What Does It Mean When Something Is Handcrafted?

An artisan making a piece of jewelry by hand

When shopping for special gifts for loved ones, you may have come across the terms "handmade" and "handcrafted". Though they sound similar and both suggest that a human has been involved in the production process, they actually mean two different things. Before you make your next special and sentimental jewelry gift purchase, continue reading this blog post for an explanation.

Similarities Between "Handmade" and "Handcrafted"

As you can plainly see, both "handmade" and "handcrafted" have the word "hand" in them. Generally speaking, anything that's described as "handmade" or "handcrafted" was not crafted by a machine or mass-produced in an automated way. No two "handmade" or "handcrafted" items will look exactly the same.

In contrast, machine-made jewelry is produced to be sold in large quantities and made to look as consistent as possible. There's nothing inherently "bad" about purchasing a machine-made piece of jewelry, but you should be aware that it lacks the high-touch, human element, which can be especially appealing for anyone who enjoys the story behind their jewelry purchases.

What Is Handmade?

A "handmade" piece of jewelry is not the same as a "handcrafted" piece of jewelry. When jewelry is described as "handmade", it usually means that the individual parts had already been created by a machine and that the jewelry maker is assembling the parts to create the finished product.

For example, if a crafter goes to Michael's and purchases jewelry findings as well as beads from the jewelry section of the store, her final creation would be "handmade". With this approach to jewelry making, the crafter still needs to use her creativity, imagination, and skill to create a piece worth wearing.

What Is Handcrafted?

In contrast, a "handcrafted" piece of jewelry is typically made by an artisan who's creating something completely new out of raw materials without any prefabricated or pre-assembled parts. A metalsmith who's fashioning gold rings would be an example of someone creating "handcrafted" jewelry. A "handcrafted" piece of jewelry typically involves local or multi-generational traditions and techniques that have been developed and improved upon over time.

When you're trying to decide between buying a "handmade" or "handcrafted" gift, you should know that neither one is superior to the other; they simply involve different approaches to making a sentimental gift that will leave a positive impression on the recipient. Both require creativity, skill, and talent and tend to produce more interesting final results than the fully machine-made approach.

If you've landed on this blog post because you're seeking a unique, lasting, and one-of-a-kind gift for a loved one, then you should consider starting a personalized pearl necklace from Add-A-Pearl. You can begin the process by visiting this page. No two pearl necklaces will be alike, and they continue building on a story over time.


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