It’s All in the Ingredients
A huge factor in the price of any piece of jewelry is obviously what materials have gone into it. This is especially true in bridal jewelry, where recent trends have tended to favor showier pieces that, to keep them in the average bride’s price range, are being made with less expensive ingredients.
Two of these ingredients you see the most of recently are crystals (frequently transparent) and faux (i.e., fake) pearls. Marketers and such for companies who sell these products will tell brides that they will give them the sparkle of diamonds and the shine of pearls for a fraction of the cost of the real things. This is true, to a point. Cut crystals are definitely sparkly, and faux pearls are white and round, but that’s about where the similarities end. Real, natural pearls have a depth and a luster that faux pearls can’t match. Plus, true pearls are not stark white like many faux pearls are – they have a much softer color. Same is true for crystals – they might look good by themselves, but compared to the real thing (be it diamonds or any kind of genuine gemstones) there’s no contest.
Jewelry like this tends to remind me of actors on stage. They look great from a distance, but get up close and they look a bit unnatural from all the makeup. And that, to me, is the worst part of the whole thing: You shouldn’t have to put your bridal jewelry away after the wedding because it doesn’t look good with anything but your gown and that only while brightly lit. You should be able to enjoy your pieces all the time, however you happen to be dressed and for whatever the occasion. Sure, the real thing is more expensive. But trust me, you’ll be glad you did.