7 Reason to Stop Buying Fashion Jewellery (and treat yourself to silver and gold instead)
It’s bright, colourful and shiny and often seems like the most cost effective way to finish off an outfit. However, as the world’s pollution crisis forces us to look more carefully at the amount we consume and the ways in which we can reduce, re-use and recycle, throw-away jewellery is an increasing cause for concern.
Statement gold jewellery with large, flashy precious stones is beyond most people’s budget, but smaller solid gold items, sterling silver and gold-plated sterling silver jewellery is within reach for most people, even if you have to save for a bit before you invest.
Obviously, as makers and retailers of sterling silver and gold-plated sterling silver jewellery, keen to run our business in an eco-friendly and sustainable way, the Wild & Fine team is a bit biased when it comes to the fashion vs. precious debate.
Given our vested interest in persuading you to treat yourself to gold and silver jewellery, here are 7 good reasons why you should. If they don’t convince you to click ‘Buy Now’ on that seahorse pendant or the shell earrings that you have had your eye on, then I don’t know what will!
1. IT’S BETTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
Fashion jewellery is usually mass-produced by machines using plastic, glass and base metals. It is not easy to recycle and, once its shine has dulled and a few of the stones have fallen out, it has lost its appeal and is fit only for the bin. Everyone has the right to look good, but that should not be at the cost of the planet.
2. IT HOLDS ITS VALUE
Precious metal jewellery may cost you more to buy in the first place, but if you ever need cash quickly in future, you will be able to sell gold or sterling silver jewellery for a similar amount to that which you paid for it (provided it is undamaged and was fairly priced in the first place). When you see an ad for a piece of fashion jewellery from a big brand, remember that the item has very little intrinsic value and the price that customers pay will be covering the expensive ad campaign too!
3. IF YOUR STYLE CHANGES YOU CAN REPURPOSE IT TO SUIT YOUR NEW LOOK
Much like tattoos impulsively purchased as a teenager, or holiday romances that faded quicker than your tan lines, it is possible to fall in love with a piece of jewellery one year and then to wonder what you were thinking five years down the line!
If it’s costume jewellery you bought, you’d better pop it in the bag for the charity shop and pray for greater clarity on your next shopping trip. If it’s precious metal jewellery and it’s intact you can sell it on an auction site such as Ebay or directly to a second-hand jewellery dealer for a reasonable return. If it’s broken, you can sell it for scrap to a trader, such as Cash For Gold, or you can find a local jeweller (such as Jess at Wild & Fine) and design something more to your current taste. You save money by having precious metal to trade in and you get to enjoy the exciting process of designing something truly unique and have it crafted from something you would never wear again.
4. IT’S REAL MONEY!
Whilst paper currency and coins can de-value alarmingly in response to world events, the price of gold and silver stays remarkably stable in the long term. Buying bullion and hiding it in the attic is an option, but we think that allowing someone to make something beautiful out of precious metal and having the opportunity to wear your hard assets is far more fun!
5. IT’S CLASSIER - STRONG, CONFIDENT WOMEN WEAR FINE JEWELLERY
Fashion jewellery is governed by trends. It is the preserve of those who do not know their own style and who need to be told what to wear by self-appointed experts. Fashions change with the seasons and faithful brand followers are encouraged to buy into new trends every few months, which is tough on the wallet and the planet!
A strong woman knows her own style and can confidently commit her hard-earned cash to a timeless piece of precious metal jewellery that reflects her personality. That jewellery will be stylish for as long as she wants it to be and for as long as she feels great wearing it. That woman is the one to emulate. Fine jewellery does not create her air of authenticity it simply reflects it in a way that throw-away fashion jewellery never could.
6. IT’S MADE IN SMALLER QUANTITIES SO YOU ARE LESS LIKELY TO FIND OTHERS COPYING YOUR STYLE.
Many fashion jewellery brands market their wares by telling you that you are unique and should express your individual style by wearing their products. Call me cynical, but what is unique about mass-produced, machine-made costume jewellery? Gold and sterling silver jewellery is often (though not always) made by a really crafts-person in a workshop. It is a wareable work of art with a story that inspired its creation, making it far more unusual than its mass-produced cousins.
7. FINE JEWELLERY TELLS A STORY AND HAS A RICH HISTORY
Aside from a small number of signature pieces preserved in museums and private collections, there are very few items of fashion jewellery with any history or heritage. Compare this to the number of people who treasure their grandmother’s gold wedding ring or never take off a sterling silver locket left to them by a favourite aunt and you can see that precious metal jewellery often gathers sentimental worth as well as material worth as it ages.
Add to that the thousands of years of geological history that precious stones hold and you find that there is a rich narrative to sterling silver and gold jewellery that just cannot compare to mass-produced costume jewellery.
If you are looking for a piece of jewellery to commemorate a special holiday or mark an important birthday, investing in precious metal will give you the opportunity to own something that will last for years and not degrade with age. If you love it and wear it for a lifetime, it may also become the treasured possession of someone you love, for the sake of what it meant to you. You can’t say that about many pieces of fashion jewellery, can you?