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Thursday, December 03, 2009

Faux Jewelry

I’m gearing up for the holiday party whirlwind (it starts next week for us).  I love getting dressed up and feeling glamorous --- its very much part of the “on the coattails” thing.  But I’m not spending a fortune doing it.  Part of what takes a simple classy outfit (like my tuxedo) up the notch to positively glamorous is the jewelry.  Nearly all of my jewelry is costume stuff from high-end stores like Claires, Target, and the Icing (yeah – high end!!)  So I got some advice from a friend of ours who runs a jewelry store (the real kind – the kind I can’t afford) on choosing costume stuff that doesn’t scream “cheap”. 
·       Watch the stones.  Cheap costume jewelry often has brightly colored stones that simply could never occur in nature.  Go for the flatter, duller stones when you’re looking at colored “gems”.
·       Buy something big enough to be impressive, but small enough that no one looks at it and “knows” that you could NEVER possibly afford a real stone that size.  My faux diamond earrings do this terrifically for me.  Where I work, a lot of the women have much, much larger (gaudy, almost) diamond studs in their ears.  Mine are large enough to look great.  But if I had studs as large as some of the ones I see, everyone would instantly know they were fake. 
·       Watch the setting.  You want to see prongs around the “gem”.  A lot of cheap jewelry is glued together and that’s it.  Good jewelry is held into the setting using prongs to hold the stone. No prongs announces FAKE, FAKE, FAKE from 10 feet away.  (or however close you can see the missing prongs)
·       Shiny fake gold looks fake.  Brushed fake gold and matte fake gold can often pull it off.  Watch the super shiny stuff.
·       Take super good care of it.  The fake stuff scratches like crazy which is a dead giveaway that its cheap.  Watch that it doesn’t wear away over time and show the base that’s underneath the coating of fake gold.