Maker Resources

7 Things You Didn’t Know About Handmade Jewelry

November 13, 2014

Handmade jewelry has been all the rage lately. The personal attention and love that makers and artisans infuse into their work is evident in the masterpieces that they create. What most people don’t understand is why handmade jewelry is more of an investment than its mass produced counterparts. There are many reasons why handmade jewelry is more of an investment than pieces that are mass produced, so I thought I would break it down for you!  Below are 7 Things You Didn’t Know About Handmade Jewelry.

7 Things You Didn't Know About Handmade Jewelry | UncommonGoods-548x421

1. No Mass Production Machinery Involved: By definition, handmade jewelry is literally just that, made by the “hands” of the artisan or maker.  The pieces are soldered, sawed, carved and shaped without the use of mass produced manufacturing machinery. A machine can crank out hundreds of units per hour while an individual can only make a finite quantity or fraction of the number of pieces in the same amount of time.

7 Things You Didn't Know About Handmade Jewelry | UncommonGoods

2. The Value of Time: As previously mentioned, since there are no machines involved, handmade jewelry takes an incredible amount of time to produce just a single piece. As a designer myself, I know I often spend hours designing a single piece of jewelry for a client. The time to make the piece often can take weeks.

7 Things You Didn't Know About Handmade Jewelry | UncommonGoods

3. The Maker’s Process: The maker has a very intimate relationship with each piece or design they create. The design process is key to the value that is inherent in each piece. Emilie Shapiro talks about her process and says, “While creating jewelry, there is a very intimate relationship with my work. I know every curve and line (is) put there with intention. As a maker your energy goes into the piece.”

7 Things You Didn't Know About Handmade Jewelry | UncommonGoods

4. Materials: In almost every case, the value of the materials involved in a handmade piece are of stellar quality. It’s difficult to regulate or even know exactly what alloys are used in mass produced factories where dirty metals are blended together to create costume pieces. Handmade materials are generally sourced from highly reputable suppliers.

7 Things You Didn't Know About Handmade Jewelry | UncommonGoods-548x421

5. Sustainability: Jewelry Makers are often dedicated to sustainability and ethically sourced materials. By nature, being ethical can be much more costly than taking the easy route and purchasing from the refiner or dealer with low prices and shady sourcing. Once again, Emilie Shapiro always uses the highest quality materials sourced from suppliers who share her ethos about sustainability whenever possible. Smaller scale production is almost always higher quality.

7 Things You Didn't Know About Handmade Jewelry | UncommonGoods

6. Quality: Smaller scale production is almost always higher quality because the ability to track and control the process from start to finish is inherent in the making process. Makers and artisans are extremely proud of the work they produce. They aren’t going to let something of inferior quality leave their studio with their name on it.

7 Things You Didn't Know About Handmade Jewelry | UncommonGoods

7. Locally Made with Love: There is a lot of buzz with “buying local” these days. Reducing your carbon footprint and supporting local artisans is good for the environment and good for everyone. Artisans and makers infuse love and energy into each piece of work. There is HUGE value in supporting local from a sustainability and energetic standpoint. Along with the extra value inherent in handmade jewelry you are also buying a truly one-of-a-kind product. Even if the handmade piece is part of an edition – no maker creates two pieces that are exactly identical. You are the only person with that specific piece of jewelry which says a lot.

7 Things You Didn't Know About Handmade Jewelry | UncommonGoods

The next time you consider purchasing a handmade piece of jewelry, remember that even though the piece may be an investment, you are supporting something even bigger. You should feel really good about your purchase knowing that you have a special piece of the artist in your jewelry collection.

Handmade | UncommonGoodsKeep an eye out for this blue hand icon while shopping at UncommonGoods for handmade products!

7 Things You Didn't Know About Handmade Jewelry | UncommonGoods-548x421

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128 Comments

  • Reply jane December 31, 2014 at 8:57 am

    generally this is a good article and I agree with it, however I think it’s interesting that you talk about handmade jewelry but show pictures of castings… castings are not handmade… they can be hand finished, but until you can pour molten metal with your hands, it’s not handmade.

