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What are the pros and cons of selling Sterling Silver vs. Costume Jewelry?

Sterling Silver vs. Costume Jewelry: An Insightful Comparison from Boma Jewelry

At Boma Jewelry, a family-owned, B Corp certified company based in Seattle since 1981, we pride ourselves on providing sustainable, high-quality jewelry options. Our extensive experience in the industry has given us a deep understanding of the benefits and drawbacks of different materials used in jewelry making, particularly sterling silver and costume jewelry. Here, we explore the pros and cons of each, helping retailers and consumers make informed decisions that align with their values and needs.

Sterling Silver Jewelry: The Premium Choice


  1. Durability and Longevity: Sterling silver is known for its durability. It is a precious metal that can last a lifetime with proper care, making it a worthwhile investment for consumers looking for quality pieces that stand the test of time.

  2. Hypoallergenic Properties: Unlike many materials used in costume jewelry, sterling silver is typically hypoallergenic, making it a safer choice for people with sensitive skin.

  3. Resale Value: Sterling silver retains intrinsic value. As a result, it can be resold if desired, offering consumers a return on investment that costume jewelry rarely provides.

  4. Sustainability: At Boma Jewelry, our sterling silver is sourced from recycled materials, reducing the demand for new mining and minimizing environmental impact, which aligns with our commitment to sustainability.


  1. Cost: Sterling silver is more expensive than many materials used in costume jewelry. This can be a barrier for some customers, particularly those looking for trendy, low-cost options.

  2. Maintenance: Sterling silver requires regular cleaning and proper storage to prevent tarnishing. This maintenance requirement may not appeal to all consumers.

Costume Jewelry: The Accessible Alternative


  1. Affordability: Costume jewelry is often made from less expensive materials, making it highly accessible and ideal for fashion trends that may change seasonally.

  2. Variety: There is a vast range of styles available in costume jewelry, allowing consumers to experiment with diverse looks without a significant financial commitment.


  1. Durability Issues: Costume jewelry is generally not made to last. Materials such as plated metals, plastic, and glass can deteriorate quickly, leading to a shorter lifespan for these pieces.

  2. Allergic Reactions: Costume jewelry often contains nickel and other allergenic metals, which can cause skin irritation or allergic reactions for some wearers.

  3. Environmental Impact: The production of costume jewelry can be less environmentally friendly, often involving materials that are not sustainable and contribute to waste due to their short lifespan.

  4. Lack of Value Retention: Costume jewelry typically has no resale value and is considered disposable fashion, which contradicts sustainable purchasing practices.


Choosing between sterling silver and costume jewelry ultimately depends on the needs and values of the consumer. At Boma Jewelry, we advocate for the use of sustainable, high-quality materials like sterling silver that not only provide lasting beauty but also align with ethical and environmental standards. We encourage retailers and consumers to consider these factors when making jewelry choices, reflecting on both the immediate appeal and the long-term implications of their purchases.

Whether you’re drawn to the enduring elegance of sterling silver or the playful versatility of costume jewelry, understanding the pros and cons of each can help guide your decisions towards more conscious, responsible fashion choices.

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