Have you ever received a personalized present of a knitted scarf or sweater from a friend or a relative before? If you have, you may think it’s the wrong style or the wrong color, but you’d still appreciate the effort they put into crafting something unique for you, not to mention the memory of the moment it was given to you. But if you haven’t, it won’t be much of a surprise if you looked around and found a few things you may have at home that are handcrafted. You may have unwittingly bought a few from an unusual supplier of handcrafted gifts at a store somewhere.
Of course, there are many, many, far better examples of handcrafted and expensive pieces of garments, furniture, musical instruments, Persian rugs, jewelry, etc. that can never be replaced by mass-produced machinery. Why? Because handcrafting requires a skill that machines will never have—years of experience, attention to detail, and the ability to adapt to imperfections, and, on rare occasions, being able to make an imperfection is its selling point.
If you’re planning to buy jewelry for a special loved one, here are some reasons why the handcrafted variety is better than the machine-made ones:
- Handcrafted jewelry is unique as it can be customized.
- It’s crafted by artisans who’ve perfected their skills over the years.
- It creates jobs in local businesses and helps the community while contributing to the growth of the economy.
- It’s environmentally-friendly.
- Artisans often provide excellent customer service.
- The jewelry maker has an intimate relationship with each piece and design they create.
- The material used is always of the highest quality as the master craftsman selects each piece.
- Handcrafted jewelry may cost more, but there’s an intrinsic value, and it lasts a long time. Think of handmade diamond jewelry, the likes of the Hope Diamond, which was discovered in 1666 and is now in the Smithsonian Museum for public viewing. The most expensive violin was handcrafted in 1721 and sold in 2011, according to the Guinness World Records. Did we forget to mention the 17th-century antique Persian carpet that was sold at auction in Sotheby’s for US$33 million?
- It carries on a tradition and skill that’s been handed down for centuries.
- Handcraft jewelry puts a premium on care and attention. It requires hours of labor to generate intricate designs.
- Sometimes there’s a story behind the handcrafted jewelry.
- It can be a good investment in the long run.
But there are some benefits of machine-made jewelry:
- Production is precise, so you can expect the same level of quality for similar pieces.
- Groups of people can wear the same jewelry.
- It’s more affordable but may have a shorter lifespan.
- Machine-made jewelry pieces are readily available in retail stores and handy for instant purchases.
- Mass-produced jewelry pieces are in fashion, making it easier for you to hop on a trend.
Some people prefer machine-made jewelry for the convenience, the fashionable trendiness, and the branding. There’s plenty to purchase online, and some brand name jewelry pieces are quite stunning to look at and perfect for the fashion conscious and style icons. But since there’s been a surge in online shopping during the pandemic and with the popularity of handcrafted jewelry steadily increasing over the years, more small businesses are selling their handmade jewelry online, and their products can be personalized and customized however you like it. These can make for excellent unique presents delivered to your closest friend or a family member that you haven’t seen in so many months.
One other benefit of considering handcrafted jewelry over machine-made is that you can obtain a certificate of authenticity of the material used in the crafting as an assurance of the quality, which can come in handy when you decide to re-sell or re-model the jewelry in the future.
So if you’re trying to decide whether to choose a piece of jewelry that is handcrafted or machine-made, it all depends on what it’s used for. If you’re looking to have a trendy piece that’s in fashion and is produced by a big name brand, then the machine-made ones are a good choice. However, if you’re choosing a piece of jewelry that you’d like to keep for a long time, it’s better to splurge a little and find a handcrafted piece that you can customize and make your own. The best thing about handcrafted jewelry is that it’s made with love, skill, and dedication by the craftsman. And if you’re thinking of buying for a loved one, that’s the best gift of all.