The Different Grades of Hip Hop Jewelry Quality: Pendants
With so many different hip hop jewelry retailers popping up and shutting down overnight, we felt it was important to spend some time to educate consumers and describe the different quality levels of hip hop jewelry. This particular write-up focuses on pendants and chains, which are the all time best sellers when it comes to hip hop jewelry. To perform this comparison, we will describe the difference between grade A and grade B pendants that we sell so you know the reason for the difference in prices. There are also many grade C pendants flooding the market so we felt a need to warn you about these cheap quality pendants. We do not carry grade C so we purchased it from a popular competing website to do this write-up. This write-up was done after 2 months of wear and tear being placed on the pendants. Click on the pictures to see a large detailed version.
Grade C Hip Hop Pendants
Grade C hip hop pendants, like the one shown above is the bottom of the barrel, cheapest quality hip hop pendant you can get. We don't even carry these pendants. The one above was purchased from another online retailer who sold them for about the same price as our grade B pendants. As you can see, after just 2 months of wear the pendant is already tarnishing and showing signs of deterioration. These pendants are usually smaller than other quality levels and much lighter in weight. They are made with a plastic core and plated with thin coats of silver colored paint, not even real silver. The stones, as you can see are inconsistent in color and clarity, and are glued on without much care. These types of pendants are often sold through smaller online retailers who take manipulated photos of frontal shots to conceal the thickness of the pendant. If you see pendants that are ridiculously cheap and you buy it, you are either getting on of these pendants or nothing at all. We've also see these pendants at mall carts being sold for almost as high as our grade A pendants.
Grade B Hip Hop Pendants
Grade B pendants are a huge improvement over the grade C stuff. These are the pendants featured in our hip hop pendants collection. They are produced in factories that specialize in jewelry, while grade C pendants are made by factories who usually make key chains and accessories. These pendants are much thicker and heavier than grade C pendants. There is a lot more detail in the designs and the genuine sterling silver plated finish holds up much better. The test pendant above is thick and heavy, with the finish still shining great after 2 months of wear and tear. The stones that are set on our grade B pendants are much higher quality and resemble the look of real diamonds. Basically there is a lot more time and dedication put into creating one of these pendants, unlike the grade C pendants which are mass produced at very low prices. These are only a few bucks more than grade C pendants and a little bit less than the grade A pendants.
Grade A Hip Hop Pendants
Grade A hip hop pendants are the best of the best. On our site they are known as premium pendants. The major difference with grade A is the feel of the pendant. Both grade A and B look great, but grade A goes above and beyond with the finishing details. They are direct replicas of real white gold jewelry. These hip hop pendants are made with a solid brass core, which makes the pendant very strong and heavy. The finish is genuine rhodium, which is the same material used to coat real white gold jewelry to prevent tarnishing and scratches. The finish is darker than silver, thus producing a platinum looking shine. The stones on these pendants are the very best grade A diamond simulates, including exotic cuts such as princess square cut stones and baguettes. They also feature fancier settings like channel set and invisible set look. They are slightly heavier than the grade B pendants as they have a finished backing, just like real white gold jewelry. Grade A is slightly more expensive than grade B, and its meant for those individuals that want the best of the best. So far, we have not yet come across any other online retailer that carries true grade A pendants.
Side by Side Comparison
Right off the bat you'll notice an obvious color difference between these pendants. These photos were not digitally enhanced in any way. The grade C pendant on the far left have lost it's color after just 2 months. It's a dark brown tarnished color. The grade B pendant still has a nice white gold brilliant look on it. It's holding up very well. The grade A pendant has a darker, richer finish due to it's rhodium finish and it looks virtually brand new with no signs of wear after 2 months. The finish and feel is made to resemble genuine platinum jewelry. You'll also notice that the grade C pendant is flat while the other two is deep and thick The stones on the grade C are too large and fake looking. They don't shine much in person either. The grade A pendant has the nicest stones, with an exotic invisible set princess cut look. On the second picture, you'll notice the different backings. The grade C pendant is a plain flat back and the edges aren't very detailed since the core is cheap plastic. The grade B pendant is much thicker but has a hollow back to save labor costs. The grade A pendant has the nicest backing, which is a fully finished back piece just like on real white gold and platinum jewelry. The edges are smooth and clean due to the strong brass core. When compared side by side, our pendants trump the other guy's grade C pendant.
Comparing Hip Hop Chains
All of these pendants come with a free chain. Of course even the chains have various levels of quality. The grade C pendant came with the chain on the right when we ordered it. This chain is much lighter than our chains. If you look closely, you'll notice that the chain is held together by a series of jump rings. This is a very cheap way to easily put together a chain and real white gold and platinum chain never come like that. If you look at our chain on the left, you'll see that the links are actually welded together. Also the diamond cuts on our chain is much deeper and detailed. There are designs throughout the various sections of each link whereas our competitor's chain just has a few random light cuts to give it some character. The finish has already turned dark and brown looking along with the pendant while our chain has a nice rhodium finish that is virtually brand new. Both our grade A and B pendants come with high quality designer chains.
The Bottom Line
We don't sell grade C for a reason. We are here for the long term and we focus on customer satisfaction. If we sell you garbage, you won't come back. Many fly by night websites wouldn't care because they will close their sites in a year or two and move on to something else after they sold you cheap stuff. We aren't looking for a quick buck here at hip hop bling, we're focusing on long term satisfaction so you keep coming back to us for your jewelry needs. The grade B pendants are very good already and it's a nice piece of fashion jewelry that's inexpensive. For those who simply want the best look and feel, pay a bit more and step up to grade A premium pendants. They are the best on the market. So now you know how to tell the difference between cheap stuff and good stuff. Next time you shop for hip hop pendants, look closely at the details.