Time To Shine
T Singapore: The New York Times Style Magazine|June 2019
Time To Shine

What is demi-fine jewellery? T Singapore dissects this rising concept and introduces the brands to know.

Lynette Kee

IT IS HUMAN NATURE to crave options, especially in a world that is constantly evolving, and never more so than now. Hence, as businesses strive to adjust their product offerings to meet the demands of consumers, it’s no surprise that high fashion also comes with a fast fashion counterpart, and the domain of jewellery and accessorising is slowly, but surely, catching up.

On the spectrum of jewellery and accessories, there lies at the one end, fashion jewellery, which tends to be more experimental in terms of design and uses pleated alloys and crystals as alternatives to precious stones, and are sold at lower price ranges. And on the other end, is fine jewellery — often one-of-a-kind pieces created from the finest craftsmanship and precious materials like platinum and 18-carat gold, and precious (and even rare) stones. These, of course, carry hefty price tags befitting their value and quality.

The evolution of fashion has enabled a piece of jewellery to serve a multitude of uses, from warding off evil or bringing good luck (as believed in some cultures) to defining the status of an individual in society. Of the latter, jewellery pieces were popularised by the European nobility of the 17th to 18th centuries and were used to represent social status and wealth, which is why fine jewellery brands are highly coveted. Elizabeth von der Goltz, global buying director at women’s fashion e-tailer Net-a-Porter explained in an interview with T Singapore that “the fine jewellery customer is (often) looking to make a significant purchase,” whereas costume and fashion pieces tend to serve as a quick-fix jewellery, thanks to its quirky designs and value. While there is a time and place for each to serve its purpose, there appears to be a gap that’s yet to be fulfilled — a niche market consisting of those who appreciate the finer things in life and crave their accessibility.

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June 2019