These are our collection of articles that will help you get your fashion brand off the ground. This section includes step by step guides for starting your own site and listing products on marketplaces such as Amazon and Walmart. This section also includes practical marketing tips for fashion business owners new and old.
Midi rings are also called knuckle rings because they are tiny delicate rings worn on the middle knuckle of your finger. It is also called a layered ring since you can wear many at the same time.
Midi ring started to become a trend in 2013, and it’s become particularly popular because you can wear and style them in so many different ways. There are so many lovely designs on the market for wearers to mix and match to decorate their fingers according to their preferences.
How to wear midi rings?
The most popular way to wear midi rings is to keep a minimal and delicate look where you only wear one or two rings or very fine bands.
Our personal favorite way is to layer midi rings with statement rings or cocktail rings to make a bold and unique look. The chunky ring on your fingers complemented by midi ring pieces elevate your outfit in an instant.
Are midi rings comfortable?
If you are new to embracing midi rings, you probably think that they would fall off very easily. However, once you get used to it and, more importantly, choose the right size, you will find that midi rings are surprisingly comfortable and secure.
When choosing comfort-fit midi rings, we usually suggest choosing your midi ring size based on your pinky ring size. Your pinky ring size will often be the correct midi ring size for at least one of your other fingers. If you want to find a midi ring size for a particular finger, you can also consider following the trick. Take your normal ring size and subtract 4. So if your ring size is 7, your midi ring size is likely 3.
The last thing you should keep in mind is to be careful when washing your hands as your midi rings can slip off with soap. You can put in your pocket or purse, or you can always take a small travel pouch wherever you go while keeping your jewelry in place when needed.
Gold is yellow. White gold is white. How does that make any sense? The simple answer is that white gold is NOT white at all!
Gold is a very soft metal other metals are added to it to make it a stronger alloy. The fineness of gold is expressed in karats which are parts out of 24. So 18 karat gold means 18/24 or 75%. The different metals that are mixed in with the gold are what determine the final color. A more equal balance of copper and silver and you get the medium yellow color we are used to. More copper and you get rose gold.
For white gold, generally, nickel or cadmium is added to get that white silvery color but for 18k white gold, that still means it is 75% gold, so why doesn’t it look yellow? Well, the truth is that is DOES look yellowish but when you are looking at a white gold ring in the store you are not actually looking at white gold. You are looking at rhodium plating surrounding the white gold. Since white gold is yellowish, almost all jewelry makers will disguise the yellow color with a thin layer of rhodium, which is a very hard, very expensive — generally more expensive than gold — white metal.
Like any other plated jewelry, that plating will eventually wear away with use and you will be left with a dull spotty yellowish ring. Of course, the ring can still be re-plated and re-polished and it will look perfect. But why go through the trouble when platinum exists. Platinum jewelry does not need to be plated since they have that white metal color throughout and can be polished just as brilliantly as the rhodium plating on a white gold ring.
Of course, the reason that people generally consider buying white gold in the first place is that it is usually more affordable than platinum. This leads me to my best answer to why you should not buy white gold: sterling silver.
Sterling silver has a more distinctive look that I personally prefer, is much less expensive, and does not need to be plated. While it can oxidize, it can be easily cleaned with cleaning solutions or even just rubbing with your fingers. At the same time, you can also often find sterling silver plated in rhodium which will prevent oxidation. The trade-off is that the plating will also eventually wear away (but is less noticeable since the base metal is approximately the same color).
Now, of course, a lot of people looking to purchase fine jewelry are doing so because of the intrinsic value of the materials and in that case silver can never match gold. But if that is the case, then I would suggest taking the money saved by buying sterling silver and put that into buying a bigger or higher clarity stone. A higher-quality center stone is immediately noticeable unlike silver versus white gold.
Our wholesale, designer inspired jewelry at Alamode Fashion Jewelry will satisfy your customers’ desires to wear affordable jewelry that looks like it should be on the latest fashion model. We have a design team that stays on the cutting edge of fashion trends and produces handmade pieces of fashionable jewelry, with the look of designer quality accessories.
