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Costume Jewelry

The World of Costume Jewelry

Costume Jewelry is the production of jewelry from non-precious materials. Although Costume Jewelry can be made with base metals that are gold, silver plate or rhodium, it is normally set with faceted glass stones such as crystals or Rhinestones.  Costume Jewelry creates low cost adornments that could easily adapt to changing fashions.

Photo Credits: Jewelry - Margarit Ralev; Turquoise and silver jewellery 2 - Kriss Szkurlatowski

History of Costume Jewelry

Two fashion icons, Coco Gabriel (1883-1971) and Elsa Schiaparelli (1890-1973) introduced Costume Jewelry into the high fashion world in the 1920's.

Elsa Schiaparelli


She was an Italian fashion designer who used cubism and surrealism in her Costume Jewelry designs.  Cubism was an avant-garde movement in the 20th century that was inspired by Pablo Picasso and George Braque.  It influenced art and music in many ways.  Objects were broken up, analyzed and recreated in abstract form.  Surrealism was also a cultural movement that began in the early 1920s.  It was founded in 1924 by André Breton. The surrealism style uses visual imagery from the subconscious mind to create art without the intention of logical comprehensibility.

Coco Chanel

The Famous French designer had a strong influence over the introduction of Costume Jewelry to the world.  Her first jewelry shop opened in 1924. Chanel's clothing and jewelry designs put her at the pinnacle of the fashion world.  Coco Chanel's belief was that fashion was naked without jewelry.



He was the first Costume Jewelry designer to stamp his name on every piece of jewelry sold.  These Costume Jewelry pieces were produced by Monet's company which began as a manufacturer of metal art deco monograms in 1937.  Monet's Costume Jewelry designs are still being sold today in department stores all over North America.

Kenneth Jay Lane

One of the most famous modern day Costume Jewelry designers is Kenneth Jay Lane.   His signature three strand necklace was adorned by U.S. President Bush's wife, First Lady Barbara Bush.  Kenneth Jay Lane's Costume Jewelry can be found today online and from the television shopping channel, QVC.


The Costume Jewelry Industry

Much of Costume Jewelry within the United States is imported from South Korea, Taiwan and China.  The demand for Costume Jewelry continues to grow today; so much so that it has spawned a new generation of home-based Costume Jewelry businesses.  The cost of entry is relatively low. Anyone with artistic talent, some basic household tools and supplies are set to produce their own line of Costume Jewelry.

Import Costume Jewelry from China

Whether you are looking for raw materials for Costume Jewelry or finished pieces of Costume Jewelry, China has been and will continue to be a world class supplier.  Hong Kong is one of the largest producers and exporters of Costume Jewelry in the world.  Qingdao in China's Shandong Province is home to seventy percent of the world's Costume Jewelry manufacturing. Abundant styles are available from sophisticated and simple to elaborate and avant garde.

China Costume Jewelry Suppliers

There are literally hundreds if not thousands of Costume Jewelry suppliers in China.  Here are some examples:

Lucky Fashion Jewellery Mfr. Limited - Hong Kong

This company was founded in 2006 and has developed a large collection of Costume Jewelry.  Lucky Fashion is capable of providing tailor-made samples and supplies thousands of exquisite fine products to the market. Lucky Fashion showrooms can be found in Hong Kong at the Hunghom area.

Po Sing Imitation Jewellery Mfy Co Ltd.

This has been a manufacturer of Costume Jewelry since 1984.   Its headquarters is in Dong Guan City, China.  Its Costume Jewelry collection of over 100,000 pieces ranges from necklaces, bracelets to bangles.  They are manufactured in a modern 40,000 square meters factory.

Tung Yuen Industrial Co Ltd. - Hong Kong

This company was established in 1967 and has been a manufacturer and exporter of beaded accessories and fashion costume jewelry for almost 45 years.