Monday, 14 November 2016

Designer Jewellery Without The Designer Price Tag

To quote the immortal words of fashionista Marilyn Monroe, 'diamonds are a girl's best friend' - but what happens when your best friend is out of your league and completely unaffordable? For many of us, the dream of oozing sophistication and dripping with diamonds is just that - a dream - but there are ways to glam up your outfit without shelling out thousands. Here are some of my favourite tips to making jewellery more affordable.

Plated Jewellery




Want gold jewellery but can't afford it? Plated jewellery can be a beautiful, and cheaper alternative to the real thing and is becoming increasingly popular. 


Jewellery plating involves applying a thin layer of a precious metal - usually either silver, gold or platinum - over a base of less-precious metal. The result is a piece of jewellery that has the appearance of solid gold but doesn't carry the high price tag. 

To the naked eye, plated jewellery is almost completely discernible from the real thing, making it a perfect and undetectable alternative to solid gold jewellery. It is also available in a range of colours and designs from bold, statement pieces, to fine, subtle chains. 

Plated jewellery isn't without its disadvantages, though. The quality of plated jewellery is significantly reduced in comparison to real jewellery made with precious metals. Plated jewellery is less able to withstand the wear and tear of everyday life and the chemicals in perfume and water can cause the thin plating of precious metal to flake off. Another disadvantage is that on contact with the skin the plating can also leave a distinctive green hue on the skin.

Handmade Jewellery

Image courtesy of John Kasawa at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What could be more precious than a handmade, sentimental piece of jewellery? Handmade jewellery often features beautiful beads, glass and rope instead of precious metals and gems, but can be just as beautiful - and often more meaningful. 

The great thing about handmade jewellery is that you can design it yourself, reflecting your own personal style and taste. Homemade jewellery kits can be found easily online to get you started and check out the London Jewellery School for courses on how to make jewellery.

Synthetic Diamonds


Heard of cubic zirconia? Of course, you have. Cubic zirconia looks like diamonds but doesn't come with the hefty designer price tag that accompanies real stones. Cubic zirconia is a man-made material that's hard (measuring a respectable 8 on the Mohs hardness scale), flawless and usually colourless - but they are available in a wide variety of colours to mimic sapphires, rubies and emeralds as well as diamonds. To the naked eye, there is very little difference between a diamond and a cubic zirconia and, as such cubic zirconia has been diamonds' biggest rivals since they were first manufactured in the 1900s.

In recent years, though, a new rival has emerged - synthesised moissanite. Moissanite is quickly replacing diamonds as the favoured stone for engagement rings for those on a tight budget, on account of its affordability, clarity, and hardness. Moissanite stones measure an impressive 9.5 on the Mohs hardness scale, a mere 0.5 less than a true diamond. Watch out diamonds!

Jewellery Auctions

If you're still looking for a genuine piece of affordable jewellery, your best bet will probably be to avoid the high-street jewellers and search somewhere a little less mainstream. 


Jewellery auctions are treasure troves, offering tantalising, timeless jewels without the designer price tags. The items on sale are usually second-hand and come complete with their own stories and histories that make them extra special.

So here are some ways of making jewellery more affordable, I hope you enjoy reading!

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18 comments

  1. I love jewellery auctions :) Some of my family members scored some gems years ago!

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  2. I've never thought about Jewellery auctions! What a marvellous idea though!

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  3. I love jewellery auctions. Because I love the stories. It sure makes the piece a bit more special.

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  4. Jewellery auctions sound like a great idea I didn't realise they even existed. I might need to try my luck ;-)

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  5. Yep, Auctions and second hand jewellery shops are great places to get fantastic timeless classics. Always worth having a look around.

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    1. You can get some bargains for sure Renna, and also find some unique pieces not everyone will have.

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  6. I'm hopeless at wearing jewellery, never give myself much time and always rushing out the door so I don't really buy anything expensive. I've never been to an auction but always wanted to! Might need to give it a try

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    1. You can get some great bargains at an auction.

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  7. I hardly wear jewelry, I'm too much in a rush when I'm getting ready for anything. Beautiful ring though.

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  8. I never thought of auctions - I need to check them out x

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  9. This is some fab advice. I have a few things with cz in them, so affordable and looks like diamond

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    1. Yes, super affordable and great if you can't afford the real thing or don't want to wear expensive jewellery all the time. Many people change their diamonds for CZ rings when they go on holiday, in case they get robbed.

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  10. What lovely pieces of jewellery! I don't usually wear a lot of jewellery but love the sound of going to auction to find pieces! xo

    http://rachelnicole.co.uk/

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  11. I like both cheap and expensive pieces. I like to buy pretty plain gold and silver pieces but fun and bright cheap ci=costume jewellery

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    1. Yes I like a mix of jewellery too, depending on my outfit and mood.

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  12. That first ring looks so pretty, I would definitely wear that myself x

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