If you are a jewelry retailer out there, owning a traditional brick-and-mortar store or perhaps an e-commerce store built on platforms such as Shopify, this one question might have always popped into your mind – which one is better? Casting jewelry or handmade jewelry? While there is no right or wrong when it comes to this particular question, through the help of this blog, we will discuss things from the very basics – that is the very definitions of casting jewelry and handmade jewelry. From there, we will list a few pros and cons of both, so you can make a clear evaluation yourself, and decide, which one to go for. Lastly, at the end, we will conclude with a final verdict: of what you should go for, while also citing some of the places you can go to get handmade jewelry or casting jewelry.
The majority portion of the jewelry that you see today in malls and in jewelry chain stores is casting jewelry. In this particular type of jewelry, hundreds of the same or similar designs are created using the process of casting and then they are inserted with calibrated gemstones of standard sizes. India, Hong Kong, China, and Thailand are some of the big centers of mass jewelry production specifically through the process of casting.
In the process of creating casting jewelry, first and foremost, the jewelry design is created through a CAD program. This design is then sent to a 3D printer through which, wax or resin models containing multiple versions of the same design are printed. These wax models are then attached to a resin-casting tree.
A specially mixed plaster, which is known as the investment plaster, is then poured over the tree. This whole thing is then placed inside the oven. After the plaster is set, the resin or wax is melted out, leaving a cavity inside the plaster.
Molten gold, 925 sterling silver, or any other jewelry metal is then poured into the cavity of the plaster. Once this has cooled, the artisans carefully break the plaster after which the individual jewelry pieces are chipped off the tree. These jewelry pieces are then polished and set with calibrated gemstones.
The biggest benefit of casting jewelry is, that it can be mass-produced. But there are problems with this way of making jewelry as well. The individuality and uniqueness of jewelry are lost in this way of making jewelry. Also, some jewelry manufacturers and suppliers even forfeit quality for ease, quantity, and speed. Lastly, when it comes to casting jewelry, you will find that it is harder to create finer and more delicate designs, and detailing is almost impossible due to the limited durability of the metal.
Handmade jewelry is jewelry made by artisans without using any mass-manufacturing machines, purely using hand or tools that use hand guidance (such as drills, lathes, or any other machinery). You will never find any sort of standard look when it comes to handmade jewelry. It can range from a simple pendant formed through wire wrapping to jewelry having intricate designs that can take hours or even days and skilled techniques to finish.
What all handmade jewelry pieces have in common is that the jewelry artisans make each piece only through hand and simple tools. If you observe handmade jewelry, you will find that no two pieces of handmade jewelry look identical, however, all of them are beautifully imperfect, even though they possess tiny variations in their design. The most popular types of handmade jewelry that you will find in the market are wire-wrapped jewelry and beaded jewelry. Apart from these two, enameled jewelry, crochet jewelry, and engraved jewelry are also popular types of handmade jewelry.
Pros and Cons of Casting Jewelry
- Casting is considered to be a very efficient method when you want to produce catalog jewelry, especially in the case when you work in huge volumes. This way of producing jewelry through the process of lost wax casting is necessitated because of the rapid growth in demand for jewelry. Since the same mold can be used over and over again for creating many pieces of jewelry, this particular method is considered to be economically beneficial and quick as well.
- In comparison to handmade jewelry, casting jewelry is not only less expensive but also something that requires less time as well as less labor.
- There is the use of 3D models which are generated via digital rendering in the case of casting jewelry. This makes it possible for the wholesale gemstone jewelry manufacturer to create multiple pieces of jewelry all with very precise specifications. Meaning, you can get 1000 pieces of the same jewelry in which the stone weight is the same, the jewelry design is the same, the stone setting is the same, or, in simple words, the jewelry is the same in every aspect.
- Since molds are used in the casting process, the final metalwork poses a risk of porosity. There is a possibility that small air pockets get created within the metal, thus making the finished product weaker as well as more prone to breaking.
- When compared to handmade jewelry, cast metal is found to be less dense. This is why you will discover that casting jewelry is easier to bend and scratch.
- It is almost impossible to create designs with very fine detailing or designs of a delicate nature when it comes to casting jewelry because the durability of metal is very limited.
- Creating a jewelry design that has multiple types of metal is particularly hard in the case of casting jewelry. This is a challenging task because the components made from different metals need to be cast separately and finally soldered together. Also, since the final version of jewelry having multiple types of metal is soldered, it is generally weaker at the soldered points.
Pros and Cons of Handmade Jewelry
- Handmade jewelry is about 53% harder as compared to casting jewelry because in the case with handmade jewelry, the metal is much more dense from being hammered and shaped. Thus, handmade jewelry is considered to be much more durable, and it has greater resistance to scratching and bending.
- If you want to create a finer and narrower design that has a more delicate appearance, it is possible in handmade jewelry. Your design in the case of handmade jewelry will also be unique and one-of-a-kind. When compared with casting jewelry, you will find that handmade pieces look less bulky.
- In the case of handmade jewelry, it is easier to mix different types of metals in a single piece without putting the durability of the jewelry at stake.
- There is no chance of the handmade jewelry developing porosity.
- Because handmade jewelry is more time and labor-intensive, it is found to be more expensive when compared to casting jewelry.
- It's hard to replicate a particular piece of handmade jewelry with high levels of detail and precision because there is no aid from 3D printing and molds. Since the design is purely replicated by hand, it has slight variations.
A Final Verdict: What You Should Go For
Quantity is one of the most important factors when you are deciding to choose between handmade jewelry and casting jewelry. If you want to place a bulk order with a wholesale gemstone jewelry manufacturer and supplier, then you should definitely opt for casting jewelry. Why? Because your order value is likely to be very large, like 500 or even a thousand pieces of the same jewelry design. However, if you are looking for just a few pieces of a particular design, say you want just 3 pieces of a particular design that you saw on Pinterest, it is better for you to go for handmade jewelry.
Another factor on which your choice depends is how detailed and intricate the design is. If the design is very intricate and detailed, then it will be impossible for the jeweler to replicate it through the means of casting jewelry. Hence, the default option, and perhaps the only option you have here is getting handmade jewelry of that particular design.
Are you someone looking for handmade jewelry, or perhaps, casting jewelry, for your retail establishment? If yes, then visit Rananjay Exports, and browse their website – they deal in all types of jewelry, such as designer jewelry, handmade jewelry, casting jewelry, custom jewelry, etc. Last but not least, the wholesale gemstone jewelry they deal in is available in 250+ different natural and ethically sourced gemstones. So, don’t wait, and order the jewelry you need to take your retail store to new heights.