Katherine Amelia Barnes

·An experienced professional in the jewelry industry, 2000 - Present

·Graduate Gemologist (GG)

·Certified Supreme Master Gemcutter (CSM)

·Skilled writer, with work featured in various online and print publications

·Passionate about sharing her expertise with others

·Strong communicator and collaborator

·Respected and trusted by peers and clients alike

Everyone adores jewelry, but one must know the major differences between the jewelry categories before making a purchase. You're often bound to come across the terms "fashion jewelry" and "fine jewelry" when shopping for jewelry. 

It's important to note that exquisite jewelry appears in both forms; however, fine jewelry is made of "genuine" or valuable materials, whereas fashion jewelry is not. I undoubtedly adore any finely created jewelry made of platinum or quartz. 

what is fine jewelry

However, it's crucial to understand the grade of the materials used to make jewelry before you purchase it. This information is essential as some jewelers quickly rush and identify jewelry as "fine" when it may fall short of the description.

What Is Fine Jewelry?

Fine jewelry is a term that describes gems crafted from sterling silver, solid gold, platinum, and other precious metals. Additionally, this type of jewelry frequently utilizes actual valuable gemstones, such as genuine rubies, diamonds, sapphires, etc., during its manufacturing process. 

what is fine jewelry

For this jewelry category, the materials used to make them are just as valuable as the jewelry itself. In addition, the use of solid precious metals and valuable gemstones contributes to the high durability of Fine jewelry, ensuring that it doesn't tarnish, especially with the proper handling and preservation. 

what is fine jewelry

Most people consider Fine jewelry the ideal heirloom as it is sturdy, and a jeweler can easily repair it in case of any issue or discrepancy. It is expensive to purchase jewelry crafted from the premium materials used to create this gem. However, the kind of metal, the gemstone's cut, color, clarity, and carat determine the price.

what is fine jewelry

Examples of Fine Jewelry

The category of fine jewelry includes a wide range of items, the majority of which jewelers craft from precious metals and gems of the highest caliber. Although there are smaller or lesser-known brands that bargain in and can provide the best of fine jewelry variants, several people associate these with fine jewelry types designer brands like Cartier. 

what is fine jewelry

For example, 

The La Panthère Watch

This watch has a quartz movement and measures 22.2 mm. It has a case of 18K yellow gold (750/1000), a strap made of 18K yellow gold (750/1000), and pear-shaped tsavorite eyes with black lacquer noses and spots. 

what is fine jewelry

Furthermore, the case has a studding with 128 brilliant-cut diamonds totaling 1.08 carats. It is water-resistant up to 3 bar (about 30 meters/100 feet) and has a thickness of 7.55 mm. This watch costs a whopping $77,000

what is fine jewelry

Panthère de Cartier Necklace

The necklace costs roughly $283,000, and this gem comes together with white gold, onyx, emeralds, and diamonds. With the combination of onyx, 18K white gold (750/1000), set with ten emeralds and 789 brilliant-cut diamonds totaling 7.45 carats, the formation of this Panthère de Cartier Necklace occurs. 

what is fine jewelry

However, your desired design size may affect the number of stones, carat weight, and final measurements.

Reflection de Cartier Earrings

This earring, made with White gold and diamonds, cost $308,000. Reflection de Cartier earrings come together with 18K white gold (750/1000), each set with 36 baguette-cut diamonds totaling 15.26 carats, 6 princess-cut diamonds totaling 5.40 carats, and 2 trivia-cut diamonds totaling 1.63 carats.

what is fine jewelry

However, depending on your design size, the number of stones, carat weight, and product measurements may change.

what is fine jewelry

Pandora offers a wide selection of sterling silver charm bracelets of the highest quality, while Tiffany provides a huge selection of genuine sterling silver, crystal, and diamond items. Mikimoto Pearls is a jeweler who uses Akoya pearls to make jewelry of extremely high quality. The business, which invented cultured pearls in 1893, is currently the most well-known manufacturer of opulent, fine-quality jewelry with cultured pearls. Other companies produce the highest caliber fine jewelry selections besides Tiffany & Co. and Cartier. 

what is fine jewelry

These premium jewelry manufacturers provide a wide range of items that are more expensive than the alternatives available for fashion jewelry. Other companies that offer excellent choices for exquisite jewelry are Bulgari, Zales, Blue Nile, Chopard, James Allen, De Beers, Harry Winston, Graff, and Kay Jewelers.


● High-end, long-lasting jewelry alternatives

● Highly durable

● Classy and adaptable

● Works as an everyday jewelry


● Expensive

● People pay more attention to the brand name rather than the price and quality

What Is Fashion Jewelry?

Fashion jewelry can feature imitation stones made of plastic, glass, or crystal and is typically manufactured from base metals like copper, plastic, brass, or leather. Jewelry crafted from base metal and has gold or silver plating falls under this category as well. 

what is fine jewelry

Fashion jewelry, designed as a replica of fine jewelry, differs from 'genuine' jewelry because its manufacturing process does not involve precious or semi-precious materials. It costs less yet is still appealing, is more diverse, and is usually more recent. However, the reduced price means that the quality could be substantially better. 

what is fine jewelry

Fashion jewelry has a short shelf life since the materials used are easily damaged or tarnished. Additionally, if they break, they are challenging to fix since the heat needed to solder the brass or copper parts back together would merely cause the gold or silver plating to become black. 

