Costume jewelry started in the 1920s as a way to design jewelry specifically for certain articles of clothing or costumes. As a result, the jewelry was made primarily of base metals and cheaper stones, emphasizing the style and look over the precious metals and stones found in regular jewelry.
The most accurate way to find out if your costume jewelry is worth anything is to bring it in to a professional to get it appraised. An appraiser will have many years of experience looking at both regular and costume pieces, allowing him to have a better chance of identifying the accurate value of the pieces you have. In addition, an appraiser may offer to purchase your costume jewelry or help you locate a buyer.
With the power of the Internet, it is possible to go online to see the actual market value for your product on a global scale. If you are interested in seeing what your costume jewelry can earn, place your items up for auction on online sites like Ebay. Here, buyers from all over the world will bid on your jewelry until it reaches a fair market price. While the final sale you make may not always match up to the market value of the product, you will still get some value out of your jewelry.
In addition to selling your items online, you can also go online to research and identify the specific pieces of costume jewelry that you have in your collection. Sites such as Collectors Weekly and Illusion Jewels have a comprehensive data base of pieces that will make it easy for you to identify the pieces you own. Once you identify the pieces, you can search online to see if the pieces are of any great value.
While it is possible to get your costume jewelry appraised with the actual brand, year and make of the product, if you do not have access to a costume jewelry specialist, getting a regular jeweler to assess and analyze the actual materials used on your costume jewelry can help you get an estimated cost for it. While some costume jewelry is made with low-quality materials, others use gold, silver and certain stones of value.