can’t be completely sure of the metals used in these pieces, but they are certainly mixed, and differ from piece to piece. I have some rings that are definitely not precious metal, and the gems are plastic — but they don’t have a coating that peels off, they don’t tarnish and turn a gross brown or copper colour, and seem to hold their shine. I have another that is still shiny, but on closer inspection, looks quite plastic. But without a clear label indicating its materials, it is difficult to predict how long a piece of jewellery will last. I have a couple of rhodium-plated pieces, which last long and are a tad shinier than silver.
I rarely buy cheap jewellery at full price, but when I think about it — $16, would I really spend $16 on a ring set? I could go to a jewellery store when they’re having a sale and spend about $50 on a nicer, longer-lasting ring that uses precious metals and precious stones. Sterling silver is fairly affordable.
Recently, I have looked over my rather insane purchases of rings and mulled over how I have been spending. I haven’t given a thought to the cost exactly – but I need to stop just buying things. I could certainly buy something better if I put more thought into my decisions.
I asked Tristan (hmm, yes, because it’s quite normal to ask your best male friend about fashion…) what he thought of jewellery on girls, and he said he was indifferent to my rings. He also said it would be better if I wore fewer, but nicer ones, as opposed to a handful of cheap ones on all my fingers. Granted, James has also described a few of my pieces as tacky, and while it’s not negative, I receive questions like, “How do you type?” and “Don’t your rings bang against each other?”
I decided it was time to rethink my spendings and invest in a few better pieces rather than accumulating what would eventually be lumps of smelly (thank you Clara, haha) metal. And outfit accessorising should certainly not be overdone. I bought a few real silver pieces last week, and I’m really happy with them. It was only about $40 for the three pieces. They are quite simple, but at least they will last me a while now.