Cheap jewelry or fashion jewelry has been a part of our culture for nearly 300 years. In the course of the 18th century. century began to make cheap jewelry by glass. After nearly a century, in the 19th century. century, was fashion jewelry made of half-noble materials which came on the market at the time.
The use of half-noble materials meant that the jewelry was available for ordinary people.
Cheap jewelry or fashion jewelry, junk jewelry, fake jewelry or costume jewellery emerged as a concept in the 1930s as a cheap, disposable accessory meant to be worn with a specific outfit.
They were meant to be used for a short period of time and its main feature was therefore fashion related, contrary to original and precious jewelry, then primarily considered collectible or investment. Cheap jewellery is made from less-valuable materials including base metals, glass, plastics and synthetic stones, rather than more valuable materials such as precious metals and gems.
The Golden honor
But the real golden era of cheap fashion jewelry began in the middle of the 20th century where the new middle class wanted to own beautiful but affordable jewelry.
This desire was realized by the perfect timing in the form of the start of the industrial revolution, which made it possible to produce exact copies of beautiful and admired jewelry heirlooms.
Class structure changes in America meant that women in all social strata, even working-class women could own a smaller and less expensive fashion jewelry. The average urban-rural woman could acquire and carry a significant amount of these mass-produced jewelry that was both affordable and stylish. An interesting phenomenon occurred, however, under 2. World War II in which Sterling Silver more and more often was used for jewellery design.
This was driven primarily by two factors:
- The base metals used to cheap jewelry was needed for war time production, and a ban was therefore introduced in the private sector.
- Base metal was originally popular because they could imitate Platinum color but just Sterling Silver fulfilled the same function.
It resulted in a number of years where cheap jewelry in Sterling Silver was produced on a large scale, some of which can still be found on vintage jewelry marketplaces.