Genuine handcrafted silver jewelry is as beautiful as it is unique. Whether you're looking for pieces to add to your personal collection or are searching for gifts, it's helpful to know what to look for when shopping for silver jewelry. For a wonderful buying experience, follow these five tips.
Find a reputable source.
This may go without saying, but don't confuse commercially manufactured jewelry with handcrafted silver jewelry. The latter is made by artisans that take great pride in their work, and typically the quality is much higher. It's helpful to look for a person or company whose style you identify with and who has a proven track record.
Take advantage of customization.
When jewelry is handmade, it can be customized in any number of ways, from the lengths of chains to the types of gemstones used in pendants and rings. You don't need to settle for "almost good enough." Instead, you can get the piece you've always dreamed of, in exactly the right size.
Because customized pieces generally aren't returnable, it's important to make sure that the handcrafted silver jewelry you order will fit. It only takes a few minutes to get a good measurement, and doing so will ensure that the bracelet, necklace or ring you order will be exactly what you want. For bracelets and chain lengths, a flexible tape measure will suffice- available at all sewing stores. For rings, head to your local jeweler for a free sizing or order a ring sizer- available in the Arcana Silver shop. If you're in between sizes, it's best to go with the larger size.
Do your gemstone research.
Before you order, read up on the gemstones you are considering. It's important to know, for example, that aquamarine can be cleaned with dishwashing detergent but that ultrasonic and steam cleaning may damage the stone. Similarly, you may know that pearls are delicate and can easily absorb liquids, but you might not know that turquoise is also porous and can easily become stained.
If you're going to order jewelry with gemstones, it's also crucial to know whether the stones are natural or if their colors have been enhanced. Reputable artisans will freely share this information. Stones are frequently heated or irradiated to intensify or change their colors. Naturally colored rubies, sapphires, and topaz, for example, are extraordinarily rare; it is an accepted practice within the jewelry industry to enhance gemstone colors. Here at Arcana Silver, we prefer to use natural gemstones whenever possible, and will always indicate if and how a stone has been treated.
5. Invest in the real thing.
Silver jewelry is gorgeous, but only if it's real silver. Make sure that the online source you select uses either sterling silver (.925 or 92.5 percent silver) or fine silver (99.9 percent pure silver). If you have skin sensitivities, make sure it is nickel free. When you invest in handcrafted silver jewelry, you're not only buying a piece you will treasure, but one that is likely to become an heirloom for future generations.
We hope this guide has been helpful for you to feel more confident buying handcrafted silver jewelry. As always, feel free to reach out with any questions!