Costume Jewellery Costume Jewellery

Costume Jewellery

Costume jewellery are fashion accessories that can be made in a variety of styles. It can be added to the main outfit to  highlight certain features, such as a lower neckline,  or to modify it, perhaps with the addition of a brooch.

Like clothing , costume jewellery can be both useful and functional. Costume jewellery is not usually embellished with precious stones such as diamonds or rubies, or set in precious metals such as gold or platinum. The emphasis is on crystal, plastic, plated or coloured metals, wood or resin.

Creating a “fancy” gem requires a lot of skill and patience. Nevertheless, the creation of costume jewelry is widespread in Europe.

After the First World War

It was only after the First World War, with the era of oil, Ford cars and the emergence of mass production, that jewellery and ornaments become less symbolic and restricted to special occasions. Although jewellery is now accessible to all, it was once a way of distinguishing the ranks of social classes.

In addition, the First World War was a turning point in the history of jewellery because gold was recovered by governments to participate in the war effort.

The effect of the war and the new social role of women in this context influenced fashion in general and the design of jewellery, which become more stylized under the influence of Art Deco. The development of new materials such as bakelite and the return of older materials including marcasite and tin, gave a boost to costume jewellery.

The Second World War

The Second World War again paralyzed the jewellery industry, leading to more costume jewellery with new colours and shapes. And it was not until this era that the term “costume jewelery” finally appeared.

Materials used in the manufacture of Costume Jewellery

  • Base metals (iron, tin, brass) sometimes plated with precious metal (gold, silver) or rhodium.
  • Laboratory created crystals in a rainbow of colours
  • Semi-precious gem stones include agate, jade, tigers eye, rose quartz, opals, garnets, amethysts, topaz, turquoise, tourmaline, lapis lazuli and aquamarines.
  • Resin
  • Wood


Certain makers of costume jewellery have achieved “designer” status with their beautiful and creative designs, including brands such as:

  • Swarovski
  • Mawi
  • Kenneth Jay Lane
  • Astley Clarke
  • Anton Heunis
  • Alex Monroe
  • Iosselliani
  • Phoebe Coleman
  • Marc by Marc Jacobs
  • Dara Ettinger
  • Aamaya by Priyanka
  • Krystal London
  • Bex Rox