Things are changing in the world of jewelry. We’re seeing the stagnation of the big box names and the rise of independent artisans, often making products in home workshops.
The driving force behind this isn’t cost-reduction or anything like that. Instead, it’s the luxury market. High net worth clients want jewelers who can craft them rings, necklaces, and brooches that their peers don’t have and, importantly, can’t emulate. (Image Credit: Scott Webb/Pixabay)
Designer jewelry is nothing new. Professional silver and goldsmiths have practiced their trade since ancient times. The industry, however, is changing. New trends and technologies now mean that anyone with an artistic flair can set up a facility. The costs have come down substantially. The changes in the industry are remarkable.
The Desire To Appear Unique
Wearing the latest necklace from a major designer is a sign of wealth and status. But when you go to a big brand, you never know whether your item of jewelry is unique, unless you get a guarantee. There’s always a risk, therefore, that your five-figure piece isn’t the only one out there, cutting into your status.
With artisan jewelry, it is a different story. If you commission somebody to make an item to your specifications, then you can be pretty sure that it’s one-of-a-kind. You never have to worry about showing up to a party where somebody else is wearing something identical.
The desire to appear unique is so important that a lot of women are shifting their buying habits and wearing used jewelry. They want to take advantage of the fact that some historical items are genuinely one-of-a-kind and, therefore, exclusive.
The Growth Of Independent Sellers Via The Internet
At the same time as high-status women wanted more bespoke jewelry, technical developments made it easier to sell it. Anyone with a workshop could set up a business and sell products online. It became a genuine money-spinner.
After a while, smart entrepreneurs figured out that they could profit from the trend too. Overnight, they built platforms where people could sell their wares. Artisans didn’t have to go solo anymore.
These changes are having a knock-on effect on the luxury jewelry market. We could be moving towards a world in which people have a jeweler in the same sense that they have a hairdresser. The artisan will become the person they go to whenever they want a new item crafted.
The trends we see in the industry today are good for everyone. Mass-producing jewelry brings the cost of jewelry down, but it does little to add exclusivity. The new set up offers more employment for people with artistic talent while catering to the needs of exclusive clients.
Then there’s the choice aspect of this entire phenomenon. When you have hordes of artisanal jewelers creating bespoke pieces, you no longer need to follow the crowd. You can get something that is entirely different from everyone else. There are dozens of small scale jewelers all over the world, each offering a particular aesthetic. It means that everybody, including the rich, has a lot more choice over what they wear.