Have you ever noticed the kid in the mall wearing a chain and cross gleaming with what looks like diamond jewelry? They aren’t diamonds, of course and they may not be kids. In today’s Hip Hop age we are facing an explosion of interest in these “fake” diamonds better known as cubic zirconia.
Hip Hop fans of all ages are imitating their rap idols in their adornment of the most flamboyant types of jewelry accessories. A whole new genre of style and design has been established as a result with its own language and boundaries.
Rise Of The Hip Hop Fashion
The prolific rise of the rap industry as a mainstay in our cultural landscape is undeniable. People of all races, economic backgrounds and various regions of the world have been affected. Hip Hop has transcended its roots in the underground and has long since crossed over into the mainstream.
This phenomenon has created various industries specializing in all things Hip Hop. Wearing a chain or donning some shiny earrings symbolizes the promotion of the Hip Hop lifestyle. It bellows out the success of an individual in the ability to procure these expensive items. Diamonds and gold have become the ornaments of Hip Hop, the outwardly physical manifestation of wealth.
Many of us have seen music videos starring rappers such as Nelly, 50 cent and Eminem. They are usually equipped with the finest women, the fastest cars and the most heavily diamond laced jewelry. This trend started early in Hip Hop as commercially successful rap legends such as LL Cool J sported thick gold chains drawing the attention of all Hip Hop fans across the world. Here was the beginning of the establishment of a cultural trend spanning from fashion to language.
Have you heard of terms such as bling, grillz and iced out? You might know what some of these terms mean even if you’re not a rap fan. These are words used to describe the various states of diamond jewelry. You’re diamond watch is definitely blinging (shining, glittering). If you ever win the lottery you might consider having diamonds attached to your teeth representing your grillz.
Or you could buy a heavily iced out pendant to match your bling watch and your frosty grillz. And so on and so forth. Ok, so let’s go back to that kid in the mall with the chain. He’s probably working at Burger King and won’t be cashing any stocks soon that would allow him to purchase a pair of 1CT princess cut diamond earrings worth $5,000. Instead, he is going for the next best thing. The “fake” diamond, otherwise know as cubic zirconia.
Cubic Zirconia can be easily mistaken for a diamond. In fact, one factor in identifying a cubic zirconia stone is noting it’s brilliance. CZ stones are actually more brilliant, more symmetrical and exhibit more fire(the dispersion of white light into a rainbow of colors) than real diamonds. CZ forms naturally although the type used in jewelry is man made. Generally, the best CZ is produced in labs in Russia.
So why are diamonds so much more valuable? The popularity of diamonds as a wearable gemstone increased in the 19th century as cutting and polishing practices improved. Diamonds had primarily been used industrially as they are able to cut through most materials until this time. Diamonds are the hardest gemstones known to many making them scratch resistant and easily polished.
Regardless of the value of diamonds vs. CZ, economically there is no comparison. In order for those Hip Hop fans to achieve the look and feel of their idols they have turned invariably to cubic zirconia.
10kt Yellow Gold Mens Round Diamond Flared Cross Charm Pendant 1/6 Cttw
10kt Yellow Gold
I2-I3 clarity; J-K color
Length: 43.5 mm — ( 1.71 inches ) ; Width: 21.5 mm (.85 inches ) — 4.16 grams (approx.)
Gift box included.
Trends change even faster than the weather sometimes. The hip hop jewelry fashions bear full testimony that this statement is true. As per the definition of the hip hop jewelry – it all started in the 1980s when people all of a sudden took a closer look at their stars (music celebrities) and decided to imitate them off the stage.
The eighties saw the trend moving towards African style of dressing and the jewelry followed suit. The hat, which was worn a bit on the eyes, was also the craze during this period. The colors which dominated those times were the red, black and green (symbols of African brotherhood).
The 90s saw ushered in a great deal of bright colored clothes and rap music capturing the market. The millennium again saw the trend changing towards more individualistic looks and paler looking clothes and hairdos.
The hip-hop fashion, as this imitation of stars is called, affected the jewelry market as well. The 80’s saw the people wearing ropes of plain gold with the standard goodwill (African) colors – red, black and green in order to show solidarity between the African populations throughout the world.
The nineties saw the introduction of platinum in the repertoire of hip hop jewelry as more and more stars (music) started wearing and flaunting it. As the platinum hip hop jewelry gathered momentum in the market, the silver hip hop jewelry made a great come-back after about of 10-15 years of dormancy.
The platinum hip hop jewelry was usually adorned with diamonds and fashioned mostly in religious type symbols which some still consider not in a very good taste. Music continued to be the centre of the attraction in the world and along with the hip hop jewelry and aligned fashioned is prospering.
Today, the hip hop jewelry has an added item, the diamond. The platinum jewelry with diamond is now the in-thing. As a result, silver hip hop jewelry with zircon set in the style of platinum has hit a new high. People, prefer for their daily use silver over the gold-plated jewelry that was just a decade back highly famous and in demand. It remains to be seen what the future holds for us tomorrow.
Whatever be the existing trend the hip hop jewelry is here to stay since the youngsters particularly love its versatility and the accentuated fashion statement it makes.
Genuine Real 14K Yellow Gold Solid African Mask Zulu Nation Charm Pendant Hip Hop Style
AUTHENTIC GENUINE 14K SOLID YELLOW GOLD
BEZEL SET RUBY STONES: 0.66 CT
The creation and history of the African Mask is one steeped in meaning and tradition. The art of carving the African mask was often taught to young men who were apprenticed to master carvers. In other cases, the art of making masks and sculptures to be used in spiritual ceremonies was passed down in families from one generation to the next. Rich with symbolic meaning, the African mask was treasured for its spiritual quality, as opposed to its aesthetic appearance.
Pendant Length: 2.75 Inches. Width: 1
Weight: approximately 88.0 Grams