If your desire is to have good quality accessories without spending a fortune, semi-jewels can be a very good alternative. With a beautiful look and a quality superior to the quality of jewelry, semi-jewels have the advantage of being sold at lower prices than “real” jewelry.
According to Alexandre Hering de Queiroz, founding partner of Toque de Joia, a well-accepted definition of semi-jewel is “a product with an appearance and finish similar to a solid gold jewel, however, using less expensive materials in its internal composition than the gold”.
Quality in finish and look is the strong point of this type of piece. “Whoever acquires a semi-jewel expects that the perception of a solid gold jewelry is visually transmitted, at a much lower cost”, completes the specialist, who has been industrial and creative director of the brand for 13 years.
Today, it is easy to find an immense variety of semi-jewel pieces: earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings of all sizes and for all tastes and styles. In addition, several brands also offer the option of resale, opening the possibility for those who want to invest in a job with this type of accessory.
What characterizes a semi-jewel?
As the name suggests, the semi-jewel is already expected to be a piece that resembles the jewel, in appearance, but which does not have solid gold in its manufacture. This type of accessory is usually produced with other metals that only have a final layer of gold. Along the same lines, models that include stones and other details are not given high-value gemstones, but rather more affordable replacements.
According to Alexandre, these are expected characteristics of a semi-jewel:
- Design and size compatible with those used in jewelry (gold);
- Natural or identical natural stones and pearls, when present in the model;
- Zirconia with a cut quality similar to natural diamonds, when present in the model;
- Finishing identical to that of a gold jewel, with no burrs, holes or stains;
- Thin walls, providing low weight as used in solid gold;
- Layer of 18k gold of at least 3 mils (earrings) for durability that justifies the investment.
Jewel x semi-jewel x jewelry: what are the differences?
“It is essential to understand that, currently, in Brazil there is no single and standardized nomenclature to differentiate a jewel from a semi-jewel or a costume jewelry”, comments Alexandre. However, it is possible to characterize the pieces according to common market perceptions among manufacturers, consumers and retailers.
The main difference between jewelry and semi jewelry is that jewelry is made using solid gold and natural diamonds. Also, another point of difference is stone quality and cut. “Stones such as sapphires, rubies, quality marine waters are only viable in solid gold jewelry”, explains Alexandre.
“Bijouterie, in turn, has a different approach from semi-jewels, as it does not have the commitment to act as gold jewelry. Thus, it has a freer conception in design, size, colors and finishing”, points out the specialist. In this way, the variety of materials used in jewelry is wider, including glass, plastic and even fabric.
Before investing in a semi-jewel piece or even a costume jewelry, it is worth checking the quality of the material and finish. Here are some tips to keep in mind before making a purchase:
How to identify a low quality semi jewelry
- Note the finish of the part;
- Pay attention to the manufacturer;
- Ask the shopkeeper about the origin of the piece;
- Observe if noble materials (stones and natural pearls, for example) were used in the manufacture;
- Check if the part has a warranty certificate.
How to identify poor quality jewelry
- Check if the part has burrs, polishing flaws or non-conformity in the weld;
- Look for information regarding the type of metal used in the manufacture.
Plated or veneered?
When choosing a semi-jewel piece, it is common to come across the terms gold plated or plated, which refer to the jewelry technique used in manufacturing. While plated suggests a piece that has been dipped in a chemical bath, veneer refers to a technique of applying gold leaf to another metal.
Today, however, the gold plating technique is more popular and what was once known as veneer has fallen into disuse. Thus, it is common for both terms to be used to define a single technique. “By the current commercial nomenclature in Brazil, there is no difference between a plated or veneered piece. They are considered synonymous”, points out Alexandre.
The main metals used in the composition of semi jewelry
Some metals are involved in the process of making a semi-jewel. In the more traditional process, in addition to 18k gold, which is the metal that covers the piece in the final bath, the semi-jewel is also composed of a base metal and a white insulator.
The base metals are the ones that will be present in greater volume in the part. Generally, these metals are bronze or brass. Insulating metal is second in the manufacturing process, with nickel and palladium being the most common. Silver can also be used as an intermediate layer on the piece.
In addition, other metals are present in smaller amounts in the composition of the gold used in the bath. “It is interesting to point out that 18k gold has a diversity of metals in its alloy, always in the proportion of 25%, which will define its hardness, color and resistance to oxidation”, explains Alexandre.
