Design is not making beauty; beauty emerges from selection, affinities, integration, and love. –Louis Kahn
Jewelry oddly enough is something rather special. It is worn by countless people every day from all walks of life. They go well beyond being simple stones and metals draped over a person’s body. They are art pieces, carefully and intently crafted by artisan Jewelers with a passion for creating beauty. Contrary to what is often believed, jewelry is not an ornament that makes a person more beautiful or attractive. Rather, the jewelry if anything highlights the points of a person that are already beautiful.
Though beyond that, it can also be argued that people don’t actually wear jewelry, and that the jewelry in fact wears the person. This is similar to how a blank canvas isn’t exactly an art piece in itself, but the art is that which is painted upon it. Making people, in essence, walking canvases. So why then with that idea in mind, do people who are shopping for jewelry spend both their precious time and money on pieces generically made? With no personal meaning nor uniqueness found within it. Case in point, when looking at larger jeweler retailers, do you not notice that regardless of the piece, everything generally looks the same? White gold, silver, diamonds… a heart, a square, a circle. And round and round we go.
A simple quick trip to your local mall would show numerous national shops such as Tiffany’s and Kay’s selling jewelry that was stamped and fabricated for the masses. Often times even being marked up significantly because of their “name brand.” This becomes baffling to consider when you realize that for nearly the same cost, the benefits to having it custom made are so stark and numerous. What follows here are the various reasons why before making your next jewelry purchase, especially if it is a larger or more important one, such as a wedding ring or anniversary gift, you should heavily consider having it custom made. By the end of this, you will hopefully realize why your next jewelry piece should be an individualized work of art.
Unique Piece for Unique People
We live in an era of individuality, where a person is valued outside that of being a part of the cumulative masses. As such, uniqueness is valued more today than ever before, and deservedly so. What people choose to eat, the clothes they wear, their interests, and even the tattoos they dawn on their body are all a testament to the fact that we desire to break away from the herd and be counted simply for being us.
For that reason, why spend so much money on something you know for certain others will have. Why wear something that you know means nothing special or has any significant meaning to you? One of the most beautiful pieces of jewelry I can recall happened to belong to my late grandmother. Though on it were no diamonds and it wasn’t purchased from a retail store. Beyond the interesting almond shape of the ring, my grandfather chose their birthstones to decorate it to start out. As time passed, and they had children, and their children had children, each birthstone from every child was added on.
In sum, with three children and six grandchildren, the ring eventually looked dazzlingly beautiful. Completely unique from anything I’ve seen since. The band on the back of the ring was of the flower my grandfather first gave my grandmother in Lithuania where they were both born. The Ruta Graveolens, or Rue, symbolizes regret and is called the flower of grace. The reason he gave her this flower was due to something stupid he had done and was apologizing for. Regardless, he won my grandmothers heart that day, and he never forgot the flower that helped with that.
Point being, her ring was absolutely and unequivocally one of a kind. No one else had anything that looked as it did, and certainly no one had another ring which would have had the same meaning for my grandmother. It meant the world to her, as when she looked down on it in her final years, every stone evoked a memory and emotion. Nothing my grandfather could have purchased premade in a store would have had the same affect, nor meaning, as that ring did.
Amount of Thought and Care Spent On Choosing A Gift
With reference to the story above, how much can it be shown that care went into choosing a gift of jewelry if you simply pointed at and purchased something? If no personal time, thought, or imagination went into its creation, what can the meaning of that gift truly be? By having your jewelry custom made, you are able to decide the exact materials and resources used, the overall design and theme, the colors, patterns, and anything else you would care to have included.
Individualized gifts are more appreciated as there was obvious thought and feeling behind it. Chances are, a gift of this nature would be cherished, loved, and kept forever. Isn’t that the exact purpose of giving a gift of jewelry, to show your love or appreciation? How can that old true for something you happen to stumble upon and find?
The Inherent Value of A Piece Of Jewelry
When discussing the actual value of a piece of jewelry, we have to remember the true value lies well beyond the overall monetary cost of the piece. The meaning behind it, the story behind it, perhaps even having repurposed other older or damaged pieces into the new one, all of these qualities and many more make the value of custom jewelry far more valuable than anything purchased on the shelf from a store.
If you are wearing any jewelry right now, take a moment and consider it. Why are you wearing it? What does it mean to you? If the answer is simply that you like it, or it’s pretty, the value of that piece is solely dependent upon the cost. Now if you happen to have anything you wear that someone made themselves or had made for you, and had to decide which of the two you had to keep, which would you have a harder time getting rid of. The $2,000 pair of earrings you happen to have found on your vacation to Sante Fe, or the $1 woven multicolored bracelet your daughter or son made for you in grade school?
Granted, you’ll be biting your lip over losing something worth $2,000. But chances are, for something with meaning, you can’t put a price value on it, it’s priceless. One of a kind, not to be found or purchased anywhere else. Again, the point is personal value for a piece does not have monetary cost associated with it, there is no number to assign. It’s priceless, and that’s exactly how Jewelry should be in the eyes of the owner. Those giving gifts of jewelry would be smart to keep that in mind.
Supporting Local Jewelers
Finally, the best bit of having your jewelry custom made is simply that you would be supporting those that deserve your business most. Some artisans pour their sweat, blood, tears, and souls into their work. Some even go as far as to include their own flesh in their jewelry, and as odd as that may be, it has to at least be respected for the purity of their dedication.
That dedication, that care for perfection, doesn’t usually arise from monolithic corporations. Usually big businesses concerns solely lie in selling items and making a profit. Of course they may make claims to great customer service, but generally we all know that’s usually not the case. By visiting, shaking the hand, and discussing the creation of something beautiful with someone who wants nothing more than to see your idea and dream come to life, you’re creating something memorable.
Too often nowadays people want to push a button, receive confirmation, and be done with it. The shortest most brainless route possible always seems the best to take. And for a lot of things in this world, sure, you can skate by with that. But for jewelry, something that is artistic and is supposed to be appreciated for the care that was taken to make it, the uniqueness of the piece and its beauty, the easiest route shouldn’t be the road most frequented. So next time you are considering buying jewelry, why not think of what you want the jewelry to look like rather than being told what looks good or what’s available? Before buying your next gift of jewelry, why not offer something that actually matters, where thought and care went into its creation? It’s possible, doesn’t have to be expensive, and in the end, is worth more than anything you’ll ever stumble upon in a store.