.Distinguishing fine jewelry from costume jewelry may at times be a difficult task, especially if the latter is well constructed, and looks very much like fine jewelry.
The visual appearance of precious metal can be seen on the surface of costume jewelry in the form of plating, dipping, filling, and rolling in both gold and silver metals. However, when closely examining these pieces, coatings of precious metals can be easily scratched off, which will reveal copper, nickel, or a number of other metals that do not fit into the category of precious metals. Additionally, there are costume pieces that are referred to as gold or silver tone, which means the coatings on these pieces are equitable to a gold or silver paint.
Fine jewelry is made of gold, platinum and precious stones. The main difference between costume jewelry and fine jewelry is the quality of the base metal used. Furthermore, whereas fine jewelry lasts forever and even for generations, costume jewelry gets damaged in the course of time.
If you find it too complicated to distinguish between the two categories of jewels, it would be best to consult your jeweler or any other connoisseur of jewelry you can trust, to give you their professional opinion.