difference bijoux joaillerie, difference costume fine jewelry, difference costume fine jewellery

Bijoux? Joaillerie? What's the Difference?!

Your personal finances are a good measure on the type of jewellery you purchase. But if you intend to invest in jewellery, make sure you educate yourself before making a decision. In stock trading, analysts study the market before buying or selling. Do the same research to avoid getting your hands burned. 

The French words bijoux and joaillerie literally refers to the same thing, but they are never used interchangeably. Joaillerie is considered the more prestigious of the two terms—learn why below.


Costume/Fashion jewellery or bijoux ($-$$)


free people costume jewellery

Free People Opal Waterfall necklace, SGD$148

Consider these the ‘fast fashion’ of jewellery—in fact they usually come hand in hand too. These are mass-produced with little care for the materials. If you’ve ever washed your hands when wearing jewellery then later finding out your hands have turned green—you’ll know that’s a piece of costume. This happens because this jewellery is made from copper, bronze, or nickel, and coated with a thin layer of silver or gold plating. Water, perfume, sweat and/or air, will cause a harmless chemical reaction that creates the green patina. Instead of diamonds and crystals, you'll get rhinestones and plastic.


Great for: Staying on trend at affordable prices

Where you can find them: Fast-fashion retailers like Forever 21, H&M, and Topshop, as well as jewellery chains like, Accessorize and Lovisa 



Fine jewellery/Haute joaillerie ($$-$$$$$)


fan bing bing harpers bazaar cartier

Fan Bing Bing wearing Cartier for Harper's Bazaar, via Tumblr

You’ll get a huge range of prices in this category because fine jewellery starts from simple gold adornments, to opulent gem-studded embellishments. The basic quality setting the two apart is the type of metal. Is it copper? Is it gold? Is it gold plated? Fine jewellery comes in precious metals, the most common being 14k or 18k gold, or platinum settings. These metals will then hold gemstones ranging from topazes to diamonds. Diamonds are still one of the most-coveted stones and its fancy coloured counterparts have been known to fetch sky-high prices at auctions.


Great for: Engagement/wedding rings; attending events or red carpet appearances; investments

Where you can find them: Fine jewellers such as Cartier, Harry Winston, Van Cleef & Arpels, even high-fashion brands like Chanel and Hermès have fine jewellery lines



And, never forget:

diamonds are a girls best friend bijoux joaillerie
Gif via Giphy


Featured photo: Behati Prinsloo for Jacquie Aiche

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