  • Reply Monica January 1, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    Jane, if you don’t mine your metals, it’s not handmade.

  • Reply Jeanne Costello January 2, 2015 at 6:02 am

    thabk you for a great article! Really appreciate it! I would love to reblogging this on my WordPress blog, Any reblog button I can use? Let me know if you are interested! Thanks so much

    • Reply Cassie January 9, 2015 at 11:48 am

      Hi Jeanne,

      You can definitely reblog the post. We don’t have a specific reblog button, so please make sure to link back to the original post.

      Thanks for asking!

      Cassie

  • Reply harriet attias January 6, 2015 at 7:47 am

    If the original piece is hand carved and made by hand then castings are a natural process in handmade jewellery.if we want a viable business this has to be allowed or prices would be too far out of reach for a jeweller to make a regular living.However casting items such as lace or other items then although hand finished and designed ..can not be described as truly handmade.We cast.but make all out models from sculptured silver first.So the finished piece has been carved and created by us from the medium we use.ie.not wax or silver clay:-) then cast and then completly hand wired weaving to finish by hand individually.
    http://Www.milkiway.co.uk
    and our prices reflect that.we wouldnt want to decieve.

  • Reply Brad Sacks January 15, 2015 at 9:25 pm

    This is a really nice post. You breakdown the process of making handmade jewellery well, and use great visuals!

  • Reply Terri Hanley January 19, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    I make handmade jewelry. You have done a good job with writing and graphics. We don.t all use casting, you know.

  • Reply Wedding bands Sydney January 28, 2015 at 4:19 am

    Handmade jewellery have an authentic look and can be worn on any outfit. They are great for gifting someone special. I agree with you that they are a good investment. Great article about handmade jewellery.

  • Reply Dede February 4, 2015 at 7:37 am

    I have to disagree with the comment about casting referring to the work is not handmade. Lost wax carving has been used since ancient times. The Victoria and Albert Museum display specatular jewellery from centuries ago using this technique. In other words it is an ancient craft and very pertinent in traditional hand made jewellery. The original model still needs to made by hand either in wax or in a metal form and then after casting, assembled and finished.

  • Reply matthias February 6, 2015 at 5:58 am

    Thank you for this great article!

  • Reply Ken Mainstone February 15, 2015 at 3:32 am

    Reminding people of the time and effort that goes in to the production of even the smallest piece of jewellery helps the artisan who strives to produce a unique item. I found most buyers want a cheap pretty piece to go with a particular outfit and then are happy to discard it after wearing it a couple of times. The process of building up a ‘jewellery collection’ seems to be out offfashion. The number of times that I have had prospective clients say, I really like that but it seems very expensive. This has made me give up producing due to the cost of raw materials,

  • Reply Sable Wolf March 17, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    Thanks! My handmade custom jewelry designs (necklaces, statement rings, earrings) with crystal quartz, rose quartz and amethyst need help finding new loving homes!

  • Reply Matilde March 18, 2015 at 8:46 pm

    Hello, I really love this post!, I’m recently trying to promote my own handmade jewelry (I love making earrings with swarovski crystals). I need more likes on the facebook page to start the first raffle of one pair of earrings. I’ll appreciate the new “likes” if you like them 🙂 thanks!

    https://www.facebook.com/Siennajewelry?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

  • Reply eileen March 22, 2015 at 10:41 am

    you have shown us how much effort goes into making jewellery handmade from begining to the end product loved it thankyou

  • Reply Anuj Kumar March 27, 2015 at 9:11 am

    Great article. Please check my site also http://www.niirva.com

  • Reply Renee K March 27, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    Good post. handmade jewelry is definitely special, a few reasons being they are usually unique in design and a lot of love, care and hard work goes into creating the piece and they make excellent gifts.

