Bridge Jewelry - Artisan Jewelry

Louise Coulson

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Jewelry is more than an accessory; it can be a promise, a remembrance, a statement or a frivolous decoration. Fine jewelry, Bridge jewelry and Fashion Jewelry are all types of jewelry that allow you to have a variety of choices to you add to your collection and create your look. The terms Bridge jewelry and Artisan jewelry are sometimes used as if they are synonymous. We will explore this assumption and discover that Bridge jewelry and Artisan jewelry can be the same thing, but are not always the same.

Fine jewelry is jewelry that uses at least 14 kt. Gold or other precious metals along with precious gems like diamonds, sapphires, rubies or emeralds. Fine jewelry can be mass-produced or artisan-made one-of-a-kind pieces or limited-edition. It can be found in fine jewelry stores or in galleries. Fine jewelry commands the highest prices.

Fashion jewelry can also be artisan-made or mass produced. Materials used in the designs are base metals, glass, plastic and other synthetics. This jewelry may also be made of shell, wood and other organic materials. Fashion jewelry is available in department stores, discount stores, drug stores and even flea markets. Prices on Fashion jewelry tend to be the most affordable of all jewelry.

Bridge jewelry is called that because it is the bridge between Fine jewelry and Fashion jewelry. It may use vermeil, gold filled or silver as the metal and uses semi precious stones such as amethyst, citrine, turquoise, jade, topaz, fresh water pearls, garnet and others. Much Bridge jewelry is artisan-made, but it can also be mass produced. Bridge jewelry is often found in craft shows, galleries and art shows. Prices are in the mid range between Fine jewelry and Fashion jewelry.

Of course other combinations are found in jewelry. Some designers use precious metals such as 14k gold with amethyst. These pieces are not so easily classified. Price points and materials are the most definitive difference between the categories of jewelry. Fine jewelry as the most expensive and Fashion jewelry as an inexpensive alternative. Bridge jewelry falls between these two on price.

Bridge jewelry is a unique and affordable addition to your jewelry collection. You may see some familiar names in galleries or fine department stores and begin to recognize them as producers of Bridge jewelry. When you attend an art show, take a special look at the jewelry and you will recognize that much of it is fine artisan-made Bridge jewelry. It can provide you a good value because of the combination of quality materials; creativity and workmanship provided by the designers of these unique one-of-a-kind or limited edition pieces.

Kingfisher Designs

Louise Coulson along with her husband Don designs and creates jewelry from sterling silver and gold filled wire. Their jewelry shows the wire used almost as if it were a fiber. The fiber arts approach comes from Louise's long background as a weaver and the meticulous craftsmanship is due to Don's background in engineering. The pieces are one-of-a-kind or limited edition.


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