Many of our jewelry items are inspired by pieces created for the rich and famous. We use quality cubic zirconia and Top Grade crystal to produce stones that will last for years of beautiful wear. The settings for our designer inspired jewelry are made from metals, such as brass and 925 sterling silver. We use a coating process that protects the metal and provides long-term wear under normal circumstances. It’s important to follow the care guidelines for each piece of jewelry to enhance the longevity of the plating.
One of our current favorite style icons is the Duchess of Sussex herself, Megan Markle. We love Meghan Markle’s chic yet elegant style, especially when it comes to her stunning jewelry accessories.
We’ve got a lovely selection of three-stone engagement rings, sea blue & aquamarine rings, leaf-motif rings, modern ear jackets, and dainty stud earrings for your royal-fan customers. We believe your customers will steal the spotlight with these beautifully-crafted pieces just like the Duchess herself.
Why should you choose Alamode for your designer-inspired jewelry?
At Alamode Fashion Jewelry, we have a worldwide distribution of wholesale designer inspired jewelry. We have been leaders in the wholesale market for over 25 years, so we know what it takes to make your customers happy. Every piece of inspired jewelry that we create is carefully made to have the appearance of high-fashion quality.
If you have any questions about our products or services as a wholesale dealer, contact us by phone or email. One of our customer service representatives will be glad to respond to your inquiry. Regardless of the size of your retail business, we have the products to supply your demand.
Most fashion jewelry products on the market are made of brass. Since brass jewelry is usually made of a combination of zinc and copper, it can often tarnish, or oxidize. If you wear brass jewelry, it can often leave a green mark on your skin when you sweat or wash your hands.
Stainless steel jewelry has become popular in recent years as a direct counter to the “green finger” effect. Stainless steel is durable, resistant to rust, corrosion, and tarnishing. However, just like any other material, stainless steel can still become scratched and stained.
Luckily, stainless steel jewelry is very easy to clean compared to brass. Here are some tips that you can follow to take care of stainless steel jewelry:
1. Water and soap
Add some mild dishwashing soap in warm water.
Dip a soft lint-free cloth in the soapy water and then gently wipe the stainless steel jewelry with the damp cloth until it is clean.
Use a moist cloth dipped in clean water to wipe the remaining soap off your jewelry.
Pat dry the jewelry well with a clean towel, and then air dry.
2. Baking soda and water
Mix the baking soda and water until you get a paste.
Use your soft-bristled toothbrush to apply the paste and gently scrub the jewelry.
After you’ve done this for all over the jewelry, rinse the jewelry in warm water until the baking soda comes off.
Wipe off the water with a cloth and then polish the jewelry with a polish cloth (not the one for sterling silver).
3. Toothpaste (use plain and white silica-free toothpaste)
Put a small amount of toothpaste on a damp soft cloth and gently rub the jewelry along the grain. For tough stains, use a soft bristle toothbrush.
After all the stains have been removed, immerse the stainless steel jewelry in clean water and rinse thoroughly.
Dry the jewelry with a soft cloth and polish it with a polish cloth.
How to store stainless steel jewelry?
Last but not least, storing your stainless steel jewelry properly is an important step after the cleaning work is done. Unlike silver and brass, stainless steel jewelry requires much less work to take care of and maintain. However, you can’t just throw your stainless steel jewelry anywhere. It’s very likely it will get scratched if it’s placed with other metals. So the most proper jewelry storage method is to keep your stainless steel jewelry in a clean and safe place, away from other items. Avoid storing your stainless steel jewelry in the same jewelry box as your rose gold rings or sterling silver earrings.
If you want to store all of your jewelry in the same container, you can store your stainless steel jewelry in a fabric-lined case with separate compartments, or wrap pieces individually in soft tissue paper.
