Fashion Jewellery Vs Fine Jewellery

Starting and building your jewellery collection is such an exciting journey. Whether you’re looking for a meaningful piece to commemorate a special occasion, or looking for a modern heirloom to celebrate you, it can be tricky to know where to start.

When you layer or stack rings, bracelets, earrings or necklaces together, there are important decisions to make regarding your metal because this can affect the durability and longevity of your special piece(s). And with multiple retailers offering ‘fine jewellery’,’gold plated’ or ‘solid gold’ jewellery, it can be confusing to know where to begin. However, these differences can make huge contrasts in the longevity of your jewellery collection. 

So you can make the most informed decision when purchasing your first or next special piece, we’ve outlined some key terms you might come across and explained what these all mean.

And to make this easier to understand, we’ve divided jewellery into two categories - fashion & fine. For the purpose of this blogpost, Fashion Jewellery consists of plated, filled and vermeil pieces whereas Fine Jewellery is any jewellery made from precious metals such as gold or platinum. 

Fashion Jewellery

Within fast fashion, most jewellery is gold-plated as this is inexpensive to create. Overall, gold-plated jewellery has less durability but there are different qualities: 

Gold plated: This means an ultra thin layer of gold, usually less than 0.5% has been electroplated onto a non-precious base metal “core” such as brass, copper or nickel. 

This often results in tarnishing or a red rusty colour as the golden plated layer wears down; tarnishing is a chemical reaction which occurs when metal comes into contact with air and other various substances (ie. lotions, perfumes and oils on the skin) which can cause your jewellery to darken. Gold plated jewellery can also often leave green marks on your fingers or skin as you react to some of the base metals in the piece.

Gold Vermeil: Are also pieces electroplated with a layer of gold.
The primary difference between Gold Filled and Gold Vermeil is that the base metal of Vermeil is always sterling silver. As such, tarnishing tends to occur more slowly than Gold plated pieces with a base metal base.

However, as with plated pieces, the gold layer will wear off and reveal the silver underneath. 

Gold Filled: Means a thicker layer of gold (about 5%) is pressure bonded to a base metal, usually brass. The base metal in these pieces can still cause skin discolouration over time. Whilst a thicker layer of gold sounds promising, gold filled jewellery will still tarnish as a piece of jewellery is worn daily. And given the higher prices point which accompanies gold-filled pieces, it’s generally more economical in the long-term to save and invest in solid gold jewellery. 


Fine Jewellery

Jewellery made from Solid Gold or Platinum is a wonderful option for those who want a forever piece and a meaningful heirloom to pass down to the next generations. Because, with proper care and love, your special piece should last for years to come. 

Solid Gold Jewellery is generally available in 9ct, 14ct and 18ct and to compare the differences between each gold ct we’ve put together a blogpost here. All RUUSK pieces sit within the Fine Jewellery category because our pieces are made in Solid Gold or Platinum. 

Fine Jewellery is also a great option for those with sensitive skin or allergies because solid gold (particularly in higher gold ct) and platinum are hypoallergenic. And because fine jewellery often incorporates precious stones such as Diamonds, Sapphires & Rubies, your special piece is likely to be stronger than fashion jewellery which often uses other stones such as quartz or Cuba zirconium which are much less durable. 

Fashion Jewellery vs Fine Jewellery

As big believers in quality over quantity and mindful, considered purchasing, we love fine Jewellery. And whilst fine jewellery is more expensive and it’s an investment to build a big collection, the return on durability and longevity is incomparable. 

So when you’re starting to put together your jewellery collection, it’s important to understand exactly what you’re purchasing and who you are buying from. We always recommend reading reviews, checking social media and reading product descriptions in depth so you know exactly what to expect. 

We believe in beginning your fine jewellery collection with intention. Creating pieces which suit your aesthetic and story will result in jewellery that you’ll cherish for years to come. All of our pieces are designed for you to personalise to represent and celebrate your most special and intimate life moments. We can’t wait to see what you choose to create!


“Designing for life is my motto. It’s about striving to create meaningful pieces that withstand trends and time, those pieces that you wear with love and which, in a way, become a part of you. This is what inspires me.”

- Tania Gnecchi Ruscone


You can customise any of our fine jewellery pieces so shop and personalise your piece here or contact us to discuss any enquiries you may have. 

Shop now