When choosing a new piece of jewellery, be it a gift or a treat for yourself, there is often an important decision to make: do you go for something handmade or mass-produced? For many, this decision may come down to cost, sustainability and uniqueness.
Below we look at the two types in more detail and explain why handmade is the way to go.
What is Mass-Made Jewellery?
Mass-made jewellery is usually found in retail stores, high-street jewellery shops and sometimes even supermarkets. Typically manufactured and assembled in bulk in a factory, if you buy a necklace or set of earrings from one of these shops, the chances are there will be thousands of the same piece all over the world.
The main attraction of this type of jewellery is its low cost - these items tend to be made from lower-quality materials such as plated metal, plastic or glass. Because of this, mass-made jewellery can break or tarnish easily, but its affordability means it's easy to replace.
How is Jewellery Mass-Produced?This type of jewellery is usually produced in factories and warehouses, with all the individual components made in bulk. This is typically done by placing liquid substances into moulds, so lots of the same shape can be made in a short amount of time.
Afterwards, these pieces are fitted together by hand or via machine, before being dispatched all over the country to be sold.Benefits of Mass-Produced Jewellery
- If it breaks and you still have your receipt, you can simply return your jewellery to the store.
- Cheap and affordable for any budget
- There are many designs and styles on offer, so there will be one that suits your needs and fashion sense.
- The jewellery tends to be lower quality, so pieces might not last very long
- Contributes to mass waste, which is unsustainable for the environment
- Because it's mas produced, it's not unique to you.
What is Handmade Jewellery?Handmade jewellery is very different to pieces that have been mass-manufactured. These items tend to be one of a kind, and are made by individuals who love creating unique pieces and have spent a lot of time mastering their craft.
You'll find these pieces are sold by independent jewellery makers such as The Cornwall Jewellery Co.
How is Handmade Jewellery Created?One of the most incredible aspects of handmade jewellery is its flexibility. There is no specific way of making handmade pieces, and there are no limitations in terms of their appearance, the materials used and their cost.
At The Cornwall Jewellery Co. we use traditional techniques including soldering and hammering the metals and precious stones chosen by our customers. We also utilise advanced technology such as 3D modelling to visualise the piece before production.
A lot of time and dedication goes into each item, which makes it more special and increases its quality.
Benefits of Handmade Jewellery
- Pieces can be customised to suit your personal style and tastes and can be easily altered by the maker.
- The jewellery is more durable as it's made using traditional techniques and higher-quality metals and stones.
- It's eco-friendly and more sustainable - the carbon footprints of handmade artisans will be much lower, plus there's less waste.
Of course, handmade jewellery can be more expensive than mass-produced jewellery, but you get what you pay for – it'll be much higher in quality and will be completely unique to you.