We hope you find the above-mentioned tips useful and if you’d like to share your methods taking care of your stainless steel jewelry, leave a comment and let us know!
Father’s Day is Sunday, June 16, 2019. Your potential buyers are likely looking for a gift for the dads who consistently go above and beyond. We know this is not an easy task. Luckily, we did the majority of the legwork on your behalf. In this list, we compiled what we think are the 5 best-known archetypes of dads in relation to fashion accessories. Which category does your dad fall into?
The dad whose only item of jewelry is his wedding band: Tiger’s Eye Ring – TK378
Face it, part of becoming a dad is looking like a dad but it doesn’t have to be that way! There’s at least one guaranteed piece of jewelry most dad’s will wear every day and that’s his wedding band. Why stick to the same boring band day in and day out? The average man wants to look presentable but also does not want to be flashy, so the traditional sparkly stones aren’t going to be suitable for the standard dad. That’s why our pick for the most dad-friendly ring is the tiger’s eye. The polished stainless steel band is sleek yet understated and the polished brown sheen of the tiger’s eye stone matches brilliantly with a pair of brown leather dress shoes. It even goes well with a pair of nicely fitted of jeans and a casual blazer for a more laid back look. If he is going to be wearing a ring anyway, why not choose one that will make him feel just a little bit less ordinary.
The old t-shirt and jeans dad: Stainless Steel “Ivory” Necklace – TK2004
Maybe he’s lazy or maybe he’s bohemian. In either case, this type of dad wears the same few 80s metal band t-shirts most days and the holes in his jeans weren’t there when he bought them. It’s no question that many men like this embrace a more natural and more simple way of dressing. But just because you’re bohemian, doesn’t mean you can’t still look like a gentleman. The key difference between looking slick and looking like a slob is accessories. When you pair a ratty t-shirt and torn jeans with a well put together accessories, you signify to the world that you meant for those holes to be in that shirt. Try to pair this more casual look with our stainless steel “ivory” and faux leather necklace. This stainless steel pendant is inspired by the natural look of ivory or shark tooth without any of the harm. Worn with a faux leather necklace and even the laziest outfit can look put together.
The coolness of a dad is dependent on the age of the beholder. There’s no one cooler than your dad when you’re under 12 years old and there’s no one lamer than your dad when you’re a teenager. Even though this is an absolute law of nature when dealing with your own dad, when we look at another person’s dad, we know a “cool” dad when we see one. For those motorcycle riding, adventure sports loving “cool” dad, nothing fits better than this serpent’s trace bracelet. The ridged pattern of this bracelet is inspired by deadly snakes and other dangerous creatures. Wearing this bracelet lets the cool dad stay adventurous even when he’s just in the garage working on his Harley.
Not all dads are slobs and if they are now, there’s a good chance they weren’t a slob before they became a dad. To the current and former dapper dads, there’s no better way to elevate a formal look than with cufflinks. Just wearing cufflinks shows that you care about how you look since the shirts themselves can be hard to find. To take your French style cuff to the next level, we recommend our gunmetal semi-precious cufflinks. The subtle glimmer of stones pairs elegantly with a white or off-white dress shirt.
You’ve seen it before, some dad’s just only want to talk about money. Whether it’s too much money or not enough, it’s safe to say that this type of dad already has a favorite accessory: cold hard cash. Then what’s better than getting an accessory for his favorite accessory! The interwoven pattern on this money clip is inlaid with a handsome black enamel. The design evokes playfulness as well as seriousness and is perfect for the guy that wants to show off the greenbacks every once in a while. It doesn’t hurt that it’s less bulky and easier to carry around than that old trifold wallet he’s carrying.
We wouldn’t dare claim that these 5 archetypes of dads cover all styles of dads but we would like to think that we got close. With these 5 styles of accessories, we are sure that even if your dad doesn’t fit into any of these categories, he will still feel loved this Father’s Day.