  • Reply amira March 28, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    Monica, love your reply to Jane, lol!
    Jane, if you don’t mine your metals, it’s not handmade.”
    yaluvme.com
    https://www.facebook.com/yaluvme

  • Reply cheryl March 29, 2015 at 10:39 pm

    HI
    Great article, the artist in me wants to agree whole heartedly about taking into account that you’re purchasing a little piece of the artist’s soul in every piece, but I’m not a jewelry maker I’m a painter. If I got emotionally attached to my artwork and factored that into my price I would never make a sale and so many talented artists are struggling to make ends meet because they don’t get that. Collectors, while looking to make an investment are also savvy shoppers looking for pieces that are competitively priced, and I think it’s probably the same for anyone purchasing jewelry even if it is handmade.

  • Reply Berta April 8, 2015 at 9:40 am

    Great article! Quite often people can’t imagine what is it handmade in real! For me it is freedom, love, positive emotions and just finally hard work and tired fingers 🙂

  • Reply Debbi May 8, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    Great article! Thanks so much for sharing.

  • Reply Drew May 11, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    I prefer to buy handmade jewelry because of what you are supporting when you do, just as you said. I also love knowing that there are no other pieces exactly the same. Thanks for posting!

  • Reply WANJIRU May 20, 2015 at 2:04 am

    awesome, i noted down some points as well 🙂

    http://www.wanjiruwangethe.me.ke

  • Reply Moe May 21, 2015 at 8:53 pm

    With the increasing ease of jewelry making, handmade jewelry is becoming an increasingly popular hit this year. A lot of amazing examples of handmade jewelry can be found on BoutiqueMexico.

    Head over and feel free to let us know what you think!

    http://boutiquemexico.com/handmade-jewelry-is-a-trend-in-2015/

  • Reply Handcrafted Jewelry June 11, 2015 at 5:16 am

    Nice answers in return of this question with firm arguments and describing all about that.

  • Reply Ruby June 12, 2015 at 5:30 am

    The thing I liked the most about handmade jewelry is the time devoted in it. I loved to see how much time is devoted by the people while they design and make the jewelry and it seriously gives a feeling of pride and respect to wear it.

  • Reply AfriArtisan June 16, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    This is a great article. We have just come together to try and sell our handmade jewellery and its been quite a learning curve to discover that it’s a whole different beast trying to sell it Online while competing with mass produced jewellery.
    Having to spread your time between SEO, Online marketing, social networking while doing the day time job to pay the bills stretches you thin and doesn’t leave as much time to do what you love.
    It has been and continues to be a good learning curve for us, come check us out at http://www.afriartisan.com/shop/ and let us know what you think.

  • Reply Jana Thomas June 30, 2015 at 6:48 am

    I loved reading this, there is a sense of raw workmanship and artistry that you will never get from most jewellery that has been mass produced, handcrafted jewellery is craft that does not stand still with ideas, making the designs unique a one off.
    http://www.sovajkjewellery.wordpress.com

