The demi-fine jewellery guide and glossary


By Stephanie Boey

The demi-fine jewellery guide and glossary

The demi-fine jewellery trend is one that’s been gaining popularity. Its trendy designs and affordable price point have made it a recent staple among the fashionable set. We’re accustomed to hearing about fine jewellery and costume jewellery, and the beauty of demi-fine is that it lies in the middle, meeting the sweet spot of precious adornments with a price tag that doesn’t break the bank.

Need a crash course on all things demi-fine? Here’s a cheat sheet!

What is demi-fine jewellery?

Often dubbed as “affordable luxury”, demi-fine jewellery strikes the balance between trendy and affordable costume jewellery with the likes of fine jewellery in terms of quality and materials used.

What is it made of?

Demi-fine jewellery uses precious metals such as gold, silver, platinum, rhodium and vermeil, as well as semi-precious stones.

What is rhodium?

Rhodium is a precious metal that belongs to the same family as platinum. Rhodium-plated jewellery gives off a reflective white appearance and increases shine, lustre and durability by being resistant to scratches.


What about vermeil?

Vermeil (pronounced vuh·meil) refers to silver items that are plated with a thin layer of gold.

What’s the difference between gold vermeil and gold-plated jewellery?

The rule of thumb when it comes to vermeil is the core metal. Vermeil must always use silver as the main metal, whereas gold-plated jewellery uses other metals such as brass or nickel. In the United States, a piece of jewellery has to be coated with at least 10 karats of pure gold to be considered vermeil.

What is the life span of demi-fine jewellery?

With a good dose of TLC, demi-fine jewellery can last you for years. Just as well as properly maintained costume jewellery.


How do I maintain the shine and lustre of demi-fine jewellery?

Avoid contact with chlorine, salt and heated waters, as well as harsh chemicals.

How do I clean demi-fine jewellery?

Vermeil: Wipe gently with a dry, soft cloth.

Rhodium: Wash with warm water.

**For more jewellery care tips, click here.

How do I store demi-fine jewellery?

For lasting shine, store pieces separately in an air-tight ziplock bag, and keep them away from direct sunlight.

How do I style demi-fine jewellery?

Literally, any way you want. There is no hard and fast rule on how to wear regular jewellery, so the same principle applies to demi-fine. Even the age-old rule of never mixing gold and silver has passed its time. Let your imagination run free, and let your personal style shine through! If you have an existing collection of fine and costume jewellery, why not style them all together?

Ahead, quick style inspo to get you started.

Where can I find demi-fine jewellery?

Malaysia has a handful of local demi-fine jewellery brands! Here’s a list:

i) Wanderlust + Co

ii) ‘Kin

iii) Myjn

iv) The Straits Finery

v) Joanne T

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