In your search for good jewelry options, you’ve come across categories like fine jewelry, semi-fine, and fashion jewelry.
But do you know the differences between these types of jewelry, and which one would be the best option for you?
Today, we’ll take you through semi-fine jewelry and how this type of jewelry differs from other kinds of jewelry.
So, let’s get right into it.
What does semi mean in jewelry?
Semi-fine jewelry is a term used to describe jewelry made of lower-quality materials. It often includes gold-filled and gold-plated varieties of jewelry.
Semi-precious jewelry also consists of jewelry made using semi-precious stones such as agate, quartz, aquamarine, morganite, opals, freshwater pearls, and lab-created gemstones.
Because the semi-precious jewelry varieties are not as refined or as pure as the fine jewelry options, some of the semi-precious jewelry options are made of base metals like sterling silver, plated with a relatively thick layer of gold.
This type of jewelry is called gold vermeil, and it’s gold-plated sterling silver jewelry. Gold-filled jewelry also falls in the same category as semi-precious jewelry. And so, they last much longer than the cheaper versions of jewelry, that is, fashion jewelry.
The one thing that sets apart the semi-precious jewelry options from fashion jewelry is that for semi-precious jewelry, the base metal used is sterling silver plated with a thick layer of gold, which means that you end up with higher-quality pieces that can pass the test of time.
These jewelry options are also very durable and are an excellent option for individuals who struggle with allergies – they are not made of cheaper, allergy-inflicting metals like nickel or brass.
That said, you should bear in mind that the semi-fine jewelry, like the fashion, gold-plated jewelry is somewhat fragile and will not withstand the test of time as well as fine jewelry, which means that they are best not worn in the pool, shower, or when working out.
What jewelry is considered semi-fine jewelry?
Essentially, semi-fine jewelry is good quality jewelry with a thickness of between 7mm to 10mm, and mostly 18k gold-plated pieces. Others are plated in rhodium or black rhodium, and they are hypoallergenic.
As mentioned above, semi-fine jewelry is made of gold-plated sterling silver and other gold-filled jewelry varieties. The jewelry is often made with different kinds of semi-precious stones like agate, quartz, lab-made gems, freshwater pearls, morganite, topaz, and opals.
In most cases, these stones are heat-treated using chemicals or heat in the laboratory, and this makes them much more flawless, and precise they also boast a nice change in color that leads to perfection.
The semi-fine jewelry, as mentioned above, is gold-plated and have a strong base metal like sterling silver, which means that they stand the test of time beautifully and is much better than brass and copper, among other cheaper and less quality metals.
Besides the gold-filled jewelry, semi-fine jewelry includes electric gilt, 925 sterling silver jewelry, and gold-filled jewelry.
Semi-fine jewelry history
Jewelry is one of the oldest creations by human civilizations, and it is believed to be one of the earliest art forms by human beings.
While the older versions from ancient Egyptian civilizations, for example, were largely forged out of gold, later versions were made of iron and brass, among other pieces of jewelry.
However, the semi-fine options came around much later, with the collar found in 1783 considered one of the older versions of semi-fine jewelry. This is one of the pieces that is from the Bronze Age.
Between 1200 and 1500, most of the jewelry worn across medieval Europe was made of semi-precious materials like sterling silver, and this was common with the middle ranked individuals in society.
At this time, nobility and royalty wore more of the precious jewelry options made of precious stones, gold, and silver, and no gold-plated pieces. The gold-plated varieties were made of gold-plated metals made of base metals like copper and pewter.
The semi-fine jewelry is considered an important part of jewelry from the early 1900s, the 1920s, and the 1950s, through to the 1970s.
These jewelry varieties became popular when jewelry designers sought cheaper jewelry options and produced semi-precious options in larger quantities.
This was the case because not everyone could afford the high-quality, fine jewelry options, and the cheaper fashion jewelry options didn’t offer much quality and longevity.
However, it is important to remember that the semi-fine jewelry options date back to the 1700s, when the fine jewelry options made at the time were replicated using glass or paste.
And by the mid-1800s, especially with the rise in middle-class individuals, there were more jewelry options made of semi-precious materials and gold-plated varieties coated with base metals.
So, at the time, jewelry from the time was made of rolled gold, which is made of a much thinner layer of gold that covers the base metal. Semi-precious gems were used too, and the most common ones included pearls, corals, and amethyst, among other stones.
