3 Ways to Spot Cheap Jewelry

I don’t like to use bad words on this blog, but today I make an exception. Today, we are talking about…cheap jewelry – gasp! You know the kind I’m talking about. We have all fallen victim to that “great sale” type of jewelry. The type that was far too good to be true, and turned out it was. When I was younger, the type of jewelry I wore didn’t matter to me just as long as I was wearing some. Honestly, growing up, I couldn’t tell you the difference between vending machine jewelry and high priced couture jewelry. Now, my thinking has definitely changed for the better. That’s because I found 3 dead giveaways of cheap jewelry that I need to share with you.

3 sure fire ways to spot cheap jewelry

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Cheap Jewelry is different from costume jewelry

When I refer to cheap jewelry, I am referring to the rings that turn your finger green. Necklaces that clank loudly against each other. Bracelets with the barely usable clasp. “Gold” jewelry were the gold strips off during wear. Cheap jewelry is vastly different than costume jewelry (aka glass jewelry). Think of custom jewelry as your 80’s loud adornments. The kind made from inexpensive materials and imitation gems. Modern costume jewelry incorporates a wide range of materials. High end crystals, cubic zirconia simulated diamonds, and some semi-precious stones are used in place of precious stones. 

Costume jewelry can come at a moderate price point, and even some designers turn to costume jewelry for inspiration. I own a couple of costume jewelry items that I wear to make bold statements with my outfit. Costume jewelry can be justified. What we are not going to talk about, is why you have to spend a huge amount of money on your next jewelry phase.

We are going to talk about 3 sure fire ways to spot a cheap jewelry item and how to avoid ever buying one again!

Some Fashionable Alternatives to Expensive Jewelry

Before we dig into the main course, I wanted to share a couple of easy (and wallet friendly) luxury jewelry hacks. The modern woman can certainly have investment jewelry items in her collection. But, not every woman wants to splurge when making a purchase, especially a seasonal trend item.

1. Chain necklaces and bracelets are the first to tarnish. I suggest buying jewelry pieces that are gold/sterling silver filled chains.

2. Gemstones are pretty expensive. Pearls are actually more price conscious and are also on trend right now.

Might I suggest investing in some quality staples such as gold hoops and signet rings and then layering with costume jewelry. You can also save money by opting for vintage jewelry finds and not buying high price trendy items. A good rule of thumb, and something I recently invested in, is having some quality jewelry cleaner on hand. You can even opt for a jewelry polishing cloth if you don’t trust yourself with the liquid form. Get in the habit of polishing your jewelry. Jewelry tarnishes because of general wear, just like your clothes. Giving it a good clean every once in a while will really help.

3 identifying factors of cheap jewelry

I found 3 dead giveaways to spotting cheap jewelry a mile away. Think of these factors next time you shop around. And again, always opt for affordable pieces that look expensive versus cheap. Your skin with thank you later.

1. A cheap and flimsy band

When you are in the market for a new ring, take a moment to hold it in your hand for a true assessment. Give the band a squeeze. Compare it to other rings you might be wearing. Does the ring feel way too light in your hand? Does it look way too thin and flimsy? Try placing it on your finger for a couple of minutes. Any discoloration on your skin, or on the ring itself, when you remove it?

If you say yes to any of these questions, run far, run fast.

2. The metal is way too bright and shiny

This tell is one of the biggest giveaways. But, good thing is, it’s also very easy to spot before purchasing. If the metal has a bright yellowish tint, it is cheap. Or, if there are spots of discoloration, fading, or dinginess, it is cheap. These visible factors can be seen on any type of jewelry and even hair accessories. You might want to skip it.

3. It turns your skin green

It’s happened to the best of us, and it’s really annoying to sport. Having your jewelry leave behind a green residue is (almost) the worst thing that can happen. Taking your ring or necklace or bracelet off only to see that it looks like you’ve developed gangrene sucks.

shop fashionable cheap jewelry for less

Network with fellow jewelry lovers

There is honestly nothing more important than a friendly community of your peers who love the same things you do! Something I quickly realized about blogging full time is that it becomes extremely lonely if you don’t connect yourself with other bloggers.

When I first started my blog a little over a year ago, I decided to also create a community called Sleeping with Jewelry, for female bloggers, and fashion and jewelry lovers to come together and connect.

The main focus I had for this community was to share my own jewelry and accessory tips and trends. Also to help inspire and motivate other fashion men and women who have a passion for these trends and to help them to stay up to date. I wanted this community to be a safe place for people to come and get their questions about jewelry answered and to collaborate with other like minded bloggers!

I would love to welcome you with open arms if you are looking for a community of inspiring fashion men and women. And learn how to turn your accessories passion into a lifestyle. Come join us! 

what do you think?

Are there any other ways to spot cheap jewelry? Let me know in the comments.


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Ashli Cargill
Ashli Cargill

FUN FACT: I am a donut lover with a slight shopping addiction.

I have been writing Sleeping with Jewelry blog since 2017 in hopes to connect with you all and share my love for accessories and shopping! I hope you enjoy the big smiles and gold jewelry seen across every page. Please feel free to leave a comment below, I love hearing from you all!

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