In today’s time, a large percentage of jewelries around the world are produced through machineries. With the growing demand year after year, manufacturers have turned to gears and gadgets to speed up the production process of jewelries.
As a matter of fact, some small-scale manufacturers have incorporated 3D printing during production. A part of this is to limit the number of raw materials used to produce a jewelry, but it cannot be argued that the use of 3D printers also cut the amount of time needed to create the final product ready for sale in the market. Nonetheless, these technological advances in jewelry-making has given mass production a huge advantage.
However, artisans all over the globe continue to thrive in the jewelry industry. So, this raises the question, is handmade jewelry still worth it? This affects manufacturers and consumers alike.
What edge does handcrafted jewelry have against machine-made jewelry and vice-versa? This guide will explore factors in examining jewelries with a side-by-side comparison of both processes in jewelry-making.
Precision and Personalization
Some jewelries are worn for a specific purpose or occasion. For instance, a ring. Some rings are created for engagements or weddings or for graduating classes. In this case, these rings should be crafted to perfection. With that, a specific cut or engraving is needed for the piece being made. A machine is definitely a key tool in making sure such specifications are met, but this does not necessarily mean that handmade jewelries are not made to perfection. It can appear flawless, but machines have the ability to polish a piece up to the smallest detail that human skills cannot.
When it comes to personalization, artisans have the upper hand in customizing a product piece by piece. Machines that mass produce an item are programmed with a generic design which will then mirror every jewelry made. They are created to appeal to everyone in the market, which of course results to the product losing its uniqueness. Unlike mass produced jewelries, handcrafted products standout from one another. A part of its appeal are the rough edges, a proof of how it’s made delicately by hand. In this time of mass production, people crave authenticity and personal touch. Every artisans’ unique style will always show in their hand-made jewelries, and that makes it hard to beat.
Brand and Value
Machine-made jewelries are often manufactured by a specific brand to be sold as part of their collection. This means that when one buys a jewelry with such brand’s emblem, the person also pays for the brand itself. Oftentimes, a jewelry’s price is way higher because of the brand they carry. Although, a brand is not just a name of a company that sells the jewelry. Every product marked with its emblem also comes with the manufacturer’s commitment to quality, pride, and history. This goes for handcrafted jewelries as well.
Artisans take pride in their craftsmanship. Every jewelry being handmade by its maker is showcases their skills in talent in getting a product done. One may even consider each finish product a masterpiece, something that speaks volumes on the artist’s history, background, and life story. The value of a jewelry that is handmade accounts for the time and hard work spent on making the product.
Price Point and Sustainability
The jewelries you will find on local stores are significantly cheaper than handmade items you will find sold by artisans. With the reduced cost from raw materials to the overall production process, manufacturers of such jewelries have the liberty to sell at an exceptionally low price point. On the other hand, handcrafted jewelry makers do not have this freedom.
One has to remember that the price they are paying for is not just for the item itself, but for the hard work that the artist has put into their work. The price of a product cannot trump over the quality being offered in any item.
Another factor to look into is how the materials used in creating these jewelries are being sourced by its manufacturers. More often than not, mass-produced jewelries are not ethically sourced. Due to the demand they have to meet, manufacturers cut corners and take the easy route, which, unfortunately, means opting for lower prices from questionable sources.
Because of mass production, employees are the ones heavily affected with unfair pay and unsafe working conditions. This practice is still quite common, but thanks to the internet, more and more unethical businesses are being exposed, and people are waking up to the importance of looking into where products are sourced and created.
On the other hand, artisans and their small-scale production allows them to focus on finding ways of ethically sourcing the materials they will use during production. Business owners also make sure that their artisans are well taken care of, not just to ensure the consistency of their products’ quality, but also to provide a better livelihood in their community.
Where to Shop
It’s easy to find machine-made jewelries. A quick visit to the mall and one can already purchase a common jewelry of their choosing. But it’s not hard to get one’s hand on a handcrafted jewelry these days either. eCommerce shops for handmade jewelries have made their way to many consumers as well. Buyers can now select a shop, personalize a jewelry to their preference, and simply wait for the final product to get to their location.
Consumers may even order in large quantities and still have the quality of a handmade product. Indeed, the internet has made it possible for handcrafted jewelers in Bali such as Susila Jewelry to sell not just locally but all over the globe.
To wrap it up, it can be understood from this guide that machine-made and handcrafted jewelries have their individual advantages and disadvantages. At the end of it, the preference of the consumer is what matters. Whether they value precision and price over quality and personalization, and the brand of the jewelry over how it was sourced, this is still a decision to be made by the consumer.