These jewelry options were much more affordable and featured glass stones plus base metals made to look exactly like gold. However, they were quite durable and were quickly passed down generations.
In the 1930s, semi-fine jewelry was made of cheaper materials like thin sheets and bonded silver or vermeils. So, in many ways, semi-fine jewelry dates back to the 1930s, and they have been in the fashion scene ever since.
Of course, costume jewelry is much more popular, but semi-fine jewelry offers you great value for your money.
Pros and cons of semi fine jewelry
- Much more affordable than fine jewelry
- Good quality and long-lasting jewelry options are available
- They offer great value for money
- Hypoallergenic options
- They look just as good as fine jewelry options
- They don’t irritate the skin
- They are made of natural gemstones
- They will tarnish after some time
- Don’t hold much value
- Not a good form of investment
Semi fine jewelry Price range
Since semi-fine jewelry is made of lower quality materials compared to fine jewelry options, but at the same time, better quality materials compared to what’s used to make fashion jewelry, the prices of the semi-fine jewelry fall somewhere in the middle.
They are mostly affordable and will set you back a few hundred bucks, but you will not spend thousands as you would with fine jewelry.
Semi fine jewelry brands
This is the top-recommended brand of semi fine jewelry made of high-quality materials designed to create long-lasting jewelry pieces.
2. Martha Calvo
This brand creates a high-quality statement and individualistic jewelry brands meant to be worn on all occasions and to match your unique style, thanks to all the unique pieces made by the brand.
This is one of the best-rated black-owned jewelry brands of ready-to-wear jewelry pieces, including gold vermeils.
They are all elegant and simple pieces that include the signature options like chunky gold hoops and chains.
You may like this brand for fun, elegant, and bold-colored jewelry options.
The brand has, in the past, worked with great designer brands like Marc Jacobs and even Oscar de la Renta, and they boast a variety of chokers and bracelets.
This brand is made in Asia, and it’s a top-rated sustainable jewelry brand that uses sustainable means and products made of recycled metal and even lab-grown diamonds.
6. Atelier VM
Atelier offers a wide range of minimalist jewelry options for everyone.
This Italian brand creates meaningful pieces of jewelry that stand out beautifully.
This brand might be great for you for on-trend minimalist pieces of jewelry made of ethically sourced materials, including gemstones.
The brand offers a great range of dainty jewelry options.
Kloto’s jewelry is crafted from high-quality materials in timeless designs from responsibly sourced and recycled gold and silver.
9. Wald Berlin
For elegantly designed semi-fine jewelry designed to reflect the travels of the jewelry designer, Wald Berlin would be an excellent brand for you to invest in.
10. Maria Black
This brand creates an undeniably cool range of jewelry ranging from striking gold hoops and chunky signet rings to delicately designed ankle chains, among other jewelry pieces.
11. Monica Vinader
Monica Vinader also makes elegantly designed jewelry options that range from diamonds to more casual options made of alternative and cheaper materials, and as a result of the uniqueness of the brand, their pieces have been worn by several A-list celebrities.
12. Lizzie Fortunato
This is the other elegant jewelry brand that offers a wide variety of elegant and affordable semi fine jewelry options made of a mix of materials like aventurine, quartz, and also mother-of-pearl earrings, among other accessories.
The jewelry is plated with a thick layer of gold and pearls. They also use recycled sterling silver and are some of the most sustainable jewelry brand that are both elegant and also offer sustainable jewelry.
Other brands worth trying include Mejuri Fine, Ana Luisa, Aureee Jewelry, Glacier Mist Co, Yonder Jewelry, Glamor Jewelry House, MarieJune Jewelry, Missoma London, Bonheur Jewellery, Laura Lombardi, Yam, Loveness Lee, and Mateo, among others.
Semi fine jewelry brands business industry
There is no doubt that the semi-fine jewelry brands and the industry as a whole is expanding.
Thanks to the abovementioned brands, you will now find more affordable jewelry brands offering the best quality jewelry options for everyone looking for jewelry that offers excellent value for money.
If you are looking for elegant and affordable jewelry options that will not break the bank, then semi-fine jewelry will be a good category of jewelry for you to consider.
They are fine, affordable, and durable options worth investing in.
Tiger is a fashion&jewelry lover. He is also a fashion jewelry manufacturer that help thousands of small business to grow and also do business with some big fashion jewelry brands. He is a truly metal expert and he will share some information you are looking for.