Furthermore, fashion jewelry only lasts the test of time, but you can readily replace it if you lose or damage it. 

Examples of Fashion Jewelry

Fashion jewelry is among the most affordable, with prices ranging from $5 to $100 or possibly more, based on the piece's style, materials, and period. Jewelry made of stainless steel, brass, bronze, and copper, as well as gold- and silver-plated (brass and copper) items, are some examples of fashion jewelry.

what is fine jewelry

Jewelers use semi-precious stones, including Swarovski crystals, imitation diamonds, and cubic zirconia crystals, to make fashion jewelry.

14k Yellow Gold Teardrop Drop Dangle Chandelier Leverback Earrings Lever Back

what is fine jewelry

This earring costs $239 and weighs 0.86g. Made with 14K gold and with yellow gold and white gold

14k Yellow Gold Teardrop Drop Dangle Chandelier Earrings

what is fine jewelry

This earring costs $179 and weighs 0.48g. Made with 14K gold and with, yellow gold, and solid gold.


● Reasonably priced

● There are several styles available for you to select from and wear.

● People of various income levels may afford the jewelry styles and selections available.

● Gold-plated jewelry alternatives are equally attractive as those made of precious metals.

● If your taste in fashion is constantly shifting, they are worthwhile investments.


● Fade easily

● Not durable

What Is Semi-fine Jewelry?

Semi-jewelry refers to jewelry manufactured with precious metals and methods like coating. Furthermore, it frequently consists of jewelry that is gold-filled or gold-plated. It is the ideal fusion of style and luxury, allowing the modern lady to employ cutting-edge designs constructed of high-quality materials at a reasonable price.

what is fine jewelry

Some semi-precious jewelry choices made from base metals like sterling silver have a thick layer of gold plated on them since the semi-precious jewelry possibilities are less polished or pure than the fine jewelry alternatives.

what is fine jewelry

It's important to note that jewelers craft this jewelry using less expensive, allergen-causing metals like nickel or brass. However, it would help if you remembered that semi-fine jewelry, such as fashion gold-plated jewelry, is more brittle and won't last as long as fine jewelry, so it's better to avoid wearing it in the pool, the shower, or when exercising.

Examples of Semi-jewelry

There are countless semi-jewelry examples, some of which include the following:

Initial & Birthstone Necklace - Gold

This necklace is everyone's favorite piece. The perfect individualized necklace mixes a tiny birthstone - yours, his, hers, whoever's - with an 18k gold-plated initial letter necklace. This necklace costs about $108. 

Victoria Malachite Necklace - Gold

what is fine jewelry

The Victoria Malachite Necklace costs about $108, with the GAIA hero necklace has textures modeled by the organic curves of the Earth and drops to a mesmerizing green malachite pendant. The natural gemstone malachite comes in various colors, patterns, and indentations.

Emerald Gold Huggie Earrings

what is fine jewelry

These magnificent Huggies made of 14k gold include a vivid green emerald considered the birthstone of Venus, a goddess revered for her feminine sexiness and power. They are worth their $260 price tag.


● Less expensive than excellent jewels

● There are possibilities for jewelry that is high quality and durable.

● Provide excellent value.

● Alternative hypoallergenic

● They are as attractive as possibilities for exquisite jewelry.

● Do not cause skin irritation.

● Crafted from real jewels.


● They will eventually tarnish.

● Not very valuable

● Not a wise choice for an investment

Fine Jewelry vs. Fashion Jewelry

The best jewelry for you relies on your budget, lifestyle, occasion, use, and style while you are buying. Both fine and fashionable jewelry is gorgeous. Among the key distinctions between these categories of jewelry are the following:

what is fine jewelry


The price disparity between fashion and fine jewelry is one of their main distinctions. Fashion and fine jewelry prices are very different, as you will discover if you visit diamond jewelry stores or even a modest silver or gold shop.

what is fine jewelry


Over the years, fine jewelry slowly evolved into antique or vintage pieces of jewelry due to its durability. Contrarily, fashion jewelry is one you give little thought to. Fashion jewelry is more of an upscale addition to your jewelry collection, whereas fine jewelry typically lasts a lifetime.


what is fine jewelry

If an occasion isn't too formal or you're going out with friends and family, you can wear your fashion jewelry or rock them with your regular outfit to work. On the other hand, fine jewelry is unique and worn on rare occasions like anniversaries, weddings, and engagements.


Fine jewelry purchase comes with certificates from a reputable lab. You may buy a high-quality necklace or even a set of earrings after confirmation of using precious metals from a reputable lab. 

Contrarily, fashion jewelry comes with something other than this kind of assurance. You may always get a piece of damaged or tarnished gold or diamond jewelry repaired. However, the likelihood of fixing fashion jewelry is slim.


There are quite a few clear distinctions between fashion and fine jewelry. These distinctions are clear and glaring enough and should be looked out for whenever you desire to purchase a particular jewelry category.