By Lee Ladyga
Posted in Misc
Handmade and crafted jewelry has seen a rise in popularity lately. Artisans take pride in crafting unique jewelry designs. There are things you should know about how special your handcrafted jewelry is.
Not Mass Produced
Handmade jewelry isn’t mass produced, because it’s “handmade.” The pieces are created without the use of manufacturing machinery. This means that all soldering, shaping, hand stamping, etc. is done strictly by the artisans themselves. While machines can produce multiple products in a short amount of time, individual artisans can make far less in that amount of time but it means that the quality of work is much higher.
For some jewelry makers, this means that their pieces are one of a kind. They can’t put a necklace up for sale on their personal website and sell 50 of them. There is only one, another can be recreated but will be different as it is handcrafted separately.
Handmade jewelry takes time. While manufacturing machines cut time out of production, it also cuts quality. It can take a considerable amount of time to finish one piece by hand. The design takes time for the artisan to create, and finish.
Materials can cost more in higher quality handmade jewelry. It’s harder to know what kind of metals are used in mass produced jewelry manufacturing, versus what an individual artisan uses. If you think of the time spent designing, creating, and the high quality of materials used, it makes sense that custom made or hand stamped jewelry costs more. The artisan took extra time designing it and making it, and they used far superior materials to mass-manufactured jewelry.
Most small business owners, and especially jewelry makers, make commitments to getting materials from ethically sourced places. A lot of jewelers make commitments to other sustainable business practices as well. Again, being ethical and sustainable in their business can force costs to go up which may affect the price of jewelry.
One of the most important things to remember with your local artisan-made jewelry is that it’s not just an investment. It’s about buying local and supporting local artists. Most times these artists support ethical practices within their field, sourcing materials from ethically responsible places. Investing in a piece of artisan jewelry is special, often times it’s a unique piece, not so easily created. When jewelry is made by hand, there is always room for slight differences and changes in design.