Handmade or Machine Made?

Handmade jewellery Vs machine manufacture - questions to ask yourself before your next jewellery purchase: 


At a time when most people are feeling the financial pinch, shopping around to find the best deals has become second nature for lots of us . Search engines make it easy to compare the price of every type of jewellery you can imagine, from personalised gifts to that statement pair of earrings, or special locket you've been meaning to treat yourself to. With silver jewellery costing as little as £10 on mass retailer sites, it can be tempting to opt for a cheaper piece, rather than the more expensive handmade version. But is that bargain you've tracked down really such a find? 


Is the jewellery good quality that you'll be able to wear for years to come? 


If it's mass-produced, machine-manufactured jewellery, then possibly not. Jewellery made in a factory doesn't get the same quality control that handmade pieces do. So you're much more likely to end up with something that looks cheap, or worse still, breaks after a couple of wears. Hands up who's bought a bargain pair of earrings, only to find the catch snaps the first time you try and put them on, and they end up in the bin?! 


We've all been there, but by opting for handmade, you're buying something that should last much longer. When you purchase jewellery from us, you have the peace of mind that every piece has been made by an expert goldsmith. Both of us have over 25 years of experience in jewellery making, personally hand polish everything we make, and thoroughly inspect every piece before it makes its way to you. 


Having a highly skilled human check over your jewellery means any imperfections or defects can be spotted and fixed before sending out, so whatever you've ordered reaches you in perfect condition. Many machine-made pieces are checked by robots, or given a glance over by a factory worker (often with no experience in jewellery making), who will have cast their eye over thousands of pieces that day.    


And don't forget, in the unlikely event that you do have an issue with any jewellery that you buy from us, we offer a 5-Year Guarantee that covers any damage that occurs as a result of poor craftsmanship. And once the 5 years is up, or if you accidentally damage your jewellery, we also offer a lifetime repair service, where we'll get your piece back to its best again for a small fee.


This helps to prolong the life of your jewellery and keeps it wearable and looking amazing for years to come. 


Who made the jewellery? 


If you decide to invest in a piece of jewellery from Jana Reinhardt, you get something created from start to finish by expert goldsmiths, with over half a century's combined goldsmithing experience. I'm a certified master goldsmith, and Ross has been in the industry for over 25 years. We both understand all the complex processes involved in creating beautiful jewellery, from design, right the way through to that final polish. 


We have devoted years of our lives to learning how to make jewellery to the very best of our ability. I am a graduate of the Zeichenakademie, Hanau, one of the oldest goldsmith training centers in Europe, where Charles Peter Faberge (who created those priceless eggs) trained. And Ross studied jewellery and silversmithing at the famous Sir John Cass University in London. That level of expertise and experience can't be replicated by a machine and makes a huge difference to the end product.


There's something much more meaningful about buying something handmade by an expert craftsperson. It feels quite special to own something that has been made to order by an artisan, especially for you, rather than necklace number 54870 on the production line...


How was the jewellery made? 


Machine-made jewellery is specifically designed for mass manufacturing, which means there are likely to be shortcuts in the design, so the piece can be manufactured in large quantities. Stone setting for example, where the stones are held in place by pushing metal over the stone, is often too expensive for mass production so stones are just glued in. These type of shortcuts often lead to poor quality pieces that don't last.


In contrast, because we take pride in every piece we make and charge a fair price for our work, we have time to do everything to the absolute highest level, ensuring that your jewellery will last and hopefully be passed down to future generations.

Jana Reinhardt pieces are created using a combination of modern and traditional techniques. Once Jana has sketched some design ideas, she spends hours meticulously carving her tiny and highly detailed animals out of wax. The process can take hours, but Jana prefers to do things the old-fashioned way, rather than using CAD (computer-aided design) because it gives the finished pieces more personality and appeal. Once she's finished the wax, it's cast in 100% recycled gold, sterling silver, or platinum and hand-finished with metalworking tools in the JR studio. You can take a peek inside our workshop and find out what goes on there here


What's more, if you buy something from a small business that's committed to sustainable and ethical practices, then you can rest assured that your jewellery has been made with kindness and has the smallest possible environmental foot print.

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