by Andrea Sparks
Handmade products have always been considered the most valuable, but in a world of mass production, it's becoming harder and harder to find quality craftsmanship. Jewelry making is at the center of many cultural traditions throughout the world, and handmade jewelry is some of the best jewelry you can find. Handmade is often more expensive than mass-produced jewelry, but if you're shopping for jewelry, read the following reasons to buy handmade.
Craftsmanship: Handmade jewelry is made by local craftsmen and women who are extremely skilled in their trade. Handcraftsmanship encompasses everything from casting metal to beading beautiful necklaces with hand-cut, hand-set gemstones.
Cultural heritage: When you buy handmade, you know you're supporting a valuable craft and tradition, sometimes centuries old. In each part of the world, there are localized jewelry styles and techniques for creating the pieces. The art of handcrafting jewelry helps preserve these traditions and the cultures they come from. It also creates opportunity for jewelry makers throughout the world to make a career out of their trade.
Quality: When you have skilled jewelry makers making each piece by hand, you know you're getting the best quality. When necklaces, earrings, rings and bracelets are handmade, the jewelry maker is paying close attention to each and every piece, making sure the materials are of the highest quality and each piece is perfectly set. In contrast, mass-produced jewelry often has flaws, both major and minor.
Unique materials: Most mass-produced fashion jewelry is made from inferior materials, like plastic and cheap metals. Handmade jewelry, on the other hand, is produced using mainly high-quality materials. Not only are handmade necklaces, earrings and bracelets crafted with sterling silver and gold, but many pieces are made using natural materials, such as wood and seashells.
Eco-friendly options: Buying handmade is an easy way to go green. Handmade jewelry eliminates the pollution created by mass production, and using natural materials also has much less of an impact on the environment than the production of plastics that are often used in cheaper jewelry pieces. Many handcrafted pieces are also made from recycled and repurposed materials, including recycled metals, repurposed leather and reused gemstones.