Jewellery crafted painstakingly by hand has been an integral part of the Indian culture and civilization since ancient times. Relics of beautiful handcrafted jewellery have been found throughout our history dating back to the ancient Harappa and Mohenjodaro civilisations.
The passage of time hasn’t dimmed the demand for such traditional, handcrafted jewellery – an ancient art for which India enjoys a great reputation, globally. Made out of a variety of materials, the personal attention and love that the makers and artisans infuse into their work is evident in every creation be it traditional jewellery or something with a more contemporary design.
However, most people don’t understand why handcrafted jewellery is more sought after and makes for a better investment than pieces that are mass produced. Below are 6 key reasons that might help you understand the reasons for this.
Labour of Love: By definition, jewellery that is made by hand is literally ‘made’ by the skilled hands of an artisan. Every piece is individually soldered, carved and shaped sans the use of any heavy-duty equipment. While a machine can spew out hundreds of pieces in an hour, a hand-crafted piece takes a lot longer to create, with only a limited number of pieces being made by a single artisan.
Game of Patience: Handcrafted jewellery normally takes a lot of time – from concept to creation. The more intricate the piece, the longer the time needed to finish it. Reputed jewellery designers are known to take anywhere from a few weeks to a couple to months to produce a custom piece for their clients. The fact that you get a one-of-a-kind piece usually makes it worth the wait.
Maker is Key: The jewellery designer or maker shares an intimate relationship with every piece of jewellery created by him/her. It’s the entire design process that holds the key – from knowing every line and curve that is painstakingly carved onto the piece with a specific intention. Every piece of handcrafted jewellery is the sum of the maker’s ideas, skills and execution capabilities.
Quality of Materials: Unlike mass produced items, the materials used in the making of handmade jewellery are usually of the highest quality and sourced from only reputed suppliers. While mass produced pieces are known to use a variety of metals to create the final product, handmade jewellery pieces are usually of the highest grade in terms of their quality and workmanship.
Usually Ethically Sourced: Some of the world’s foremost jewellery designers not only have a reputation for making exquisite jewellery but are also known for their dedication to using only ethically sourced materials. More often than not, this is a more costly and difficult route as opposed to sourcing from the closest refiner or dealer at hefty discounts, no questions asked.
Assured Quality of Finish: By virtue of being produced in limited quantities, handmade jewellery pieces almost always offer a better quality. This is also because of the inherent ability in the making process to track and control the process from start to finish. Most designers have a reputation to protect and will generally not allow a piece of inferior quality to leave their workplace with their professional “seal” on it.
So, the next time you’re contemplating buying a handcrafted jewellery piece, do remember that besides its uniqueness and investment value, you are supporting something bigger – the talent and efforts of local artisans – and also probably doing your bit to reduce the carbon footprint, which alone makes it worth the effort.