Handmade jewellery is becoming ever more popular, but other than the aesthetic appeal, people are not always aware of the array of benefits that it provides. From the environmental impact, to superior customer service, Buy Britain are here to explain the main benefits of handmade jewellery in the UK, as well as which materials are safe for handmade jewellery.
So, what are the benefits of handmade jewellery in the UK? Handmade jewellery has a variety of benefits such as that it is completely unique, it is more environmentally friendly than mass produced jewellery, it uses high quality materials, and the customer service is more personal. Each piece feels more special to you because you know that time and effort has gone into making it.
Keep reading to find out more about handmade jewellery including how to tell if jewellery is handmade as well as what the main types of handmade jewellery are.
- What are the Benefits of Handmade Jewellery in the UK?
- How Can You Tell if Jewellery is Handmade?
- What are the Types of Handmade Jewellery?
- What Materials are Safe for Making Jewellery?
4 Benefits of Handmade Jewellery in the UK?
From aesthetic uniqueness to sentimental value, handmade jewellery is well-known for the emotions that it elicits, which makes it incomparable to mass-manufactured jewellery pieces. Owning handmade jewellery can make accessorising your outfits that little bit more special and create a focal point for each look. However, if you have not purchased handmade jewellery before, you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. To help you out, we have detailed the main benefits of handmade jewellery below.
Unlike mass-produced jewellery, handmade jewellery is always bespoke in some small way. From tiny differences in shapes, colour and size to fully personalised handmade jewellery, you will not find a piece of handmade jewellery that is 100% identical to another. This makes the handmade jewellery hold more sentimental value and feel more personal to you because you know that nobody else has an exact replica of your piece.
Most mass-produced jewellery involves the use of machinery and materials that have an affect on the environment. For example, a lot of the materials used to make jewellery such as gold and diamonds are mined in and imported from other countries. Therefore, the importation of these goods over hundreds of thousands of miles has a negative environmental impact on the environment. Whereas, handmade jewellery often uses materials that are locally sourced. Some handmade jewellery even make a conscious effort to only source from the UK because they understand that is what their customers are looking for.
Handmade jewellery is made by people who are highly skilled in their craft, and take the time and effort to make it a high quality product because it represents them. From the techniques used to mould materials, to how the artisans design their jewellery, and even the choice of materials used, handmade jewellery is made piece by piece, therefore more effort is put into the quality of the product. Large companies that produce jewellery in mass tend to be more focussed on getting the product produced to an acceptable standard in a short period of time, which can often result in the product not being of a good quality.
Personal Customer Service:
Due to handmade jewellery quite often being produced by smaller companies or even sole traders, the customer service received can be a lot more personal. For example, with handmade jewellery you may be able to make bespoke requests for certain sizes, or personalisation of a product. Whereas, with mass produced jewellery, each product is produced exactly the same using machinery so that options are not available.
How Can You Tell if Jewellery is Handmade?
Identifying whether jewellery is handmade or mass produced can be quite difficult if you don’t know what you are looking for, especially with the different styles available on the market. From gold or silver jewellery, to pearl jewellery, and even gemstone jewellery, there are a few things that you should look out for to make sure it is legitimate handmade jewellery.
Inconsistencies in the jewellery such as differentiation in sizes of clasps or varied jewel sizes are good signs that the jewellery is handmade. There tends to be inconsistencies within handmade jewellery due to it not being made by machinery that has an incomparable level of accuracy. Whilst these inconsistencies do not affect the overall aesthetic of the product, they are noticeable when you take a closer look and are a good sign that a product has been handmade.
Some artisans that create handmade jewellery will finish on the piece by adding their own personal designer’s hallmark. Whilst this is also something that mass-produced jewellers do, the handmade versions are a lot easier to recognise. They won’t be as perfect in shapes and readability, and they normally aren’t widely recognisable.
If you notice any marks on the jewellery that look like it has come from tools such as a hammer, this is another positive sign that the jewellery is handmade. When jewellery is mass-produced lots of machines are involved that are very accurate and aim for the most flush finish, whereas with handmade jewellery there can be signs of imperfections. This can add to the character of the jewellery, whilst also acting as a sign for it genuinely being handmade.
What are the Types of Handmade Jewellery?
In the handmade jewellery market, there are a variety of different types of jewellery that are available depending on your personal style and preference. Ranging from the simplest types of jewellery to make, to some the most complex to design, below we have detailed the main types of handmade jewellery.
|Wire Wrapped Jewellery
|Wire wrapped jewellery is a very popular form of handmade jewellery because the wire acts as an easy way to create intricate designs. The wire is also a malleable material which can be played with to create unique shapes that aren’t always seen in jewellery.
|Assembled jewellery is the simplest form of handmade jewellery due to it involving the assembly of individual handmade pieces and chains. Although these types of jewellery are not as unique as others, they are still an affordable and easy method of hand making jewellery.
|Fabricated jewellery tends to involve the technique of metalsmithing whereby a metal saw is used to cut out the basic shape of the jewellery. Soldering is also a technique that is used to attach metal pieces together to form the jewellery pieces. Gemstone rings are a popular example of fabricated jewellery.
|Beaded jewellery is also a popular form of handmade jewellery due the variations in complexities and designs that can be made. Beaded jewellery can be used as a statement to represent your personality or as a simple accessory to tie together your outfit.
What Materials are Safe for Making Jewellery?
Often when jewellery shopping, we are more interested in the aesthetics of the jewellery rather than what each piece is made of. However, it is important to know which materials are safe for making jewellery because you don’t want to purchase something that may be harmful to you.
According to Made Safe, unless you know the composition of 100% of the material used within a piece of jewellery, you are never going to be fully free from harm, however there are some important materials that we should aim to avoid. The main substances we need to avoid when purchasing handmade jewellery include:
- Lead – toxicant that is harmful to various body systems if exposed
- Cadmium – can cause irritation to the skin
- Nickel – can cause irritation to the skin and is a common allergen in adults and children
- PVC – widely known as the most toxic plastic for health and the environment
Made Safe also suggests that there are some safer materials on the market that we should look for when we are shopping for handmade materials. The safe materials include:
- 100% Gold
- 100% Sterling Silver
- Thread, Macrame, Fabric
- Stainless Steel.
Handmade Jewellery at Buy Britain
Buy Britain is the largest shoppable marketplace for British-made products, connecting you with brilliant businesses from around the country who make high quality products.
We stock an array of handmade jewellery including the Haematite and Bead Bracelet, the Silver Foiled Square Lampwork Glass Earrings and the Pink Agate and Sterling Silver Linked Bead Bracelet. For more information about Buy Britain’s handmade jewellery products click here.