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How to Make Sure Your Jewelry Doesn't Look Cheap

So, if you've been reading my blog, you're probably aware that I am definitely not a snob when it comes to my jewelry. I believe that it is quite possible to find some stylish and fun pieces at any price point (even dollar store prices in some cases) if you choose wisely. In some cases you can even find jewelry made from higher quality materials at dirt cheap price points, especially if you're willing to explore thrift stores, yard sales, or other second hand shops.

That being said, how can you make sure that your jewelry looks more expensive that what you actually paid for it? Or to put it another way, how can you make sure that others will never guess at how little you actually paid for your jewelry?

Here are some great tips and considerations to keep in mind as you shop:

  1. Take a look at the plating - For example, it's best to avoid gold plating that is overly yellow in color. Instead, you want to find pieces in a softer tones of gold, rose gold, or silver, which are closer to the color of precious metals.

2. Avoid large or oversized stones - As a general rule, the larger the stone is in your

jewelry piece, the more likely it is that people will assume it is fake. If you are

faux colored gemstones, you will also want to go with transparent (rather than

opaque versions) to mimic the look of real stones. Another factor to consider is

the use of foil backing on faux crystals or stones. Make sure that the foil backings

of any colored stones are not obviously visible, which can lead to a less high-end

type of look.

3. Keep the design simple - If you want your pieces to look more expensive than they

actually are, it's best to avoid too many textures, colors, or complicated embellishments. While there is nothing wrong with making a bold statement with your look just for fun, you will want to choose simpler, daintier, or minimalist designs if you are trying to give others the impression that you've spent more on your jewelry,

4. Avoid overly "cutesy" designs that look like they are made for children (if you're an

adult - If you are an adult and want your jewelry to look more expensive, you'll want

to stay away from styles that are cutesy or meant for a child or teenager.

5. "Sloppy" enameling or craftsmanship - It seems pretty obvious, but if there are any

obvious flaws in the enameling or overall construction of the piece, it is more likely

to read to others as cheap when you are wearing it.

6. Stay away from metals that are too shiny or bright - Since precious metals are not

overly shiny or bright (a gold plating that looks far too yellow), it's best to choose paler

or less exaggerated metal tones if you want to convince others that your pieces are

more expensive.

7. Avoid Poor Quality Done Knock-Offs - There are a lot of jewelry knock-offs

out there for high-end designers like Chanel, Cartier, etc., but if you are looking

to make your jewelry look pricey, consider picking an original piece. While you

may find some great designer-inspired pieces, obvious imitations or knock-offs

will likely not be convincing. One great option is to purchase a unique handmade piece

(from marketplaces like Etsy or a local arts/crafts fair) that is made from high-quality


8. Go Vintage - Obviously, I'm a bit biased (due to my love of the subject), but I truly

believe that you can find amazing quality in vintage pieces at low prices (if you know

where to look). In many cases, even vintage costume jewelry is better made and

incorporates higher-quality materials than many of today's costume pieces. There is

usually a reason why the vintage pieces you will find have held up this long, and

most of the time, this speaks to the overall quality of the craftsmanship.


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