Nowadays, more people prefer handmade jewellery than the machine-made, mass produced pieces. This is probably one of the reasons why there has been a rise on the demand for handmade pieces of silver jewellery. Handmade pieces of jewellery aren’t just popular because it’s a unique item but it’s also because of the fact that its quality is surely much better when compared to mass produced pieces.
Aside from that, you should also take note that not all pieces of handmade jewellery are made equal. Here is a guide that can help you in finding high-quality handmade silver jewellery.
- Precious Metal Clay (PMC)
Some of the most stylish handmade pieces are made with precious metal clay. The clay can be shaped and designed into just about any silver item. Once the piece is designed, it is fired to remove the binders from the clay. The end result is fine silver. The clay can be used to create fine silver components that cannot be done with traditional metalworking methods. If you find a piece of jewellery with three-dimensional designs, such as orchids, chances are you’ve found quality handmade silver.
There are a few things to look out for with PMC. There shouldn’t be any white areas on the handmade jewellery. A white material is left on the clay when it is fired, but is usually removed during the finishing process. What’s more, the piece should be smooth and even, with the edges filed, and there should be no bumps or cracks.
- Sterling Silver Sheets
Sterling silver sheets are cut and created into a range of different items, such as cuff bracelets, earrings, and ankle bracelets. Sterling silver is made of 7.5 percent copper and other metals, and 92.5 percent silver. Good workmanship with this material will reveal smooth edges and straight cuts. These items will usually be stamped with the number 925.
Handmade pendants are also rising in popularity and are usually made with either precious metal clay or silver sheet. The pendants can be personalized with wording, and large cuff bracelets and rings are usually etched with intricate designs and can have precious gems embedded in them.
- Wire Jewellery
Wire wrapped handmade pieces, such as pendants, rings, and earrings, are made to look similar to filigree. The finished design is typically antiqued to bring out the details give it a handmade look. Make sure that the wire ends are tucked in and properly filed down.
- Alloy vs. Real Silver
When you buy handmade jewellery online, it can be hard to tell the difference between real silver and alloy metal. One way to tell is to look for a hallmark stamp on your design. The underside of a ring or the clasp of a bracelet will be marked with either .999 or .925.
If you do decide to shop online, most stores will have a buyer feedback section. Take a look at the feedback and ensure the jeweller has excellent workmanship. Be sure to enlarge and take a good look at the pictures of the jewellery and read descriptions carefully. Any experienced and reputable designer will always offer such important details.
Handmade jewellery is typically made with a great deal of pride and extremely high quality work standards. This is what sets it apart from mass-produced items. Handmade pieces are unique, interesting and are sure to make you feel special.