Handcrafted with passion, handmade jewellery is currently all the rage. While most people agree that handmade jewellery is special, they often don’t understand why it’s more valuable than mass-produced accessories. In this article, we explore why handmade jewellery is more of an investment than jewellery produced in bulk.
Before we get started, it’s important to understand what handmade jewellery is. Often referred to as artisan jewellery, it’s best described as wearable accessories that are custom made. Typically, the maker will be a skilled craftsperson; however, this isn’t always the case. Providing that you have a creative flair and the right equipment, handmade jewellery can be made easily at home. Today, you can buy handmade jewellery from a number of places including online boutiques, craft fairs, and local markets. With e-commerce websites such as Etsy rising in popularity, handmade items are more accessible than ever before.
Crafted from a number of materials, handmade jewellery can range from beaded bracelets to fine metalworking and stone cutting. As everything is handmade, the pieces are typically one-of-a-kind. Even if the jeweller is working from the same source design, the slight differences make each piece unique.
When creating jewellery from scratch, rather than using an assembly line, the process requires extra care and attention. Because of this, it takes longer to create handmade jewellery than mass-produced. With this in mind, artisan jewellery often comes with a higher price tag than it’s mass-produced counterparts. Typically, the cost is based on the quality of materials used to make the piece, plus labour.
Although handmade jewellery is more expensive than mass-produced items, you can still pick it up for a reasonable price. Before purchasing, take time to shop around and find a jeweller that suits your style.
As the name suggests, handmade jewellery is literally made by the “hands” of the maker. With no mass-production machinery involved, each piece is soldered, carved, and shaped individually. A mass-production machine can produce hundreds of pieces per hour; an individual, on the other hand, may not even finish one.
When buying handmade jewellery, you are paying for the value of time. As mentioned previously, it takes a long time to produce just one piece of handmade jewellery. If the piece is custom made, the process will take even longer. This is because the artisan will spend time designing the piece before they make it.
Unlike mass-produced jewellery, the artisan has an intimate relationship with each piece of jewellery. With this in mind, you are paying for the intimate design process in addition to the finished piece. Every curve and line on the jewellery is intentional, all designed to increase the beauty of the final piece.
Most of the time, the materials used in handmade jewellery are of superb quality. When jewellery is mass produced, it’s difficult to regulate what alloys are used. In most cases, low-quality metals are used to keep the cost down and maximise the markup. The materials used for handmade jewellery, however, are sourced from reputable suppliers. Because of this, the artisan knows exactly what they are working with.
Another selling point for handmade jewellery is its sustainability. Often, artisans are dedicated to using ethically sourced materials. Naturally, being ethical can cost more than purchasing from a dealer or refiner. This cost is then reflected in the price of the jewellery.
The quality of handmade jewellery is almost always higher than mass-produced pieces. As the piece is handmade, the artisan can control the process from start to finish. When jewellery is mass-produced, on the other hand, mistakes that occur on the production line are often missed. Additionally, makers are extremely proud of the jewellery they produce; with this in mind, they aren’t going to let something of inferior quality leave their studio.
Many people are willing to pay more for a locally made product. Not only does buying local reduce your carbon footprint, but it also supports small, local businesses. Customers often feel more connected to locally made jewellery, as the piece is infused with love from their hometown.
When you buy handmade jewellery, you’re guaranteed to get a unique item. Even if the artisan is working from the same source design, no two pieces are ever the same. As each piece is handmade, there will be small differences between them, even if the overall design is similar. While mass-produced jewellery may be cheaper, it doesn’t have the personal feel of a handmade piece. Sometimes, this doesn’t matter. However, when it comes to special pieces, such as an engagement ring or wedding band, a one-of-a-kind piece makes it all the more meaningful.
Another great thing about handmade jewellery is the story behind it. When creating handmade jewellery, the artisan handpicks the design and materials. When the jewellery is sold, this backstory can be explained to make the piece even more unique. When you buy a handmade item, you’re also buying the history that comes with it.
It’s no secret that handmade jewellery is more expensive than store-bought. However, when you think about the time, talent, and dedication that has gone into the making process, it’s easy to see why. Although custom-made jewellery is always going to cost more than mass-produced, it doesn’t have to be extortionate. If you’ve got a budget to stick to, meet with a local artisan to discuss your options.