Seven Things That Truly Define Handmade Jewelry
The personal attention and love that a true goldsmith infuses into the work is evident in the masterpieces they create. What most people miss is that handmade jewelry is a much better value than purchasing a mass produced counterpart. There are many reasons why handmade jewelry is possesses more inherent value than mass produced pieces. Unbeknownst to many consumers even the top brand name retailers are selling mass produced pieces. You may be spending quite a lot for that little blue or red box and still not getting a handmade piece of jewelry!
No Mass Production Machinery Involved: By definition, handmade jewelry is literally just that, made by the hands of a trained goldsmith. The pieces are soldered, sawed, formed, and polished without the use of mass production manufacturing machinery. While a machine can produce hundreds of units per hour, an individual goldsmith can only make a finite quantity totaling a fraction of the number of pieces in the same amount of time.
The Value of Time: As previously mentioned, since there are no machines involved, handmade jewelry takes a substantial amount of time to produce just a single piece. As a designer + goldsmith myself, I know I often spend hours designing a single piece of jewelry for a customer. The time to make the piece often can take up to four weeks.
The Maker’s Process: A goldsmith has a very intimate relationship with each design they produce. First, the design must be made. This process often takes many mathematical calculations to obtain the desired result. The second part of the process involves taking the design and producing it in the desired metal; usually platinum, gold, or silver. Not all designers are goldsmiths and not all goldsmiths are designers. Stephen Kris is both a designer + goldsmith who was classically trained in the Swiss and Danish traditions. While creating jewelry, there is a very intimate relationship with my work. I know every curve and line because I put it there with intention. As a designer + goldsmith all your talents are reflected in every single piece.
Materials: The materials in a handmade piece of jewelry are of the highest quality. Metals used in handmade jewelry are either alloyed by the goldsmith creating your work of art or sourced from highly reputable refining companies. In addition, all of the work from Stephen Kris Designs are hand forged to compress the molecules in the metal which results in the highest quality jewelry available today. The diamonds, sapphires, and other colored stones are purchased from reputable dealers with whom we have established longstanding relationships and stand behind the quality of their goods.
Quality: Smaller scale production is almost always higher quality because the ability to track and control the process from start to finish is inherent in the making process. Goldsmiths take great care in choosing their materials and are extremely proud of the work they produce. The motto at Stephen Kris Designs has always been ‘If it’s not right, it’s wrong.’ Compromise is never an option when it comes to designing and producing an heirloom quality work of art for our customers.
Locally Made With Care: We hear a lot these days about “buying local” these days. Reducing your carbon footprint and supporting responsible local designers + goldsmiths is good for the environment and good for the community. Designers + Goldsmiths tend to be passionate about their work and infuse their energy into each piece they create. Along with the extra value inherent in a handmade piece of jewelry you are also buying a truly one-of-a-kind product. Even if the handmade piece is part of an edition – no maker creates two pieces that are exactly identical. You are the only person with that specific piece of jewelry which says a lot. At Stephen Kris Designs we take great pride in giving back to our community by involving ourselves in local school projects, FDNY events, and various veteran foundations.
Salesperson or Goldsmith: When you shop in a retail environment you are simply talking to a salesperson who is trying to sell your their inventory before they move on to the next customer. Plain and simple.
When you have an appointment at Stephen Kris Designs we let you do the talking and we listen very carefully. Only then can we answer all your questions, guide you through the design process and discuss all the subtleties in creating your one-of-a-kind work of art. In many cases this may be your engagement ring or wedding rings that you will be wearing for many years to come. So why buy something ‘off the rack’ to mark such an important life event?
The next time you consider purchasing a handmade piece of jewelry, remember that even though it may be an investment, you are actually receiving more value, a one-of-a-kind heirloom quality piece of art, and supporting your local community. In addition, we stand by our customers long after they walk out the door to insure that you enjoy your purchase(s) for many years to come. There is a lot of truth in the adage ‘The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.’