Fine jewelry is the term used for jewelry made out of precious metals such as sterling silver, platinum and solid gold, and is generally handmade by a skilled craftsman.
What is fine jewelry?
Fine jewelry is comprehensively more expensive than simple mass-produced fashion jewelry, which is attributable to its durability and the amount of time and precision that goes behind each piece. As it is made out of solid metals and gemstones, there are no wax molds and casts involved in the production, due to which the jewelry is generally stronger than mass-produced pieces, and does not tarnish for considerably longer periods of time.
Historically, fine jewelry has its roots in the traditional regional differentiations in jewelry making styles. Today, these styles are widely accepted as specific jewelry making techniques.
While the Egyptians had jewel laden amulets, diadems, and pendants, the earliest evidence of rings being forged out of gold and silver dates back to the second-century Roman Empire. Every region had unique forging and artistic methods that have since been Anglicized and modernized to preserve the underlying style whilst improving durability and ruggedness.
While in the past geographical factors played an important role in the kind of jewelry women and men wore, today traditional jewelry, such as Native American jewelry or even authentic Indian trinkets are easily available online.
Nowadays various craftsmen and artisans continuously come up with their own unique designs that are in some cases amalgamations of multiple regional techniques, thereby creating a unique one of a kind piece that is durable and personally crafted. At Marla Trudine, I treat jewelry making as an art, and each piece that I create is distinctly unique and therefore truly special.
These pieces are genuinely beautiful, have intricate designs, and are more durable. Fine jewelry gifts are highly valued, and individual pieces are often reserved for special and important occasions. However, like any substantial investment, buying these pieces often requires extensive research.
Where to buy fine jewelry?
For the layman, to be sure of the authenticity of a piece is sometimes a tricky affair. There are certain features that can be used to determine authenticity, such as, digital signatures, and the sheer intricacy of the craftsmanship. Hallmarks are official certifications often given by governmental agencies, and must be thoroughly scrutinized to determine their authenticity. Because of cases pertaining to fake and forged hallmarks, various designers now have unique digital signatures embalmed on each piece that they craft. Although it is difficult to forge a digital signature to the fullest of extent, it is not something entirely unheard of.
Finally, the uniqueness attached with every piece, the utmost care taken with each brushstroke, and the high quality generally expected of fine jewelry is what differentiates it from mass-produced fashion jewelry, and no matter how good a counterfeit is, a certified gemologist would be able to tell a fake when he sees one. The pieces that I create not only come with proper hallmarks and signatures, we take pride in our craftsmanship, and make sure that every piece create has the aura that customers associate with Marla Trudine jewelry.
It might appear at times that the scrutiny recommended is a bit over the top, but the sheer monetary value and the loss incurred by the original artist in these situations are extremely high, and therefore reasonable care ought to be taken.
Today, most craftsmen and artists have online portfolios and websites that can be visited and shopped on. Because of the high durability and value of the products, there are innumerable sellers of used or second-hand pieces of fine jewelry that can be found online. It is in these cases where one needs to be all the more careful.
While a simple search of “fine jewelry” online is sure to sprout up a bunch of options no matter the region, differentiating the authentic sources from the counterfeit ones is the challenge at hand, especially on online portals such as Craigslist.
Regardless, it is always better to shop on the portals belonging to the original artist, which is also because there are various fine jewelry sales going on, at any given point of time.
How to clean fine jewelry?
While fine jewelry bracelets and amulets are easier to clean, certain pieces can be difficult to maintain, which is due to the innumerous toxic compounds that they are subjected to in the form of everyday wear and pollution.
Certain women’s fine jewelry, such as fine jewelry earrings and tiaras are extremely hard to clean, and require a certain delicateness which is sometimes impossible to achieve at home. Due to the often intricate detailing, various pieces, especially those made of softer metals such as platinum are more vulnerable to scratches and tarnish.
While most fine jewelry designers also provide cleaning services, jewelry made out of gold and silver can be cleaned at home using soap and warm water, and a majority of gemstones such as diamonds and emeralds can be cleaned using commercial jewelry cleaners.
Over a period of time, these cleaning techniques might result in interference with the original lustrous appearance of the metal, but that is something a simple professional re-polish can take care of. While fine jewelry rings and other fine gold jewelry may not require a professional re-polish or even a jewelry cleaner, more complicated pieces must only be handled by a professional.
The general wear and tear aside, there might be occasions when the piece might fall into dirt, or have certain fragments lodged into the smaller parts. As hard metals such as silver and gold do not oxidize in the presence of soap, they can be thoroughly cleaned at home by soaking into soap water or by gently brushing with a wet toothbrush. On the other hand, softer metals and gemstones require professional services, and even though there are various cleaners available online, the downside is the risk of potentially damaging the piece altogether.
In certain pieces such as tiaras and bracelets where there are multiple crevices and intricacies, we do not recommend home cleaning, at all.
Regardless, the inherent beauty of every piece along with the high emotional and monetary value of the jewelry makes the investment worthwhile. At the end of the day, it is not a mere ornament that attracts attention; it is the half dozen ways in which every piece is a piece of art, which does it for women and men alike.