I was "shopping" with my niece last night and we were both amazed at the quantity of what we call "disposable" jewelry flooding the market these days. From what we saw, it seems that if you can make it and sell it for less than $5.00 wholesale, it'll be on the racks at stores and on shopping channels across the country and around the world for $19.95. Now, you all know that I like fun jewelry -- and I frequently bought from street vendors while I lived in NYC.
But I bought knowing what I was getting -- there was no pretense of it being anything other than a fun piece of jewelry being sold by a street vendor and I knew that I would wear it a few times and that would be it. Disposable. Okay, one exception...pieces I bought from Marjorie at the 68th Street Farmer's Market are still in my collection today and I still love and wear them. But, that's the exception here. Maybe it's the economy and we as women do like to shop and buy; so since we are watching our pennies we substitute the poorly made stuff for better quality items in order to get the rush that comes from buying something. I don't really know the answer to it all; but I do think that there is a big "middle" area between disposable jewelry and designer jewelry that might not be getting the attention it should.
From where I sit (that would be my jewelry studio!) I know it is possible to invest a bit more than $20 and get a great piece of jewelry designed around quality gemstones, beautiful Czech glass, artisan-crafted lampwork beads and Kazuri beauties and not mortgage the house to add it to your collection. Yes, it's possible to find quality jewelry that will last several years and perhaps a lifetime if you take care of it. And, yes, it's possible to have a big collection of unique jewelry you can wear proudly and enjoy wearing each and every time you wear it. Maybe it all comes down to knowing what you want and then knowing where to find it. Gee, one more thing to think about!