Difference Between Costume, Fake and Fine Jewelry


Marie Antoinette had a reputation for collecting diamonds of stratospheric value – one necklace in particular, in the infamous The Affair of the Queen’s Necklace, was even about to spell the end – but she was an equal opportunist with equal taste. for fake jewelry. She was not alone: ​​in the 18th century, paste, a term used to refer to glass cut and polished to resemble diamonds and precious stones, was a Parisian art form. Today, quality examples from the Georgian era can sell for thousands of dollars, higher with provenance.

An assertive look by Schiaparelli and Giovanna Engelbert.

White Stone

Yet, the terms fake and fine are often used to classify jewelry. But with fresh ideas coming from contemporary stars like Giovanna Engelbert, who does technicolor magic with Swarovski crystals, and Daniel Roseberry, who conjures up bold surreal brass for Schiaparelli, it’s time to rethink those antiquated words and question the notion of what is true and false. . And if it matters.

Golden Schiaparelli breastplate with anatomical shapes, Schiaparelli Paris, 01-76-21-62-59


“I don’t call our jewelry ‘costume’,” says Engelbert, street style icon, editor and Swarovski’s first-ever global creative director. “It is made with the same know-how as precious stones.” She celebrates the lightness of crystals by threading them into opera strands, river necklaces and multicolored earrings. Meanwhile, Roseberry’s bronze sculptures honor Schiaparelli’s legacy and illustrate the transformative power of jewelry – who can forget the golden dove that adorned Lady Gaga as she sang the national anthem at Joe’s inauguration. Biden?

simon teakle georgian paste ear pendants
Simon Teakle Georgian paste earrings, circa 1760, simonteakle.com

Anthony Falcone

“What’s precious is just a matter of taste,” says Engelbert, who layers antique clay on fine jewelry as women have done throughout history, from cosmetics giant Helena Rubinstein to Coco Chanel. , who worked with goldsmith Robert Goossens to forge his signature vermeil jewelry. Chanel never cared about terms like fake and precious, so why should we?

This story appears in the May 2022 issue of City & Country. SUBSCRIBE NOW

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