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The jewelry industry recognizes several types of jewelry, when it comes to fashion and use of materials. This opinion is my own, based on my own observations.
Usually created strictly according to the latest trends of each season, this kind of jewelry is not intended to last. Made of base metals and lower quality materials, it is created with more design in mind than preciousness. Typical price range is below $100.
The complete opposite of Fashion Jewelry, this type of jewelry is made to last, made with the most precious materials available. Nothing short of diamonds and high quality precious stones in classic settings with noble metals - high karat gold, platinum - made to last for generations. Engagement rings are a typical example. These pieces are also bought for the value of the materials and are intended to pass along as heirloom. Prices start at the high hundreds and usually can cost thousands of dollars.
A new type of jewelry which is a mix between fine and fashion: these pieces are typically made with nice quality stones and better crystals, silver, goldfilled and sometimes low karat gold (14k). The design follows the trends somewhat, but the jewelry can still be passed along as heirloom. The intrinsic value is not as high as fine jewelry, though.
This type of jewelry relies on its value due to the name of the brand or designer. Tiffany is a good example. The materials can vary from medium to high quality and usually the pieces become collectible over time. Keeping the original box and the jewelry in good or mint condition is usually advisable in this case.