Fashion rings are all the fashion, which you’ve no doubt noticed if you’ve done any shopping for jewelry in South Florida. But even if you can identify a fashion ring, can you define one? Is it fake? Cheap? Costume? If the stones are real—especially diamonds—is it still a fashion ring? It’s hard to fathom that such a vague term is such a vital one in this industry.
The confusion might come from the history of fashion rings, which were originally those made from silver instead of gold, and adorned with crystals or cubic zirconia instead of precious gems. These rings, meant to copy celebrity jewelry fashions at a fraction of the price, were indeed identified as inexpensive. And, given that the stones were faux, calling the pieces costume jewelry was apt, but “fashion” was more polite. The problem: any ring at all could be called a fashion ring.
But as these rings gained popularity, inexpensive design elements meant more than just copying; designers could create original, less expensive, jewelry. And they did. And, over time, they also did it using gold and precious gems, meaning fashion jewelry was no longer fake. Instead, it came to define style that was hip, new, experimental—not classic.
And that’s where it remains. In the fine jewelry world, fashion rings are those that would never be mistaken for bridal jewelry. They’re right-hand rings, big baubles, anything that catches the eye—not matter what it’s made of. Designs are unusual and color combinations stun.
Pawn shops like National Pawn and Jewelry in Fort Lauderdale see so many fashion rings pass through, and none of them are what you’d call cheap. Shake off the stigma, and never turn your nose up at “fashion,” because these days, it’s nothing more than a marketing phrase that means “come take a look at how cool this is.”