You gotta love the French language. It can make the most ordinary object sound exclusive and expensive. When the fashion industry borrowed the word “bijouterie” (from bijoux, French for “jewels”), a whole category of jewelry was transformed from cheap trinkets into collectors’ treasures.
In a nutshell, “bijouterie” is the new name for what we used to call “costume jewelry”.
Coco Chanel, the famous fashion designer for wealthy Europeans in the early 20th century, once said: “It’s disgusting to walk around with millions around the neck because one happens to be rich. I like fake jewelry...because it’s provocative.”