In today’s world, people are used to mass production. They do not mind having one of the many items produced by the machine as long as they are affordable. But some things remain to be special. Some things are meant to have more importance over other items, which mean they demand a certain premium.
Handmade silver jewelry is one of them. While machines have paved the way to produce cheaper jewelry, fine jewelry comes about from careful craftsmanship. Handmade jewelry made from silver is jewelry set apart from the rest. These after all demand the patient labor of a skillful artisan who used various hand tools, instead of letting a machine do the work. The use of files, pliers, saw, mallet and blowtorch is a painstaking process which guarantees uniqueness of the jewelry and a premium on its price.
This is similar to possessing long gowns. There are those mass-produced items you see in the department store rack. These are definitely affordable but you get the risk of running into someone wearing the same dress. Otherwise, most of these dresses do not exactly match your personality and style because they are produced considering a safe style which can be accepted by most any personality. On the other hand, there are couture gowns which are produced using careful handwork, even some patient embroidery. These are definitely more cutout for its owner and are more valuable than those off-the-rack items.
Handmade jewelry are definitely more premium than the machine-produced items but silver items are the least expensive to make compared to the rest which use more precious metals like gold or platinum. With this fact, it is not impossible for you to own handmade jewelry. The art of producing them is also less difficult since such process have long existed – since the 13th century. German merchants started the use of sterling silver as they used silver coins for trading. Through time, there have been many substitutes and additions made into the production of silver jewelry.
It is therefore important to scrutinize the materials used in your jewelry. The price and value of your silver pieces depend on the gems and type of silver used. The price is not simply dictated by the fact that they are handmade, but also on the materials used. In the United States, sterling silver dictates that the piece should not contain less than 92.5% silver. The remaining content is copper. It is therefore common for your silver jewelry to tarnish because of this unique mixture of silver and copper. Silver plating is a different story altogether.
It means that whatever item can be used on your jewelry; only that a metal or some type of alloy is layered or coated with pure metal such as silver. There are silver pieces that are plainly made into costume jewelry which means they are produced to meet a certain trend. They may be handmade but they are usually made of non-precious metals with false gems or even plastic. They are inexpensive and poorly made which results to their easy bending, breaking and falling out.