When it comes to silver jewellery, you have two choices – handmade silver jewellery and mass produced silver jewellery. I wanted to take a few minutes to explain the differences between the two processes and inform you as to why you should only purchase high-quality handmade jewellery.
Mass Produced Silver Jewellery
Mass production is the process of creating identical pieces of jewellery in large quantities on a continual basis. The type of production became quite popular after Henry Ford adapted the technique for the production of automobiles. Just like with cars, mass produced silver is done on big production lines with machines that are run by low-skilled laborers.
The upside to mass produced jewellery is that since they are identical, machines can solder joints as chains and pieces can be produced at a very rapid rate. This does lead to cheaper prices, but the quality of the piece drops significantly as there is no craftsmanship behind the process.
Another downside is that most often the pieces are lightweight than handmade as big companies need to offset the additional cost of maintain the machines in the factory. Also, laborers on assembly lines have high quotas that they have to reach so they are more concerned about pumping out the number rather than making sure that you piece is perfect and blemish free.
So overall, mass produced jewellery is affordable which makes it more accessible for lower income families to obtain. The downside to this is that your affordable piece will be identical to thousands of other and it will lack in quality.
Handmade Silver Jewellery
Silver jewellery that is handmade is crafted by skilled artisans that often have had their crafting knowledge passed down through the generations. It is literally made by using tiny hammers and small hand held tools.
The upside to handmade jewellery pieces is that they are made on a much smaller production which means that they are very exclusive. Each piece will be slightly different and they tend to be chunkier, heavier weight pieces. The overall quality of handmade silver jewellery will be much higher than mass produced as each piece is carefully crafted and polished.
The downside to handmade silver jewellery is that they tend to be more expensive than mass-produced. That is because Corazon Latino pays their artisans a fair price to support them and their families and keep the old skills alive.
Another downside is that some designs like our hilltribe pieces are impossible to make by machine and you can see the light marks of hand polishing on larger flat surfaces. It is also often impossible to solder handmade links and there is some danger that they may open over time.
In conclusion, both handmade and mass produced jewellery has both positive and negative characteristics. But having the choice between a low-quality generic piece, or a unique piece that is been skillfully crafted, it seems to be pretty obvious choice that handmade silver is the way to go. Yes, it does require a bit more care and maintenance but good quality silver jewellery is well worth the effort.