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.


Comments on this post

Pretty! I like the smaller heart-shaped one the most :)

Sometimes buying cheap or going the cheap route isn’t worth it. Most of the time, I try to buy good rings at full price. I have gone to claires and icing at my local mall and have come to notice that the earrings i buy do not last long. Either do to mu clumsiness or they’re just simply plastic.

Anyways, I LOVE the infinity ring on your pinky the best! Good choices.

I’m not into jewelry, or fashion and anything similar, but I’m always for quality and not quantity. If I liked rings, for example, I’d rather buy a quality one for a higher price instead of 3 or 4 low quality pieces, for less.

Those 3 rings you bought are really lovely, especially the small heart-shaped one!

Wearing jewelry is fun but you really have to take care of them if you want them to last. I heard that spraying some sort of protective coating would help keep the jewelry lasting longer? I’ve seen so many of those “protips” on Pinterest.

If you live around here, you would love Forever 21 (unless there’s one there with good deals) because when they have sales, their rings and other jewelry are heavily discounted XD. I was a total sucker for bracelets and always wanted to buy cheap jewelry until I got a Pandora one *o*. So I tossed out my stacked bracelet and stick to one; kind of like what you’re thinking about.

Saving up your money for a legit ring sounds like the right way to go. You get something nicer looking and longer lasting! Even the guys agree ;).

Ahh, I’ve gotten into the mindset of buying fewer higher quality pieces over many lower quality pieces. Last long, and you’d probably (?) end up spending less overall in the long run.

Love your infinity ring. I’m a sucker for infinity pieces.

OMG. I didn’t even recognize your site! It’s been too long! How have you been?
I’ve brought back my blog again. Lol This time I am keeping it. :)

I know what you mean. I need to stop buying random things as well… stuff I don’t even need. I just want it. XD
Good luck stopping buying jewelry… if you do.

Love your rings. They are so pretty!

I have been well, thank you. That’s good to hear about your blog. :) Thank you for the comment!

I recently coughed up $35 for two sterling silver rings that I ADORE and wear almost daily. Like you, I’m big into costume jewelry (rings specifically) but also like you, I was tired of them turning my fingers like… green or whatever every time I washed my hands. Guess it’s time to start investing in some quality pieces :)

I’ve always considered prices over quality. But now I realized that jewelries are worth the investment. I’m now rethinking my shopping guidelines and hoping I can follow them now.

They look really lovely the ones that you brought and I hope will last a long time.

I am kind of in the same boat as you. I like to buy rings, but I won’t buy them at the full price they ask, I like the discounts. Unless I see something that is really unique. The problem, like you mentioned is that they don’t last long and you kind of have to work around them with washing hands and taking them off after certain times.

Even though they can be trouble, I still like them because I am not scared if I lose them. I have a number of expensive rings of silver and gold that I am scared to ware. My favorite ring was only about $20 and is silver. I wore it everyday for probably ten years and it developed a slight crack along the side, and I was upset so stopped wearing it, in case it broke.

You could also combat the trouble by wearing the rings you like on a necklace… but having them on fingers is pretty. ♥

You so should have gathered all of the cheaper rings together for a picture. ;D