To the naked eye, a gold ring may be just a gold ring. Put two rings beside one another - a solid gold one vs. one that is gold-filled, and you probably couldn't spot the difference right away. But the differences, however invisible at first, are the difference between fine jewelry and its fashion / costume / boutique counterpart.
We love both for different reasons. Here's how we define them -
: timeless staples made of precious metals, i.e. solid gold, silver or platinum, & genuine gemstones that can last for generations
: popular trend pieces made of less precious, sometimes man-made materials, i.e. gold-plated, gold-filled, brass, copper, etc. that are thoughtfully peppered into a collection
^ fine: standard endless hoop in 14k gold vs. fashion: classic hoop in 14k gold-filled
Fine are the little diamond studs your parents gave you after your first recital, the gold cross charm necklace your aunt passed down on the day you were baptized, the little heart ring your first boyfriend gave you in high school, Grandma's diamond cocktail ring turned 'something borrowed' the day of your wedding, the engagement ring you wear every day.
Fashion jewelry is the morning glory you bought for yourself when you finished studying for the MCAT, the crystal earrings you bought on a whim at the mall and wore to prom, the brass cuff stamped 'til pigs fly' that your best friend gave you the day of her wedding.
They can both be special - fine and fashion. The difference is that one is made up of material that is more rare, sought after, valuable and able to stand the test of time, thereby making it an investment. It's a classic matter of quality vs. quantity.
^ fashion: twist stacker in 14k gold-filled vs. fine: diamond twist band in 14k gold with diamonds / solid gold twist band in 14k gold
But this doesn't mean fashion jewelry must be thrown out with the bathwater. In just the same way that you buy a candle knowing that the candle can't burn forever, so fashion jewelry serves a purpose for the time that it is in use.
^ fashion: stick confetti studs in 14k gold-filled vs. fine: short bar stud in 14k gold
Fashion jewelry is typically more affordable and perfect for adding a trend into your collection that you might not be wearing five years down the road. Whereas fine jewelry comes at a higher cost knowing that the payoff is a piece you can count on to wear everyday - in the shower, at the beach, while working out - and potentially pass down for generations.
^ fashion: charm necklace in 14k gold-filled vs. fine: moon & stars necklace in 14k gold with diamonds
A gold-filled necklace might be a more financially realistic gift for all 12 of your bridesmaids, whereas solid gold petite hoops could make a really sweet gift for your niece the flower girl.
^ fine: pip birthstone rings in 14k gold with diamonds / round opal dew ring (in-store only) in 14k gold with diamonds & opal vs. fashion: tiny opal stacker in 14k gold-filled
An ideal jewelry collection is one that is thoughtful & just that, collected - over time, over memories, over experiences. It's streamlined and wearable, but still fun and unique. It's personal and special and gathered with tomorrow in mind. We think there's room for fine and fashion pieces in a collection like that.
P.S. A 'dossier' - pronounced dȯ-sē-ˌā - is just a word that's fun to say meaning 'file' or 'report.' You can expect more of these on various topics in the future. Have one in mind you're interested in learning more about? Tell us in the comments!