Custom or Commercial Jewelry?
There is something about jewelry that is unlike most other personal things we buy. It’s more significant. Maybe because it’ll last forever, whereas even that fabulous Vera Wang or your red-lacquered Louboutins will not. Still, it goes beyond status symbols or price. Beyond wanting the right color, size, style—all those things we look in what we wear.
More than any other adornment, jewelry makes a statement, and it has meaning behind it. We remember on what occasion we received that ring or who gave us that brooch. How much more of a statement, how much more meaningful, if the piece of jewelry is one of a kind, designed for or by us. In a world that becomes more and more depersonalized, to have something that is singularly ours is, indeed, priceless. You can have a custom-made piece of jewelry of premium quality and incomparable craftsmanship conceived of your creativity and brought to fruition by an artiste.
We’re not saying there isn’t a time and place to buy commercial jewelry. You might need something in a hurry for a particular evening dress. Or for a last-minute gift. You may even pass by a showcase and something catches your eye. That could happen. Commercial jewelry is manufactured to appeal to as many people as possible. And, naturally, it’s less expensive than custom made. Why wouldn’t it be? It’s produced in molds, on assembly lines, usually by people not making a living wage in third world countries. There are likely thousands of the same piece in showcases all over the world. It’s certainly much easier to buy commercial jewelry. Just take it out of the showcase, get out your credit card, and, just like that, you are on your way. No muss, no fuss. And nothing of you in it.
Custom-made jewelry needs something from you: time and effort. You will have meetings with the jeweler to go over designs; the size, shape, and quality of a gemstone; the different weights of the metals and their relative merits. Sounds somewhat intimidating, doesn’t it? All those decisions. The jeweler will guide you and make sure that, in the end, you will have exactly what you want. It’s a very exciting process and more satisfying than you can imagine. You will be part of a uniquely personal collaboration with the jeweler.
Of course, custom jewelry costs more. Would you expect to pay the same for an original painting as for a print? For a fine dinner prepared by a chef as for fast food? There is the old saw: “You get what you pay for.” But it may not be as expensive as you think. The jeweler can work within your budget and together with you create a piece of jewelry that is unique, that you have inspired, that no one else will have.
You are one of a kind. Let your jewelry reflect that.