Nice costume jewelry - on a budget
March 31, 2012 9:33 PM   Subscribe

Are there any places to purchase costume jewelry with lab/synthetic stones in higher quality settings? Costume jewelry always seems to have cheap settings, which don't look particularly nice (or feel very good to wear). Is there a place to get nicer looking/feeling costume jewelry?

I love the look and feel of the substantial, solid settings on fancy fine jewelry but as a recent graduate (and someone with a history of being good at losing earrings) I can only afford to purchase costume jewelry. Can you suggest best/most trustworthy sellers of higher quality costume jewelry?

posted by arnicae to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
The Victoria Wieck pieces from the Home Shopping Network (yes, I know, ew) are very nicely made for the price (I wouldn't say that for all the jewelry, but the Wieck pieces stand out).

Ross-Simons can be hit or miss, but many of their pieces are well made. Museum shops can have really nice quality vermeil pieces, and sterling/CZ pieces as well.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:16 PM on March 31, 2012

Where are you shopping now? Have you checked.out your local "fancy" department stores? Usually the closer you get (in the store) to the real jewelery, the nicer the costume pieces get...
posted by sexyrobot at 1:40 AM on April 1, 2012

A friend of mine has several pieces from which she loves, and they look great. A lot of their jewelry is a bit bling-tastic for my tastes but my friend has an elegant asscher cut ring and matching earrings which are very classy.
posted by essexjan at 1:43 AM on April 1, 2012

You can buy precious metal settings and synthetic (and non-synthetic) stones from Rio Grande at very reasonable prices. Any jeweller will assemble your purchase if you're nervous about the DIY (but a lot of their settings are designed to be easy for DIY).

+1 museum shops, too. What kind of jewellery are you looking for, stylistically speaking? Do you want something that looks like what essexjan links to -- "real" jewellery -- or do you want more fun stuff, just not mall-store cheap fun stuff? If the latter I personally would be off to Tatty Devine and the MoMA store.

Better-quality vintage often offers a good weight &c, but that's something you either devote time to hunting for in flea markets and garage sales or pay a bit of a premium for. Still usually comparable, price-wise, to some of the nicer costume jewellery in a nicer department store.
posted by kmennie at 6:04 AM on April 1, 2012

I like the fun stuff, but am mostly looking for simple, classic stuff that looks like "real" jewelry. Thanks!
posted by arnicae at 8:05 AM on April 1, 2012

I'm a big fan of the Monet line of costume jewelry. It's good quality stuff that's generally simple yet with some distinctive twist. They've been around since the 1920s and there's both new merchandise and lots of vintage available. In Canada Sears and the Bay both carry it — I don't know where you can find it in L.A. but surely it will be sold there.

Otherwise, besides making some bead jewelry myself, I buy most of my jewelry on The have loads and loads of vintage and handmade pieces for very reasonable prices. Just type in your search terms and you'll come up with pages and pages of examples of it. When I wanted an owl brooch for a Mother's Day present, I just typed in "gold owl brooch" and there were about five pages of listings of gold-tone owl brooches. I picked out a very cute one that, with shipping came to under $15.
posted by orange swan at 8:21 AM on April 1, 2012

The Landau Collection has well-made classic costume pieces (like vermeil or platinum-plated sterling CZ solitaire earrings, etc.). They have some mall stores, usually in malls anchored by Nordstrom or Neiman Marcus, as well as the website.

Vintage Monet is fantastic; I find the last few years they've been more hit or miss. In the US, you can find them at Macy's, Dillard's, and similar.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:37 AM on April 1, 2012

Have you looked at Erwin Pearl? Their jewelry is mostly sterling silver or gold plate with cubic zirconia; they also have real-looking imitation pearls made from glass beads coated in powdered mother of pearl. Their items aren't cheap, but they do look very much like the real thing.
posted by Lycaste at 8:39 AM on April 1, 2012

Ziamond has cz and other faux stones in gold and platinum settings. They are gorgeous, but you definitely pay for the metal in the settings, but I think a quality setting makes a piece more believable , along with not getting a crazy big stone.
posted by hollygoheavy at 7:56 PM on April 1, 2012

I've gotten a number of things from Shadora, a limited-time-deal type site.

I have a friend who's ordered from, whose schtick is that they offer very short-term rotating pieces for the cost of shipping, trying to get their name out for their associated jewelry web store. He was happy with it; I haven't tried it yet.
posted by bookdragoness at 8:43 PM on April 1, 2012

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