Extrapolating metals, semi-jewel models can also have stones. In this case, the most requested are natural stones, with quartz being the most used in Brazilian pieces. Synthetic zirconia is also widely used, replacing diamonds.
Nickel: The Major Allergy Causer
Although a very common metal in the manufacture of pieces such as earrings, necklaces and bracelets, nickel is a component that can cause health complications, causing allergies due to its contact with the skin. According to allergist Laerte Boechat, coordinator of the Allergy and Immunology Service at the Fluminense Federal University (UFF), allergy caused by contact with nickel is one of the most common in Brazil.
“Nickel allergy usually manifests itself through lesions at the site of contact of the metal with the skin. These lesions are called contact eczema. The acute ones are characterized by redness and itching at the contact site, and there may also be the formation of small vesicles or, in intense cases, blisters at the site. Over time, if exposure to the offending agent continues, the skin tends to become darker and thicker, characterizing chronic eczema,” explains Dr. Laert.
If you have ever had an allergic reaction when using an accessory, the ideal is to be careful not to use any piece made of nickel. “The recommendation is to avoid contact and not to use products that contain nickel. There is no vaccine for this type of allergy and the treatment of the lesion is only symptomatic. That is, the treatment of the lesion, which is carried out with the use of topical corticosteroids, causes it to regress within 72 hours. However, in a new contact, the lesion returns in 48 hours”, emphasizes the allergist.
However, according to Alexandre, a partner at Toque de Joia, it is not so simple for consumers to identify nickel in the composition of a piece. “The suggestion is to avoid products of dubious origin and products with a careless finish (companies that neglect what is visible, will hardly take care of what is hidden). Try to buy products in well-structured stores and preferably of national manufacture, as only these will be able to give accurate information about the products and be responsible for the quality”, advises the specialist.
5 care you must have with your semi jewelry
Although more resistant than jewelry, semi jewelry needs to be well cared for to have good durability. “It is important to point out that semi-jewels are not designed for continuous use as wedding rings, subject to all kinds of services and bad weather. They are sensitive pieces of adornment that must receive the same care that special clothes and shoes receive”, warns Alexandre.
Check out some expert tips on how to care for your semi jewelry:
1. Avoid contact with chemicals
“Semi-jewel gold, even though it is 18k, is not as resistant to oxidation as solid gold castings due to differences in surface uniformity at the molecular level”, explains Alexandre. Therefore, contact of the parts with chemicals and cleaning products in general should be avoided.
2. Do not apply perfume when wearing the garment
The perfume can also end up damaging the semi-jewel. Therefore, avoid spraying perfumes directly on the piece. The best thing is to apply the product and only after a few minutes put on the semi-jewel.
3. Clean with mild soap and water
As cleaning products can harm the piece, the ideal thing is that it is washed with neutral soap and pure water. This type of cleaning is recommended for daily use, working well in the elimination of fats.
4. Buff with the correct material
Look for an abrasive flannel to safely buff your pieces. “A possible darkening of oxidation caused by uric acid, chemicals or strong incidence of light can be easily removed with the help of an abrasive flannel”, teaches Alexandre.
5. Store in an appropriate place
When storing your pieces, always choose a clean and dry place. It is important to avoid excessive exposure to the sun, humidity, contact with scented materials and dyed materials. Watch out for lined jewelry boxes – the fabric can contain harmful substances.
Semi jewelry of all styles to choose yours
Are you going to invest in a semi-jewel piece? Several online stores offer a large number of model options in different price ranges, which suit all personalities and budgets. Check out some pieces in our gallery:
Wholesale semi jewelry to resell
Have you ever thought about becoming a semi jewelry reseller? If your intention is to start a business of your own and start making money in this area, you can find several companies that offer wholesale parts to be resold. Check out some that offer this type of service:
1. Ágata Semi Joias: Ágata is headquartered in Goiânia and offers resale opportunities for people from all over Brazil or other Latin American countries. Those who want to work with the brand’s pieces can choose from three ways of reselling, with conditions that best adapt to each profile of the interested party, whether individual or legal.
2. JUV: Based in São Paulo, JUV allows residents anywhere in Brazil to become resellers. In addition to direct sales, the brand offers its own virtual store link so that the reseller can make online sales, receiving commission. The contract and other documents are available for reading on the page, to be read before registration.
3. Francisca Joias: Based in Rio de Janeiro, Francisca Joias, in addition to selling its products online, offers…
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