Do you own a fashion boutique? Perhaps you are in charge of maintaining or decorating a retail space. Even if you sell a small number of handmade items at a local farmers market or flea market, you are leaving money on the table if you are not selling accessories to pair with your clothing! Not only do small accessories delight your customers with additional ways to catch their eye, but they also dramatically increase your revenue per square foot of retail space. Accessories such as rings and necklaces add to your existing product line while taking up minimal display space. These small items also have “impulse purchase” appeal due to their eye-catching nature and often more inexpensive prices. Finally, accessories can help you sell more of your existing clothing by letting you re-frame your existing line in a new perspective.
Do’s and don’ts of displaying accessories
Now it’s easy to talk about adding accessories to your fashion line, but how do you actually do it? Here we will go over some easy do’s and don’ts to maximize your accessories selling potential.
Do: Utilize your existing space
Do you already have display mannequins to display your clothing line? Focus on what you already have and make sure your designs flow naturally. For example, if you already have a hat as an accent piece to your ensemble, add a chunky necklace to focus the eye upwards.
Also, not all displays are equal. If shopping for a new mannequin, consider one with articulated fingers. Not only does this type of display open you up to new display poses, but it also allows you to add rings which can have similar profit margins compared to much larger clothing items while taking up significantly less floor space.
Don’t: Use a flat lay that falls flat
Laying items flat on a table is probably the most basic and common way of displaying small items and accessories. There is not necessarily anything wrong with this method but avoid lining up items in perfect rows and groupings. Packing items together too tightly tends to create a camouflage effect where no individual item stands out.
Do: Use a theme and irregular display shapes and patterns
Breaking up regular patterns and shapes will draw attention to details where there was none before. These uneven patterns might make the perfectionist in you go crazy but that’s kind of the point. Regular patterns bore the eye. Try variations on height, color, materials, and shapes. When you do group items together, try to do so in a way that tells a story such as silver items from a particular place or gold items that evoke a certain time period.
Do: Optimize for impulse purchases
Fashion jewelry can be the perfect “impulse” purchase. Much like a candy bar at the checkout aisle, small and eye-catching items can give customers that extra dopamine hit right when they are already in the mood to buy. The price point is important here. Overly expensive items will not trigger that impulse purchase response. The right price depends on the relative price of other items in your store but under $10 or $20 is a good rule of thumb. Also, remember to utilize space to your advantage such as stand up displays. Veritical displays take up less space at the checkout line and can be placed in the direct eye line of the customer.
Don’t: Add accessories just for the sake of it
You will often not want to add an accessory for no reason. An accessory should be able to accent a particular item for a particular reason. In this case, the parallel lines created by this long stranded necklace helps complement the geometric design of this strapless dress. This complementary factor can not only help you sell the accessory but helps to accentuate the dress to make a potential buyer see your primary item in a new light.
Do: Reuse existing designs for multiple seasons
The beauty of selling accessories as a complementary item is that they are never the star of the show, so you can get away with reusing the same item more than once. This allows you to reduce inventory while still staying stocked for all seasons.
Even if you sell primarily clothing, you should not forget about accessories. Small fashion jewelry such as rings and earrings not only adds another revenue stream with minimal display space, but it can also help you sell your existing products.
Have any questions? Leave us a comment below or email us at [email protected]. We would love to hear from you!
You finally did it. You found web hosting, you bought the perfect domain name, and you have set up your first online store. Even though you designed everything yourself, it looks professionally made.
Great! You got your first customer inquiry. But oh no, you’re still answering emails from your personal Gmail account you set up in 10th grade. Sure, some people might not notice that you’re answering their questions as [email protected] but then again, you would have noticed. You can probably get “[email protected]” and call it a day but it’s still not THAT professional sounding. People are already suspicious about buying from a new online store. A Gmail account might not make people more suspicious but it certainly doesn’t help. To make matters worse, you already bought that perfect domain name for your website, why can’t you just use it? Below we are going to compare some of the top ways to get free email hosting for your custom domain using email forwarding, Zoho, and Yandex.
