What exactly does 'demi-fine jewellery' mean?

When people hear that Zart is a demi-fine jewellery brand, it often leads to the question - what exactly does demi-fine mean? So we thought we'd break it down for you.

Generally, when it comes to jewellery there are three or four categories. The first being costume or fashion jewellery, the second being demi-fine, the third being fine jewellery and lastly the superfine category.  

Costume or fashion jewellery is usually affordable (although many designer brands like Chanel play in this space) and you can have a lot of fun with it. There no rules when it comes to the composition of costume jewellery and it can be made of any almost any material — including plastic. Unfortunately, costume jewellery is not designed to last and usually falls apart or stains your skin rather quickly. I think it's safe to say that we've all bought an amazing ring or bangle that we've loved the look of only to have it almost immediately turned our skin green! 

ProTip: Green skin is a common reaction when brass is used as a base metal in jewellery. Brass is a metal alloy that is always made with a combination of copper and zinc. By varying the amount of copper and zinc, brass can be made harder or softer. The copper in the brass is what turns your skin green and that's why you should always pay attention to the base metal - 18carat plated brass is still brass and plating does fade over time. This is why at Zart, we never use any brass. Ever. Only Sterling Silver or Gold for us, baby! 

Fine jewellery is used to describe pieces made with valuable metal such as gold and platinum and is set with natural, precious gemstones like sapphires, diamonds, rubies or diamonds. Because it’s made entirely of solid precious metals and precious gemstones, fine jewellery is so much stronger than fashion jewellery and will not tarnish with proper care and storage. In addition to that, fine jewellery can be repaired or altered or resized. 

Super-fine jewellery is the category that refers to the kind of jewellery that is loaned to celebrities on the red carpet of the Oscars. It's the pieces are crazy, rare and tres expensive. 

So where does demi-fine fit it?  

Demi-fine jewellery combines semi-precious stones with a mix of gold (with lower carat weight) and other metals (like gold-plated silver or 925 Sterling Silver). They are less expensive to produce and in turn, offer a more palatable price point to its consumers. 

Demi- fine jewellery blurs the lines between fine and costume jewellery - if it's designed and well made, it can be super stylish, high-end but still affordable. Unlike costume jewellery, our demi-fine pieces are made to last beyond a season but won't break the bank.

Bonus Round: Designer Jewellery

OK, so where does designer jewellery fit in? This can be tricky to figure out because some designers do raise prices on fashion jewellery simply because of the association with the brand name, making it seem as though a low-quality piece is actually worth more. This is why it's important to look at the composition of the piece. For example, if it's made from polished brass - it's not "fine". But some designer brands will also make a selection of fine-jewellery and usually, the price will indicate which is which. Either way, if you always pay close attention to the details of your jewellery, you can easily figure out whether it’s fashion jewellery with a fancy brand name or truly fine jewellery.