Tips for Buying Artisan Jewelry

Artisan Jewelry

The value of jewelry is so much more than just the value of the gemstones and the gold, platinum or silver that make up the setting.  Often, it is the craftsmanship that makes the jewelry so much more than just a combination of stone and metal.  This is why artisan jewelry is one of the most sought-after pieces of jewelry around.  If you're buying, here are some tips you can use:

Artisan jewelry is not always one-of-a-kind.
The best type of artisan jewelry is the handcrafted kind.  Although some of these may be produced using a single design, it is unlikely that they will be exactly the same.  In fact, artisan jewelry can be custom-made to fit a person's preferred design.

However, some companies prefer to mass produce their artisan jewelry, with some pieces becoming part of a limited edition.  This helps ensure that their quality is superior.  Limited edition jewelry is easier to inspect for defects.

Check artisan jewelry for quality and craftsmanship.
Every piece of jewelry is made up of several components.  The value and quality of any artisan jewelry is determined by how good these pieces are on their own and how well they are put together.  No material is truly perfect but you should go for artisan jewelry that has high quality materials.

Check the stones or beads used, along with the design and how good and stable the setting is.  Remember that the more flaws you find, the lower the quality of the jewelry. 

Buy it in person.
When buying artisan jewelry, it's always a good idea to see the pieces for yourself.  Magazines and computer monitors don't always bring out the true colors of the gems and metals.  Plus, you can also inspect the jewelry up close.

If you're buying online, make sure you check out the retailer's background first.  You should also confirm their return policy in case you're unsatisfied.

Check the designer or source of the artisan jewelry.
Artisan jewelry can be quite expensive, particularly if it is created by a known artist.  You might also want to watch out for artisan jewelry created by budding talents. 

Some areas and groups of people may also produce their own artisan jewelry.  Certain groups of American Indians create unique and stunningly beautiful artisan jewelry.  The Navajos, for example, are known artisans of jewelry made with turquoise.  The Saraguros of Ecuador also make intricate beaded jewelry, with designs that are characteristic to the region. 

Don't limit your choices to what is currently available.  Keep your options open for other pieces.  If you're buying artisan jewelry, it should be the kind that will reflect your personality and taste.

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