The typical way… go with Google
But before we get started, let’s just go over what most people do. Google’s G Suite includes productivity apps like Google Docs and Google Drive but also includes a version of Gmail that lets you use your custom domain. Best of all it’s free… if you signed up before 2012.
Given that you’re reading this now, you are probably too late for the free version. At $5 per user, it’s not a terrible price for the convenience of Gmail and the included productivity apps. But then again, these are the same apps you get already get for free as a normal Gmail user. Also, $5 per user per month is not a lot for just one person but might add up if you have a few friends or family that could help out with customer support. Also what if you want an [email protected] account or a [email protected] or an [email protected] account. While the costs are still small, it could still add up to a few hundred dollars a year for something that FEELS like it should be free. So what are the alternatives?
The simplest way to get your custom email domain routed is to use email forwarding. In essence, this isn’t much different than having one mailbox with your domain and just automatically pressing “Forward” to every email that comes in. Since these emails are forwarded, you can actually send all these emails to your existing Gmail account. With the right configuration, you can also, more or less, send emails as your custom domain directly from your Gmail account but it might show up to the receiver with a message saying “sent via gmail.com”. In all, this is a fine solution if a little bit of a “hack”. Many people have used this method for years with no ill effects. You can find detailed instructions on how to do this here.
Can still use Gmail
Can send and receive as your custom domain
Kind of a “hack”
Your domain registrar needs to support email forwarding
Some domain registrars might limit the number of forwards
You have to configure Gmail to allow a “less secure apps” mode
People still might receive a message saying that your email was “sent via gmail.com”
Zoho is an Indian productivity software company with their US headquarters in California. They are probably most well known for their CRM software that is a more inexpensive alternative to Salesforce. With their bundle of products, they also offer a version of their email services with custom domain support that is free for 5 users. The free option is a little hidden on their website but you can find a link to sign up here.
Much like G Suite, Zoho offers a variety of other free productivity applications when you sign up but most are arguably worse than Google’s offerings. The email client is fine. There is a small learning curve but some features are, in my opinion, easier to use than Gmail, such as group email accounts.
The big downside to the free Zoho Mail account is that there is no SMTP or POP access. This feature is only available in their paid version and this basically means that you will not be able to access Zoho mail from 3rd party apps. They have their own email app for both iPhone and Android which is decent but if you need to have all your emails in your current smartphone app then this might be a dealbreaker.
Full email services
Includes suite of free productivity software
Not a hack – won’t have issues with weird sender addresses and forwarding
Limited to 5 free accounts
Limited to their smartphone app for free accounts
Yandex is essentially the Google of Russia. As such, they offer very similar services, which includes a Gmail equivalent that includes custom domains for free. You can have up to 1000 free email addresses on each domain each with unlimited storage. There are free API integrations (which you probably won’t need, but still nice to know it’s there). Yandex includes SMTP and POP3 access or free which means you can use your preferred smartphone app to receive your emails. If you wanted to, you can even configure your current Gmail to send and receive your email through SMTP and everything will be synced. This syncing means that there would be none of the issues that you would see if using email forwarding.
The only potential problem is that the service is based out of Russia. While it is possible that your data might be more at risk in Russia compared to the US, Yandex is a well-established tech company and is probably well prepared to protect your data against attackers. In terms of privacy, given that many US firms are currently in the middle of data privacy scandals, I can’t say they would be better than an American firm but I also can’t say for sure that they would be worse. In terms of government surveillance, the Russian government certainly does not have a good track record, but personally, I don’t think the Russian government cares my emails nor do I care if they see them. I do not plan on going over there any time soon.
With that said, privacy is not my main problem with Yandex. The biggest problem is that their servers are physically located in Russia. Most internet traffic coming out of Russia is benign but some organizations will mark all internet traffic coming from a certain location as spam and automatically block that traffic. While this is not a good practice and would not happen if you were emailing someone using a major email provider like Google or Yahoo, this might still happen to very cautious and conservative organizations that run their own emails servers. Specific examples that come to mind would be hospitals and government agencies. Even though even among these organizations, this blanket blocking is rare, it can still happen and can be a real headache if it occurs.
