In the world of bargain jewelry, there are usually two options for the savvy buyer who still wants something that looks good: dupes and counterfeits. And, if one of those words makes you feel a little uneasy, you’re not alone. “Counterfeit” jewelry sounds about as bad to most people as counterfeit money, and for the same reasons.
We don’t like to imagine we’re getting something sketchy or underhanded. But is there a difference between counterfeit jewelry and dupe pieces? Let’s take a closer look.
Counterfeit items are what we would otherwise call “fakes”. Something that intentionally tries to mimic the design of a trademarked or popular so that people will be fooled into thinking it legitimately is that thing. These items will copy design features, logos, and other hallmarks so that someone who isn’t “paying attention” could mistake one for the real thing and spend money on it. And sometimes, they do this really well, to the point where the counterfeit and the original are basically identical.
To combat this, most of us have developed a skepticism when it comes to our purchases over the years. If it seems like too good of a deal, it usually is.
Duplicates or “dupes” are items with shared qualities to real-world designer items. Despite this, however, it's easy to see that they aren’t the real item. The point is to get a fashion item with the same “vibe” as the original, but not the actual original. This is so widely accepted that you’ll find dupe jewelry featured in popular retail stores and sites, from, Forever 21 to Zara and beyond.
The big thing when it comes to the difference between dupes and counterfeits is that dupes are 100% legal and counterfeits are and always will be illegal.
Are Designer-Inspired Items Worth It? A Review
I’ll talk about this from first-hand experience, namely my designer inspired black clover leaf bracelet. When I found this item in black at BeachPlease4Me, on Etsy, I was thrilled. It was exactly what I wanted. Basic but glitzy. Charmy but elegant. This item walks the line, and I love the line it walks.
When it arrived, I knew I’d made the right call. This bracelet is irresponsibly pretty, shipping with a high-shine polish in a really pro-looking box. It’s also cuter than I expected, wearing its charmy charms on its sleeve (or under my sleeve) with quality materials put together in an extremely sturdy build.
And it is sturdy. This thing feels like it could take a hit from a high-pressure hose or come out with me for a heavy day of yard work and feel just the same as when it came out of the box. The feeling of weighty jewelry usually indicates quality, but it’s a balancing act, and my bracelet pulls it off perfectly. Not light enough that it feels cheap. Not heavy enough that it feels like they’re trying to compensate. Because, when you source quality components, it doesn’t matter if you’re “inspired” by a popular piece of jewelry - you’re just creating quality jewelry.
Counterfeit vs. Dupe Jewelry: In Conclusion
In the quest for better fashion, it can be easy to see your choices as black and white. Either you spend a lot of money on designer items or you set your sights lower and buy cheap counterfeits. These are often pretty easy to spot. They don’t last as long as the real deal. And buying them hurts the actual industry, taking money out of the hands of hardworking designers.
But there is a third option. Dupe jewelry gives you the style and range of options you want from designer items without the designer price tag. They take the guilt out of the matter, as well, giving you a great-looking item without any attempt at ripping off the brand itself. These are inspired by the styles we love, but they do not steal from those styles.
If what you’re looking for is designer styles for less, you can’t go wrong with a little inspiration.
BeachPlease4Me recently relocated from their Etsy store to a full-fledged store of their own. They are now operating as Designer Styles for Less. You can check out their products here.