Costume Jewelry is a term that dates back to a period in the early 20th century. We now use the word “outfit” in the same reference to the word costume. Costume Jewelry has been a part of women’s wardrobes however, for the past 300 years. Originally jewelry makers used inexpensive glass to create costume jewelry pieces. Women were able to express themselves through their unique jewelry in a way that they still do today.
Costume Jewelry in the early 20th century was composed of low-priced stones like rhinestones. These stones were set in economically priced metals such as nickel, brass or pewter. In the World War 2 era, sterling silver was used in costume jewelry for a couple of reasons. The metal was for wartime production but within the private sector, a ban was placed on their use. Sterling Silver could also be created approximately the color of platinum and therefore became popular. Mid 20th century was a particularly popular time for costume jewelry, as the new middle class women wanted something beautiful but also affordable. Nowadays, costume jewelry incorporates high-end crystals, semi-precious stones, and cubic zirconia set in metals such as silver-plated brass, gold and silver.
Because adhesives are used to adhere stones to metals, cleaning costume jewelry can be a tricky situation as adhesives are delicate. Costume jewelry becomes less durable when compared to other jewelry types. As a tip for cleaning costume jewelry, make sure you use jewelry cloth that is free of any harsh chemicals. An all natural jewelry cleaner would be the safest way to clean and preserve your beautiful jewelry!