1000 free email addresses
Free productivity apps
Can use your existing smartphone and desktop email apps
Can be synced with your Gmail account
Is physically hosted in Russia
So in the end, what should you do? If someone were to ask me, I would tell them to just forget the headache and pay for email from Google or Microsoft (which is a little cheaper at 5 emails for $100 a year). With that said, when I personally set up email for a new domain, I use Zoho. Are all the little annoyances worth $5 a month? To me, yes it is but ultimately, you will have to make that calculation for yourself.
As always, if you have any questions, feel free to write a comment down below and we will get to you as soon as possible!
Amazon is one of the easiest platforms to use… as a customer. As a seller, the story is quite different. If you have ever listed a product on the Amazon marketplace, you know how frustrating it can be. Waiting 15 minutes for inventory updates to show, pictures not uploading correctly and cryptic error messages. These are problems you will run into constantly if you use Amazon’s selling platform. However, the worst experience is when you are trying to do something that’s non-standard. Today we will do run through one of these activities by creating a new fashion jewelry listing without a UPC.
Amazon expects you to list an item by looking for an existing universal identifier such as a UPC or their own Amazon identifier ASIN. They do this to provide a better experience to end users since it would reduce the number of repeat listings. This is great for customers but what about new items that do not have a UPC, like jewelry.
Amazon does allow items to be listed without a UPC but often an exemption is required. For some products, like unbranded jewelry, Amazon gives a blanket exception and allows you to list against an ASIN that they generate for you. However, at the time of this writing, the Amazon Seller web interface no longer lets you do that.
In the past, when you listed an item, like jewelry, without a UPC, you can choose to use an ASIN and the system would generate an ASIN for you. You could then add the product under the newly generated ASIN. As you can see in the screenshot above, this is no longer true.
Even reverting back to the original interface also does not work.
So officially, you can still apply for an exemption or you can use a third party ASIN generator to get the ASIN to input into these forms, but that can be very costly and time-consuming.
Fortunately, we still have a workaround. We can still use upload templates to create new listings without having to use UPCs. Today we will walk through how to upload a new fashion ring listing with multiple size variations into the Amazon Marketplace using a template.
1. Download a template file
First, download the correct template from Seller Central.
Since we are going to want to create a product with a size variation, make sure to select the “Advanced” template.
2. Fill in the necessary fields in the template
The first row will be the “parent” listing. The parent listing won’t have a price or quantity but the “child” listing underneath it will. In our case each child will be a different size variation.
Each child should have a different seller SKU. These can be anything you want since it will only be visible to you but it would be useful for you to name them so you can easily track your products. In this example, I will make each child SKU the parent SKU with the size appended at the end. You don’t have to have a different Product Name for each item, but it would be a good idea to add the size to each title to make it easier for customers differentiate your listings and for yourself when it is time to fulfill the item. Choose “ASIN” for the Product ID Type and leave the Product ID field blank.
3. Add image links
Be sure to add an image link in the Main Image URL field, even for the Parent listing.
This URL should be a publicly accessible link, so if you are using Google Drive or Dropbox, make sure that the link has the proper permissions set. If you are uploading an Alamode product, you can find our image links on the product page. You can also find all image links in our inventory list.
4. Fill in the parent child relationships
Not all fields need to be filled out, but make sure to fill in the “Variation” section and mark the first row as “Parent” and the following rows as “Child”. Each child will need a Parent SKU. In this case, the parent SKU will be the value of the “Seller SKU” field of the first row. Note that the Parent SKU and Relationship Type fields of the parent row should be left blank.
5. Check your file
After filling out any other optional fields, such as the bullet point descriptions, size, and quantity you can check your file. Although optional, it is recommended that you check your file for errors before you formally upload it. While this does add an extra step in your workflow, it is a lot easier to fix errors before your official upload than to try to fix errors after the fact.
