Saturday, May 21, 2011

Why Hand Made Jewelry Costs More

By on Saturday, May 21, 2011 6 Comments

Image by Lisa Lehman
We in the jewelry making community know and understand considerable time, effort and skill go into creating designs you don't see in shops. But do you find many people still do not appreciate hand made crafts?

One artisan in one of my Linkedin groups said, "It's interesting to me how some people will drop $200 every 8 weeks to cut and color their hair, and yet balk at a $100 piece of handcrafted jewelry that is one-of-a-kind, made of valuable semi-precious gemstones and high quality sterling silver, and with care, will last a lifetime."

Some artisans defend their work and prices at craft shows with standard comeback lines like "It's not for everyone." There is clearly a need to educate people.

Well, Lisa Lehman over at the Studio Jewel blog actually took the trouble to show how she made her recent creation, a lovely sterling silver and copper necklace.  With the exception of the silver chain and clasp, she made the other components by hand. As you can see from her tutorial, there are many steps including cutting the rings, soldering, pickling (acid bath treatment to remove surface impurities), sawing metal, wire work and so on. The resulting aesthetic styled necklace is well made - it has solid silver closed jump rings which will not open - and exudes quality as she has made a pendant from sterling silver sheet.

Here are some excellent selling features to consider when promoting hand made jewelry :
  • Unique - Unlike mass-produced items, the chances of seeing someone else wear the same piece is pretty slim even if the artisan made more than 1 of the same design.  One customer who bought one of my designs for a wedding was horrified to find another guest wearing an identical dress. But her jewelry was different!
  • Not Mass Produced  Factories sometimes churn out large quantities of low cost jewelry which are not durable. The reverse is true for hand made - quality over quantity.
  • Well Made - It's in the interest of the artisan to make sure of high quality and lasting designs if there are to be future customers!
  • Custom designs - Jewelry can be made to order and fit.
  • Supporting a Community -  Buying from local artisans supports the local economy because they probably will spend what they earn in their community.
  • Eco Fashion  -  People are now shying away from raw consumerism and waste. There is a huge trend for environmentally friendly jewelry made from recycled materials. So if you do make eco jewelry, it's a great selling point!
 Do you have other points to share?

Related Articles:
Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips 



  1. I just lost my whole comment due to blogger error... Ugh!

    Most high street items are mass produced by people in other countries for very little wages and the only originality of the piece is the designers name on it.

    I love that all handmade items are truly one of a kind since not every one comes out the same. Also I love to think of the stories behind the pieces.

    When I look at my pieces I have handmade I think of the day, the music, etc. surrounding that piece.

    Thanks for this article Pearl.

  2. Yes, sometimes artisans share either amusing stories or even moving ones about how their designs came about. Hand made is so much more personal

  3. thanks for sharing my story. it does take a lot of time and effort that people do not realize. we have been de-sensitized by mass produced items. Hopefully you have created even more awareness here!

    lisa from StudioJewel

  4. You did an amazing job with your original blog post as it does show why handmade is so much better! Lovely design too!

  5. The uniqueness of handmade jewelry accent the individuality