Costume jewelry, as opposed to fine jewelry, can be really fun to make or wear and you can really showcase your personality in it. In contrary to actual fine gemstones and metals, costume jewelry is often cheaper and easier to replace. But the history of the actual type of jewelry is interesting to know because unlike diamonds and fine gems that were seen on royalty for many years, costume jewelry is something of another sort.
The beginning of costume jewelry started with pieces that were made of cheaper materials, such as pewter or silver. And even before the 20th century, pieces were often made from glass instead. They were often adorned with rhinestones or Lucite, both of which could make a statement, but were not of real value. Today, we use a mixture of cheaper metals, like sterling silver or gold coatings with cubic zirconium or fake gems in them. All of these are to bring the price down, but give the same kind of elegance to an outfit as you could have with other pieces.
As early as the 1920s, women started incorporating some piece of costume jewelry into their outfits. It was more art deco in style, and with the emerging flapper lifestyle, many large rings, bangles, and long necklaces were seen on women in clubs. It was a way of showing they were breaking free and could truly be themselves in the 1930s, with the Depression and World War II, things were a little harder to come by, especially materials.
Things were made in America mainly, so the styles reflected their style. They were flowery and some were even found to have military influence in their style as well. After the war, in the later 1940s to 1960s, things went away from retro and started taking a more tailored look to them. Pins hit the market and in the 1960s, things turned bold and chunky.
Today you see a mix of all of these styles. With many pieces winding up in vintage shops, people will wear many kinds of styles, sometimes all at once.
Costume jewelry can be an extremely fun way of showing off your style, and it is cheaper than buying precious gemstones and things made of expensive metals. What is great about it is that while it may be fairly newer compared to other fashion trends such as clothes or shoes, it is something that many people can remember having in their youth, and still wearing today.