The results of your check will be available on the next tab. It might take a few minutes to generate your results.
6. Upload your final file
Once everything looks good, perform your final upload in the section below the file check section on the first tab.
And that’s it! You can monitor the upload on the third tab. If there are no errors, the final tab will show you if your listings have uploaded successfully. Be aware that it can take up to 15 to 30 minutes before your listings show completely. Very often listings will appear without images. Give it a few minutes, if the images do not show up then you can edit the listing manually.
I hope this guide helps you list your products on Amazon more easily. If you have any questions, be sure to leave a comment below or send an email to [email protected] and we will try to get back to you as soon as possible!
As someone in the fashion jewelry industry, you hear this a lot. Are these CZs real Swarovski’s? I don’t want fake diamonds, I want a real Swarovski! For someone in the know, these questions are kind of nonsensical. But if you are asking these questions, it is not your fault! There is definitely a lot of misinformation in the fashion jewelry industry. So today we will figure out what Swarovski crystals really are and what you should know when buying them.
What are Swarovski Crystals?
Crystals, like Swarovski crystals, are also known as lead glass. As the name implies, lead glass is when lead replaces some of the content of a more typical glass you would find in everyday life. Adding lead creates a glass with an increased refractive index. For our purposes, you can describe a material’s refractive index as the ability of the material to bend light as light travels through it. This bending of light, along with the faceted cut faces, is what allows gems to sparkle and gives gems the “fire” that we all look for. It is no surprise that diamonds naturally have an extremely high refractive index. Swarovski crystals are faceted lead glass beads produced by the Swarovski company.
So are you trying to tell me that Swarovski crystals are just cut glass?
Well, they aren’t just any cut glass, but yes. By most definitions, Swarovski crystals, and all crystals used in jewelry, are basically a form of cut glass. But just because it is “only” cut glass doesn’t mean that it’s not special. By the same token, diamonds are just precisely cut minerals. With that said, we can answer one common question. Are Swarovski crystals real? Yes they are real. They are real lead glass. But more likely when a person asks this question, they are actually asking “are Swarovski crystals precious gems?”. In this case the answer is, no, they are not.
Swarovski crystals are non-precious lead glass meaning that the intrinsic value of the material is not very high. They do have a valuable brand name, however, which causes them to have higher prices compared to other crystal suppliers. At one point, Swarovski did have a noticeably higher quality crystal compared to other manufacturers. However, this is no longer the case and there are now many manufacturers of high-quality crystals. It is for this reason that we here at Alamode Fashion Jewelry tend not to use Swarovskis in our products. We still use them in some cases and we will certainly use them if a customer requests them, but in general, they do not look any better than any other crystal on the market.
Are Swarovski Crystals Worth it?
This leads us into our other common question: are Swarovski crystals worth it? The general rule of thumb for jewelry holds. If you think looks nice then it is worth it to you! But maybe you are asking: should I pay more for this ring with a Swarovski than this ring made with a different crystal? I would say the answer is if you value the Swarovski brand name, then yes it is worth it to be able to say it is a Swarovski. If you primarily value just the look of the product, then no since it will most likely look indistinguishable from less expensive crystals.
Swarovski Crystals VS Cubic Zirconias
Another common perception is that Swarovski crystals are “better” than cubic zirconias (CZ). Again, the answer to the question is up to interpretation. I think it could be argued that Swarovski has a better brand name compared to CZ which has a reputation for being cheap and fake. If the argument is that Swarovksi has better name recognition among the general population then yes, I think that you can say that Swarovski crystals are “better”. However if you are talking about objective looks, then I do not think you can say that Swarovski crystals are better than CZs. CZs have a higher refractive index meaning that they will sparkle more and have more “fire” compared to crystals. CZs and crystals can have comparable clarity but CZs are much harder so they will be much less likely to scratch compared to crystals. Often it is this scratched surface that makes stones look dull and “fake”.
