What Type of Jewelry Should You Choose? Handmade vs. Machine-Made Characteristics and Benefits.
Jewelry whether worn just to complement your wardrobe or to feel confident and graceful remains to be a popular piece of art. Worn by generations after generations, some of the jewelry pieces are timeless and carry great sentimental value. Gifted on occasions of birthdays, anniversaries and weddings, jewelry is also seen as a sign of expressing your love for the people you care about.
There are countless streets and online shopping forums that are laden with thousands of jewelry pieces. This goes to show how important it has become for people across the globe. Similarly, throughout history, jewelry has been used as a symbol of wealth, power, love and glamour. Even today, it forms an integral part of our lives.
Hence, realizing how important it can be to purchase the right jewelry, following we bring you a simple guide on which jewelry should you choose. There are two major types of jewelry; handmade and machine-made.
Handmade jewelry; what is it?
Handmade jewelry is purely made with the hands of the artists using very simple tools. It is unique as a result and has no standard look. The entire manufacturing process is devoid of any mass-manufacturing machines. This type of jewelry can range from simply being assembled by hands to intricate patterns. It may also take days and skilled labor to achieve the finished look on intricate patterns. Even under this category lie several more sub-categories which are as follows:
Assembled jewelry making: This is the simplest jewelry assembled by hand. It involves putting together pre-made charms and strings to form bracelets, earrings and even necklaces. Hence, it is affordable and unique.
Wire wrapped jewelry: This type uses lots of wires. Most of the jewelers use this technique to make pendants, and charms with beads and stones. It is a decorative frame having ornaments but can also result in intricate designs that require quite a lot of labor, practice and time. Hence, it isn’t as easy it may sound.
Fabricated jewelry: Covering a huge range, fabricated jewelry is also found as conventional gemstone rings to some really creative art jewelry. This type of jewelry uses metalsmithing techniques and jewelry bench skills. Just like wire-wrapped, fabricated jewelry also takes time to be formed and requires dedication.
Beaded jewelry: This type of jewelry is one that is very common. It is made using beads usually put together on a string. There is also a lot of room for personalization while designing it through letters and charms. With practice and patience, it is possible to achieve intricate designs out of this type as well.
Engraved jewelry: Another common jewelry type, it is not as complicated as it may sound. A hammer pressing is done on lockets and charms to give it the carving. The majority of these tools are easily available and can be done with simple labor.
Enameled jewelry: It requires the fusion of glass powder over metal that gives it the popping up metal look. It is also widely available and a great way to personalize.
Why buy handmade jewelry?
When you decide to buy a handmade jewelry piece, you will be getting a unique keepsake each time. Since handmaking does not lead to 100% similarity, each piece has little variation even if it has the same style. There might also be slight imperfections such as the cut-line not being straight but there is much more to that piece of jewelry than you think. Every piece has a story behind it and even the artist has some story or inspiration to make it.
Moreover, by purchasing handmade jewelry you contribute to the growth of small-scale cottage industry of jewelry makers. This segment includes very hard-working people who are doing it with immense passion. They also really need the kind of appreciation we all wish to get at the end of our work.
It is a gesture of supporting local artists and craftsmen whose only source of income might just be making and selling jewelry. In addition to that handmade jewelry is more sustainable and the raw materials are used more carefully. Hence, it also adds to an overall positive impact on society and the community.
What is machine-made jewelry?
Most of the jewelry used today is machine-made jewelry produced using machines with low-skill labor. This kind of jewelry is manufactured in large volumes continuously. It is also cheaper since more products can be produced at lower costs. In the jewelry market, mass production is superseding small, handmade jewelry producers due to its customer service, cheaper pricing, and faster availability.
The characteristics of machine-made jewelry:
Compared to handmade jewelry, sometimes machine-made compromises on quality when produced. Since it is produced on assembly lines, laborers do not pay attention to detail. They do not make an effort to ensure that the product is blemish-free. The product is more likely to snap easily or have blemishes as a result regardless of how pretty it looks. Although in high-end jewelry it is possible to achieve perfection and quality as well.
Machine-made jewelry also does not guarantee uniqueness. It is common and can be replicated easily. Hence, even the high-end brands’ designs get copied leading to less originality. People who like to wear unique pieces may find it hard to get their hands on exclusive designs due to this. It does not have room for a lot of personalization either.
However, this kind of jewelry is widely available due to large-chain retailers. It is easily found and you can easily buy it if needed urgently.
What may be the benefits of machine-made produced jewelry? Who buys it?
Purchasing mass-produced jewelry is not only cheaper but is also easily available. Many street shops, mass retailers and online forums sell this kind of jewelry. So, it naturally becomes the first choice for people for everyday jewelry. People who do not want to wear personalized jewelry may also go for this type.
Since machine-made jewelry can have perfection due to the use of efficient tools, it is also a good option for wearing it at weddings. Moreover, it may also be a statement of wealth when purchased from a particular high-end brand. Hence people who are brand conscious would love this type of jewelry.
Jewelry sold in stores and in large retail markets has to adhere to some standards. Therefore, machine-made jewelry is one fine option to choose if you are looking for the product’s durability. Also, machine-made jewelry has extra sturdiness due to the raw materials used. Consequently, it becomes a good choice for people who are looking for a more reliable option.
Machine-made jewelry is also the one that sets trends in the fashion industry. Since it is easily available and can be purchased without much hassle, it is an integral part of promoting new styles. Models wearing it on ramps or celebrities showing it off on their Instagram, machine-made jewelry trends make the news. People who look up to such figures tend to copy them. Hence, it is easier for them to get their hands on this kind of jewelry.
Lastly, people who are on the look for affordable jewelry are more inclined towards this type. You can spend less and still look chic by wearing machine-made.
Which one should you buy?
Choosing the right jewelry for you depends on your personality really. If you are into personalization and like sentimental presents, go for hand-made jewelry. It will make you feel special and different. Also, if you are an advocate of promoting local craftsmen, hand-made jewelry is the option. You will be giving a boost to their industry through this.
Moreover, if you are an environmentalist, you would again choose hand-made over machine-made. Its raw materials and assembling processes are more sustainable. However, if you like to spend on jewelry and do not really want to add a sentimental appeal to it, machine-made should be your choice. It is cheaper and readily available.
Also, if you are the one that closely follows trends in fashion, go for machine-made. It will help you keep up with the latest styles and resemble your favorite celebrities. Furthermore, machine-made is also an option for those people who are brand conscious or have brand loyalty. High-end brands have some very stunning pieces of jewelry that will take your breath away. For people who are big on twinning would also like to prefer machine-made. It helps you buy the bulk of the same product easily.
All-in-all, your decision will purely be chosen based on your preferences and affordability. People who like to do extra effort may seem to prefer hand-made. While people who are brand conscious might like to buy machine-made. Before making a decision ask yourself how much you value a certain property of that jewelry. Also, how much are you willing to pay for wearing it or what occasion you want to buy it for.
It all boils down to what matters to you and I hope this guide would have helped you figure that out!