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Fine Jewelry and Costume Jewelry

In recent years, the lines have blurred between what is considered fine jewelry and costume jewelry. In the past, something like a gold pendant, for example, would be featured only with a gold chain. In today’s more informal times, however, the piece could be found on a leather or silk cord.

This process has been extended further by recently high prices such that a predominantly steel or brass item might carry a small gold accent, weighing a fraction of a gram.A common theme to Western markets is the shift from plain gold to pieces with stones and the move to branded or high-fashion designs. All these carry much higher markups over the value of contained gold, and this is important as the trend for sales in terms of total value, number of pieces,or weight of pure gold can go in opposite directions. 

These trends are also spreading to developing world markets, in particular China where 18-karat gold is gaining market share.These trends are also important as, in industrialized markets, consumers within the overall jewelry segment devote ever more expenditure proportionately to other materials, such as diamonds, or to the perceived value of design and branding, all of which cuts the amount of money being spent on gold. In addition, all jewelry has been losing market share to other discretionary areas, such as foreign vacations or technology goods (such as cell phones), both of which typically enjoy far greater advertising budgets. This has culminated in the weight of gold sold in jewelry form declining steadily in the industrialized world over the past decade or so.