  • Reply Mike C. July 10, 2015 at 9:27 am

    PROSPECTING IN THE GEORGIA MIDNIGHT

    As a child I remember playing in the woods next to my childhood home and finding all kinds of different rocks. I would look at them and think “That would make a pretty necklace”. I enjoyed those times exploring when I was young and was always fascinated by nature’s treasures. I seemed to see more than “just a rock”. As I grew up I never pursued my appreciation of those rocks but I always found them fascinating. Even now when I’m strolling by a river or lake I have my gaze caught by the smallest and most intricate shiny “something” while I’m glancing down.
    My motivation for the previous reminiscing is a man by the name of C. R. Smith. He is the owner and operator, along with his wife Ilene, of Prospector’s Pouch in Kennesaw, Ga. If there is any example of a “real” prospector C. R. Smith is just that. I’m sure he had the same experiences I did as a child but he certainly has taken this intrigue to another level. With many years of prospecting under his belt he has grown a flourishing business with the passion that he has had since his early years. One of the rewards of this passion is a discovery that he made back in the early 1980’s that he has suitably named Georgia Midnight.
    This one of a kind gemstone is so unique because it includes a large number of elements, including precious metals, all combined into one stone, which is very rare. There are 29 different elements present in Georgia Midnight. And C. R. discovered it right here in Georgia. Where you ask? Well that’s a secret that he plans to keep. After all…finders keepers, right? Georgia Midnight is exclusively mined for and sold through Prospector’s Pouch in Kennesaw, Ga. It’s a sight to behold and one of the most unique gemstones you may ever see. It has nuances of gold, silver and platinum with flashes of moon stone and sun stone all suspended in the deep black background that gives it its namesake. Once this gem is polished and cut it is then set into all kinds of unique and unusual designs to produce jewelry pieces that are one of a kind. You just have to see it.
    If you are looking for a special piece that is far from run of the mill, Georgia Midnight should be a strong consideration. It’s just that special. You can count on the classic and timeless artistry of Prospector’s Pouch’s designs to create a show piece that is unique to you or your special someone.
    The website is Prospectorspouch.com and you can see just a sample of the creations that C. R. and Ilene have to offer in this beautiful discovery of a Georgian geological treasure. In today’s world of smart phones and electronic devices it’s a lost past time to wander in nature and take the time to appreciate all it has to offer. Thankfully it’s something that C. R. Smith and his wife are still passionate about and they share that passion with the rest of us with the artistry they have honed over the last 45 years.
    Prospector’s Pouch is located at 2850 N. Cobb Pkwy in Kennesaw Ga. They also have a large selection of all gemstones as well as the spectacular Georgia Midnight. They offer full service lapidary services as well as jewelry repair and design. C.R. and Ilene are there on a daily basis and will make you feel right at home and maybe even part of the family. That’s what they do!
    Written by: “Mike C.”

  • Reply Drew July 10, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    Anything that is handmade is going to take more time, but also have a lot more care placed into making it and that improves the quality. Thanks so much for sharing.

  • Reply Gotiva Filigran July 15, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    Thanks for this nice post…
    This is my handmade works.
    I hope you like it…
    Best regards!!!
    https://www.facebook.com/ivica.jovanovic.58

  • Reply In Your Dreams Jewelry July 19, 2015 at 11:46 pm

    I would also add “unique” to this list. Handmade jewelry is like a painting–each piece has its own character, and is a little different every time. This gives handmade jewelry a personality that is sometimes lost in a manufactured piece. There’s a story of hard work and thoughtfulness in each piece!

  • Reply ketan July 28, 2015 at 7:11 am

    Hi I am promoting handmade tribal jewellery made by rural women, Made of brass,

    Pls Check: http://www.onlyhandmade.in

  • Reply Lissandra Torres August 3, 2015 at 10:58 am

    I would like to acknowledge the author for have write such a complete and amazing article. I recently read another post with complementary information about this topic. I’d like to share the list which may be useful when thinking about other resources available, here is the link http://boutiquemexico.com/handmade-jewelry-is-a-trend-in-2015/.

  • Reply ketan August 4, 2015 at 2:55 am

    Hi all, I have tribal brass jewellery called dokra , which has 4000+ years tradition in India !

    You can check on http://www.onlyhandmade.in

  • Reply martin August 7, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    Please stop with the crappola about casting is not hand made. It’s totally handmade. Just because you can make more than one is not a reason for being not handmade. Making a wax model or buying one. spruing it up. mixing the investment, casting. God forbid it has silver bubbles on it. Filing them off or using a dremel. Then incorporating the casting in a piece of jewelry. Enough with this argument. I’ve done plenty of lost wax castings. It’s not an easy process. A bit more mechanical than soldering bezels but still HANDMADE.

  • Reply Michelle August 10, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    Yes, must agree that it’s Crappola that casting is not hand-made… Sorry, but anyone can throw a pre-fabbed charm on a chain or beads on a wire and say ‘see it’s hand-made’ (yeah, right!) — Meanwhile casting, though machines are involved in many of it’s stages, takes HOURS to do and is often polished and finished by hand as well.

