Different Categories of Jewellery - KORYANGS

Different Categories of Jewellery


Jewellery may seem like just one broad category. However, jewellery enthusiasts know there are several different types depending on the materials, history and purpose of the jewellery.

  • Estate jewellery
  • Costume jewellery
  • Demi-fine jewellery
  • Fine vs High End jewellery
  • Permanent jewellery


Estate Jewellery

 A piece of jewellery is considered ‘estate’ when it has had a previous owner. Also known as heirloom or hereditary jewellery, the previous owner can be living or deceased. The jewellery does not have to be a specific age, but you will commonly find estate jewellery to be at least several decades (if not, older than a century/ centuries). If a piece of estate jewellery is over 100 years old, it’s considered antique jewellery. 


Costume Jewellery

 Costume jewellery is mor commonly referred to as fashion jewellery. Normally inexpensive and designed to align to a particular trend or imitate more expensive jewellery. Composed of simulated gemstones and set in base metals such as brass, nickel, and steel, it is common to see costume jewellery made of acrylic beads. Ultimately, costume jewellery is a low-cost, cheaper option that can be worn every day, but isn’t necessarily made to last a long time and is prone to tarnishing.

Demi-fine Jewellery

Demi-fine jewellery ranks between costume jewellery and fine jewellery. It is a relatively new concept that emerged in the jewellery industry to supply to a growing market of consumers who desire high-quality pieces at more accessible price points than traditional fine jewellery. Demi-fine jewellery is often made using a combination of precious metals such as sterling silver or gold vermeil (a thick layer of gold plated over sterling silver) and incorporates semi-precious gemstones, freshwater pearls, or other high-quality materials. The craftsmanship and materials used in demi-fine jewellery are often of a higher standard compared to fashion or costume jewellery, resulting in pieces that are more durable and longer lasting.

 In essence, this type is more accessible than luxury jewellery, but at the same time maintains a sense of luxury and quality that sets it apart from fashion or costume jewellery. 


Fine vs High End Jewellery

The term ‘fine’ jewellery (also known as luxury jewellery) is used to refer to jewellery made from precious metals like gold or platinum. Unlike the imitation gemstones used in fashion jewellery, fine jewellery pieces are crafted with precious metals such as gold, platinum, or silver and often incorporate high-quality gemstones such as diamonds, emeralds, rubies, sapphires, or other precious and semi-precious stones. Fine jewellery is often created by skilled artisans or jewellery designers who meticulously design and handcraft each piece. These pieces are made to be durable, long-lasting, and of high quality. They often feature intricate designs, unique settings, and careful stone placements to enhance the overall beauty and value of the jewellery. Due to the use of precious materials and the craftsmanship involved, fine jewellery is often sought after for special occasions like engagements, weddings, anniversaries, or as heirloom pieces to be passed down through generations.

‘High’ jewellery is similar to fine jewellery in the sense they are made with precious metals and high-quality gemstones. However, the minute difference comes from the fact high jewellery is typically distinguished by its exquisite handmade craftsmanship, attention to detail, and the usage of only the finest rare gemstones and precious metals. It’s often the type of jewellery you’ll see celebrities wearing on the red carpet and made by famous designers or brands in the jewellery world.

Permanent Jewellery

A rising trend and gaining popularity among the younger generations, permanent jewellery is designed to be worn continuously without being removed. Unlike temporary or removable jewellery, these do not feature clasps and are intended to be permanent fixtures. These items (such as necklaces, bracelets, or anklets) are custom fit and welded together while the owner is wearing them. The practice uses high-quality materials that are safe for long-term wear, such as surgical-grade stainless steel, titanium, niobium, or certain types of gold. These materials are chosen for their biocompatibility, durability, and resistance to corrosion. It's important to note that while permanent jewellery is designed to be worn continuously, it can still be removed if necessary.


Jewellery comes in a wide variety if designs and materials. It is easier than ever to choose jewellery which match your budget, style preference and intended use. Why not have a browse around our store to find your perfect item?


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What is Sterling Silver? The Uses of Sterling Silver in Jewellery
Sterling Silver vs. Silver-Plated: What's the Difference?
Which Should You Choose: Gold or Silver? Understanding Your Skin Tone


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