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Types: Stone, Metal, Synthetic

Jewelry Basics
Jewelry Types: Gemstone, Precious Metal and Synthetic

Jewelry comes in as many types as there are people who wear it. It can be made from gemstones, stone, metal, glass, synthetic materials and even organic materials, such as wood or bone, to form pieces that are personal expressions of style. Fine jewelry usually features precious metals, such as gold and platinum. Fine jewelry is often accented with genuine gems, like rubies and sapphires or diamonds. Costume jewelry is usually less expensive and is made of more synthetic materials such as acrylic, although costume jewelry can also be made of wood, bone and other organic materials.

Types of jewelry can fall into distinctive categories, but there are no hard, fast rules about categorizing jewelry. Bridal jewelry can fall into categories such as fine jewelry, antique jewelry, designer jewelry, custom jewelry or any number of other jewelry types. Antique jewelry can classify as such because of the period in which it was made. It can also qualify if the design or materials are reminiscent of antique jewelry or if the materials used are antique, or vintage.

Custom jewelry is crafted particularly for the wearer and is usually handcrafted jewelry. It can fall into the fine jewelry category if precious metals and authentic gems are used. Additionally, it can be considered designer jewelry due to the unique creations of the jewelry maker. Hip hop jewelry is usually custom jewelry. With big gold chains and large, chunky pendants that are often personalized with a name, initials or sentiment, this jewelry is often created specifically for its wearer.

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Body jewelry is quickly becoming an art form and a creative method of personal expression. It seems that every conceivable part of a personís body can be and has been pierced at some time. Several popular forms of body jewelry are the bellybutton ring, eyebrow ring and nose ring. There are others, but these seem to allow for the most creativity and flashier jewelry. Nose rings can be pretty gemstone studs, crystal or diamond studs or precious metal designs. This is usually a smaller piece of jewelry, as is the eyebrow ring. The eyebrow ring is usually a hoop, stud or spike of a precious metal, sometimes accented with a gem or crystal stud. Bellybutton rings, however, allow the wearer to shine and truly express their creativity. Elaborate designs in precious metal with shiny crystals and gems make this the flashier type of body jewelry.

Fashion jewelry is a type of jewelry that is has always enjoyed great popularity, particularly in the younger sect. Fashion jewelry is a loose term that generally means that there are little or no genuine materials used. Fashion jewelry is often beaded jewelry or has a combination of alloy metal or pewter, glass or acrylic beads, and gemstones. If genuine gems are used, it is usually the less expensive gems such as freshwater pearls, obsidian, coral, jasper, amber and others. The purpose of fashion jewelry is to appeal to a very broad market both fashionably and economically. Therefore, the lower the price, the broader the market because more market groups can afford to purchase it.

No matter the type of jewelry you choose, be it fashion jewelry, custom jewelry, designer jewelry or any other, choose jewelry that expresses who you are. Choose jewelry to accent you as well as your clothing. Do not get stuck in a rut with just one type. That is the fun and beauty of jewelry, there are so many, many options. Donít tie yourself down to just one.

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