Why use Crystals at all?
Now with all these reasons why crystals do not stack up to CZs, does that mean we should not use them at all? No! Crystals still have their place in fashion jewelry. In general, crystals are actually less expensive than CZs which makes them perfect for micro-pave settings. Micro-pave settings will usually use much smaller stones so each individual stone does not need the same level of clarity and detail of a larger stone. By using crystals versus CZs, the material cost of a piece can drop significantly without as significant of a drop in visual quality. Crystals are often also foil backed. This means that there is a reflective metallic foil added to the back of each crystal. Manufacturers add this foil to give the stone more fire at the expense of clarity. But this backing also means that crystals can be glued instead of manually set with prongs or other settings. Again, this is useful for very small stones where individually hand set stones would be too laborious and costly.
Hopefully, we were able to clear up some misconceptions about crystals and some of the stones used in fashion jewelry. It is true that Swarovski has a great brand name but that does not make it automatically better. While crystals might not be the best stone to use if visual quality is the main concern, they still have an important place in fashion jewelry.
Even though our company Alamode Fashion Jewelry primary sells fashion jewelry (we also carry a vast selection of 925 sterling silver and semi-precious stones — BTW), it may come as a surprise when you hear our answer. Can fashion jewelry make the wearer look cheap? Yes, yes it can. BUT so can flawless diamonds, rubies, and 24k gold. It all depends on how you wear it!
“Cheap” when talking about jewelry can mean inexpensive and economical or it can also mean tacky and tasteless. Both versions of “cheap” can be possible when talking about costume or fashion jewelry so we will tackle each category one at a time.
Well made fashion and costume jewelry will be indistinguishable from jewelry made from genuine precious metals and stones. In fact, cubic zirconias (CZ), the most common diamond simulant, only differs from real diamonds because they often had TOO much fire and sparkle. The industry has since dialed in the fire as to be indistinguishable from diamonds to the naked eye. Generally speaking, the easiest way to quickly spot a cubic zirconia is if it is too large and flawless to be found outside of a safety deposit box. The problem, though, is that cheaply and inexpensively made jewelry is common, especially at high volume fast fashion retailers such as H&M and Zara. Take these earrings from H&M for example.
These earrings look cheap because they are. They were probably stamped out of sheet metal and use a gold colored alloy instead of plating it with 18k gold and probably cost around $0.20 to produce. This type of accessory has its place but know that for probably two or three dollars more, you can buy similar earrings at retail that was cast, instead of stamped, and gold plated instead of using a gold tinted alloy.
Even more obvious than cheap base metals are cheap stones. Again, take these rings from H&M for example.
Even when photographed well, it is apparent that these rings are faceted plastic and only even remotely reflective because of the mirrored foil backing. Alternatively, take a well-made fashion ring such as this:
This ring also costs under $5 each and is made with stainless steel and cubic zirconia which are also not defined as precious materials but there would be no way to conclusively distinguish this from a platinum and diamond ring just by using the naked eye.
The key takeaway is yes, costume and fashion jewelry can look cheap but it can also look indistinguishable from the real thing. There will be a price difference between the costume jewelry you can spot from across the store isle versus ones that require a jeweler’s loupe to determine its authenticity but the price difference is often only a few dollars, not ten or twenty.
Tacky is usually described as ostentatious and vulgar and usually designated for jewelry that is explicitly designed to be pretentious to attract attention. Take for example this ring with a giant center stone encircled by smaller stones around the whole circumference.
If you were to see someone wearing this on the street, you would most likely assume this is fake and probably in poor taste. In fact, this particular ring is made of real diamonds and likely costs over $200k just in the raw cost of the stones alone. Even if this was made using cubic zirconias, it would likely cost $20 or $30 just to produce and would likely look indistinguishable to the naked eye compared to the original. The takeaway here is that you can use all genuine precious materials and still look tacky!