What are Some Types of Jewelry?

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  • Written By: B. Miller
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 08 November 2018
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There are many different types of jewelry that people wear. What an individual chooses depends primarily on his or her personal preferences. Some people choose to buy less expensive costume or fashion jewelry, while others wear fine jewelry, made with more expensive stones and metals. Jewelry today is often given as a gift of love or affection.

The most common pieces of jewelry include necklaces, pendants, rings, earrings, brooches, and bracelets. Earrings may be pierced or clip-on. Other, somewhat less common, jewelry types include anklets and toe rings. Some people wear jewelry pieces that fit into more extreme piercings, like navel rings, tongue rings, nasal piercings, lip rings, eyebrow rings, or earrings that pierce the ear cartilage.

One issue that people should consider when buying jewelry is the type of metal that it's made of. Many pieces are made of silver, gold, titanium, or platinum. For those with body piercings, surgical-grade stainless steel or titanium may be used to prevent oxidation of the metal and a subsequent infection. Piercers may also use a surgical-grade plastic called Tygon® for those with metal allergies. Wedding bands are also sometimes made of a metal called tungsten carbide, which is extremely durable and scratch-resistant, always appearing shiny and new.


There are various types of gold that may be used to make jewelry. Yellow gold is the most common, and is usually alloyed with base metals since pure gold is quite soft. White gold, which has a silver appearance, is mixed with some silver and palladium. Rose gold has a pinkish look because it is mixed with copper. Jewelry made of white gold is generally coated with a metal known as rhodium, which is similar to platinum in color, but it will wear off over time. It is a good idea for people who own white gold jewelry to take it to a professional to have it re-plated every 12 to 18 months.

Another consideration when purchasing gold is the specification referred to as carats or karats (usually abbreviated kt). The higher the carats, the more gold is used in the piece of jewelry — though gold is a relatively soft metal, so it is rare to see rings made of 22kt or 24kt (pure) gold. For example, a 14kt gold ring is about 60% gold, whereas an 18kt gold ring is about 75% gold, and therefore more expensive.

Some pieces of jewelry include gemstones in a setting. These stones can include diamonds, rubies, sapphires, emeralds, or virtually any type of gem a person desires. Pearls are also quite popular. Synthetic gemstones, paste, and glass often appear in less expensive fashion jewelry.

The prices for various types of jewelry range from the very inexpensive to the extremely expensive. To find unique pieces, some people shop in antique stores or vintage shops for older, previously worn jewelery. The jewelry found in these stores vary widely and can provide a great accessory to an outfit, usually at a less expensive price. Otherwise, shoppers can find relatively inexpensive costume jewelry just about anywhere, or more expensive fine jewelry at upscale boutiques and department stores.


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Post 7

@seag47 – I agree with you. However, I have to say that I prefer silver to any kind of gold.

I have several types of silver jewelry. I only buy necklaces and bracelets that have silver chains or bands.

Silver just goes better with my complexion than gold. I have cool undertones to my skin, and the bluish tint of the silver complements them.

Post 6

Rose gold and white gold are the best types of gold jewelry, in my opinion. I just find plain gold to be boring.

Rose gold looks great when used in earrings. I have some rose gold hoops and several pairs of intricate, dangling earrings, and I think they look so much more attractive than plain gold.

My wedding ring is made of white gold. It wasn't even all that expensive, but I love the look of it. It has a softer look than real silver has.

Post 5

Amethysts are a gorgeous purple color. I have an amethyst necklace that I love, but I have to remember to keep it out of the sun. I can't wear it when I know I'll be outdoors for long, because the purple color will fade with exposure to sunlight.

Of course, I really like jewelry that's made with things that aren't traditional gemstones too, like amber or fossils. I was on vacation one time and saw a store that sold earrings made out of trilobyte fossils! I would be more likely to wear that than amber though, because a lot of amber has bugs in it, and that would gross me out.

Gemstone jewelry is my favorite. Silver

and gold just cannot sparkle and play with light the way that gemstones can.
Post 4

I am always amazed at all the types of body jewelry available in cheap jewelry and clothing stores. People are piercing things I didn't even know could be pierced these days!

I stick with the typical earrings and necklaces, though. I had two holes in each ear when I was younger, so I used to buy studs for the second hole and dangly earrings for the first.

Now, I've let the second hole grow shut. I just kept forgetting to put earrings in it, and when I did remember, it was really hard to push them through.

Post 3

@ Chicada- Bridal jewelry can range from the exotic and non-traditional to the classic strands of pearls and tiara. Picking the right type of jewelry depends on the event and the setting. Pearls are great for classic church weddings as well as beach weddings. Adding a nice South Seas gold or Tahitian black pearl strand to a bride’s wardrobe can be a nice way to make a classic style a little more contemporary. Expect to pay more for these pearls though.

A single pearl pendent is usually appropriate for the bridesmaids if pearls are the choice. This allows for some coordination with the bride without outdoing the bride. If you are shopping for jewelry for the bridesmaids, it is often best to purchase from a jewelry wholesaler. You may not find the most exquisite pieces, but you can certainly find reasonably priced matching sets for everyone in the procession.

Post 2

What types of rings and jewelry is traditionally worn at a wedding? Should the bride wear jewelry that matches the bride’s maids? Should the bride not wear any jewelry besides the engagement ring?

Post 1

I love finding jewelry at yard sales. Even more so than thrift stores or antique shops, people selling jewelry at a yard sale often have no idea what they have, and therefore sell it for way less than it is probably worth. Sometimes it is really good quality, because it was sort of lost, though sometimes it is more worn out or damaged, but it can be worth the time and money to get it fixed if you buy it for very little money.

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