  • Reply Linda Durbin August 12, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    Fabulous! Thank you for laying it out! One of the other things that I really love about handmade jewelry is the uniqueness of it. I can go to a jewelry store and by a pre-fab piece and it will look nice enough, but something handmade just has that special look that you can’t get otherwise.

  • Reply Érica August 20, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    Nince post.. i loved!

  • Reply Stephanie August 26, 2015 at 9:45 am

    Great post !! I think many people do not realize the work that goes into a handmade piece of jewelry. No matter what kind of jewelry !! I enjoyed reading this so much !!!

  • Reply Mary August 27, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    Thank you. Been beading for over 30 years . Owned a bead store for 5 . Now just sellat some shows. I keep getting it’s costume jewelry and I want to say ..no that 500 necklace is pre made and bulk made , mine is made for one individual .
    Our crafting is a part of us. I just want to share the beauty

  • Reply ketan September 3, 2015 at 9:59 am

    Hi, I promote authentic tribal handmade brass Jewellery made by Rural women from India.

    You can check this

    onlyhandmade.in

  • Reply Ecopreneurist | A blog for and about eco and social entrepreneurs, startups, cleantech, web 2.0 and disruptive business ideas. September 7, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    […] Uncommon Goods gives their small business owners the opportunity to shine in an over-competitive online marketplace. They feature stories about all their makers, giving shoppers background information about the designer, his or her process, and insight into the inspiration behind the design. They have a great resource for their makers to learn and grow their business, and they share helpful information about building a brand on social media and tips for staying motivated and inspired. They also offer a blog with resources for shoppers to learn more about the creation process, feature their artists and share tips for shopping wisely. […]

  • Reply Priscilla chan September 8, 2015 at 4:39 am

    Thanks a bunch for your post. Really enjoyed that!! pls check our diy jewelry blog http://www.everymade.com/

  • Reply Molly Baker September 29, 2015 at 8:04 am

    Hi,

    The article is really impressive and has enhanced my love towards handmade jewelry. 🙂

  • Reply Maria Fatima Pais November 20, 2015 at 9:05 am

    I am so happy to read this. I have a lot of explaining to do when people think that even a small price tag is expensive and compare with costs on street jewellery.

  • Reply Richard November 21, 2015 at 10:39 pm

    Great article, great way to educate the public.

  • Reply Proposal Ring November 26, 2015 at 7:00 am

    Very informative article … I love handmade jewelry as they very well design and beautiful.

  • Reply Jane Roberts December 15, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    A wonderful article. I have been a silversmith for 25 years. I wonder if people who buy are even aware of the dumbing of the materials, to silver over some pot metal,
    to gold filled, and worse.
    I have noticed a hugh change in what is being sold at the jewelry shows around the country and Tucson shows.
    I have always selected the best metals and stones I can buy, and will continue to do so, and yes I have a lot of higher priced items because of their inherent value and my growing skills of 25 yrs.
    Thanks for the wonderful article, that really shows the buyers what goes into this quality art. I would like to see this given to every gallery.
    Thanks Jane Roberts, in Colorado Springs.

  • Reply Celia O'Kelley December 16, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    Original to the artist and hand made by them takes time. I wish people were more willing to pay for the artist’s time. I hear so often “Why does it cost so much?”. What they really want to know is the materials used in the items, not the time.

  • Reply rocky shores December 17, 2015 at 8:36 am

    Interesting conversation although all 7 things are just normal jewelry processes. The misconception here is Hand made.

    Title and description should read Hand wrought meaning with tools.

    All of the processes are with some sort of tool.

    I may come back and comment on each and give my 30 year experience.

    Please don’t use the excuse of being able to create something that cannot be considered correct jewelry techniques and call it art.

    Everything is hand wrought. The mass produced jewelry is complicated and precise like the production of chain.
    Not too many tools that work without hands. Think about it.
    Enjoy your craft and make beautiful jewelry.

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