Is it really a bargain?
I love jewelry. I have a large collection of silver, gold and even costume pieces that I seem to be unable to part with even though most of it is quite literally trash. I hold on to earrings and bracelets I have worn a few times that have tarnished long ago. I lie to myself and say I can get one more wear out of them but ultimately when it comes time to put something on, I reach for the good stuff, my pieces that never fail to impress because even though silver over time will patina, you can always polish it to a high shine and it will look as good as the day you bought it. I quit buying costume jewelry because I realized that the perceived value vs cost is deceiving. That $5 piece of jewelry may be seem like and bargain and it's undoubtedly a pretty bauble, but are you really getting your money's worth?
Lets consider for a moment that you pay $5 for a ring and wear it 5 times before it starts to show some wear. you even wear it a few times after it starts to wear because it's just so darn cute! You soon get to a point where it becomes embarrassing to wear because it is now visibly a cheap piece of jewelry. Now consider this; I have a silver heart necklace that I've had for over 20 years. I still wear it to this day because it's timeless and I can polish it to a high shine. I paid about $300 for this necklace but I've been able to wear it hundreds of times over those 20 years. To get the same value out of the cheap ring as I've gotten out of my silver heart necklace, I would have to buy that ring at least 100 times, or more. That's over $500 for a ring that has a expiration date whereas my silver necklace will continue to last for many years to come. The next time you think you're getting a bargain piece of jewelry, think twice.