The High Cost of Fashion Jewelry

New Boma ring on a blanket at the beach, summer style

In a world of fast fashion & accessories, how do we know if our jewelry is actually made of quality materials? The fact of the matter is that to produce things more quickly and economically, the use of cheaper materials is common in the fashion and jewelry industry. A shrewd business move, but one with a high cost: unhealthy toxins in the pieces we wear. 

If this sounds a little alarmist, we get it. While a cute pendant from the fair might not seem worth worrying over, we have a passion to make sure that you as our valued Boma community are “in the know” about your jewelry and health. 

It all comes down to materials.

Sterling silver jewelry, rings & bracelets, on at the beach

Fine jewelry is crafted from only solid metals including gold, sterling silver, platinum and other precious materials. Happily these pieces never lose their shine and authentic beauty; they also never cause skin irritation or discoloration. 

In contrast, fashion jewelry or costume jewelry is composed of base metals and imitation stones, not of actual gold or silver. Tarnishing, irritation, and that touch of annoying green on your skin can result. 

Now, if it was just about saving money, no big deal, right? Maybe authentic shine is nice to have, but not really worth the cost.

Unfortunately, this is just not the case. Not only are base metals cheap, they can be extremely toxic due to the chemicals released when these metals mix during manufacturing. 

What are these base metals and their risks? 

Nickel, cadmium, and lead are common base metals mixed into cheaper jewelry. They’re also culprits in skin allergies and at their most toxic, acan cause cancer. The chemicals released off of these materials are what harm us, so costume jewelry in direct contact with our skin for long durations of time truly is cause for concern. 

Technically there are regulations in the industry for allowable levels of metal alloys or mixes in fashion products. However, the truth is that these rules can be ignored in some countries of manufacturing, and only apply to jewelry produced in recent years. 

At Boma, our care for the quality and ethics of our pieces have been a core value since 1981. Our commitment to only manufacturing authentic jewelry of the very best materials remains, and we want you to be in the know about these truths in the industry. Have questions or want to learn more? Let us know. 

We’re excited about what’s on the way for Boma this season--we love producing the best at Boma and how it looks on you! 

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