I’m sure you know the difference between fine jewelry and costume jewelry. But many have probably never heard of bridge jewelry. By now you’ve probably figured out that we’re not talking about charms of the Golden Gate Bridge! To better explain what bridge jewelry is, first let’s review the definitions of fine jewelry and costume (or fashion) jewelry.
Fine jewelry is composed of premium, expensive components including gold, silver, diamonds, emeralds, rubies and sapphires. Jewelry made with silver and high quality amethyst, larimar, amber, lapis lazuli, moonstone, turquoise, premium pearls and other quality stones can also be considered fine jewelry. Attention to detail and quality are hallmarks of fine jewelry, which also includes fine custom made pieces.
Costume jewelry is usually mass produced using inexpensive components such as base metal, rhinestones or paste beads, and plastic shaped and dyed to simulate gemstones. You can even find “plasticized metal” jewelry, which is spray painted silver to look like silver plated jewelry. Such jewelry is often sold in the stores by marking up the prices, and putting it on sale for half price or more so that it seems like a bargain.
Bridge jewelry uses semi-precious gemstones such as amethyst, freshwater pearls, onyx, garnets, tigers eye, flourite, etc. combined with quality pewter or metal components. Because it uses semi-precious gemstones and pearls, bridge jewelry looks much more expensive than it actually is. It is also a great value, giving you much more “bang for your buck” than costume jewelry, at only a slightly higher price.
Here at Shenandoah Moon we sell all three types of jewelry. Our fine cuff bracelets are handmade by an artist from Florida. Our wide selection of other silver and gemstone bracelets, earrings and pendants are made in Poland, Mexico, Bali, Thailand, India and China, and even here in Luray!
Our bridge jewelry includes intricate necklaces and bracelets using freshwater pearls, glass crystals, and quality metal. Beautiful copper plated jewelry comes from Mexico, with designs that range from traditional to contemporary and are flattering on all skin types. The metalwork and lapis lazuli necklaces and earrings from Afghanistan and Pakistan incorporate elements of tribal jewelry with a contemporary flavor.
When selecting our costume or fashion jewelry our focus is on price and value and we work hard to bring you a large selection of Fair Trade and locally-made items — things you won’t find anywhere else. We carry the work of three students, including eight year old Gracie Bell Embry and Luray High School Freshman Katherine Schaberl and Junior Haley Tebo. Our adult artists include Loretta Newman, Jennifer Orenic, Jessica Sigafoose, Vanessa Long, Donna Carrier, Emmy Tarr, and Janell Robisch. And of course ME — Susan Rocke (I also do repairs).