Buying your bridal jewellery sets and bridesmaids accessories from a handmade designer can be a wise move with several possible advantages:
* made-to-measure items (think how useful this can be for bridesmaid bracelets and for matching necklaces to necklines)
* better quality raw materials (compared with cheap factory goods) making the jewellery much longer-lasting
* it's a limited-edition design, not a mass-market product made in a factory.
Choosing handmade jewellery clearly has benefits but how can you be certain that you're not getting ripped off or buying bridal accessories made from low-quality materials or with poor workmanship, especially if you're shopping online?
Here's a quick guide on how to spy great quality goods and differentiate the rank amateurs from the consummate professionals.
For online products a good description is vital. Solid professionals give clear, concise descriptions that include the materials used, this may include the following:
Metal-- precious or non-precious e.g. sterling silver, silver plated, gold including carat purity, gold plated, gold-filled
Gemstones-gemstone name, any special treatments it may have had, whether manmade or not, if a precious stone then more details like clarity and weight/size.
Crystal-whether Swarovski or not, perhaps the names of the exact shades used- you may need this to work out if it will fit in with the colour scheme for the wedding and/or the bridal gown.
The description is not complete without at least one very good quality photograph. Ideally the photos will be high resolution images that let you see the detail in the jewellery. They should not be blurred, of low-resolution or very dark.
Offering the chance of customisation does not differentiate "good" designers from "bad" designer, it's just an option that can be very useful for the customer.
For example, small changes to the length of a bracelet can be particularly useful when buying your bridesmaids accessories since wrist sizes can vary a lot from person to person. Customising bracelets like this also makes for more personalised gifts for bridesmaids.
If you see a design you like but you would prefer to have a detail altered such as a different colour bead in some earrings or swapping the clasp on a necklace then just ask the question. Of course, there may well be an additional cost for such services, but compare this to the cost of buying bridal jewellery sets "off the rack" and then having them adjusted later by a jewellery repair shop.
Here's what to look out for in a badly-finished piece of jewellery:
Rough edges- sharp, protruding edges or jump rings (hoops of metal) that haven't been closed properly.
Chewed metal - a "chewed" texture means that the metal may have been overstressed making it more likely to break.
Feedback and Customer Comments
If you are buying bridal accessories online then make sure you check feedback left by other customers as this will give you a candid picture of how well the designer scores in terms of product quality and customer service. See if there are any comments left about the particular item you wish to buy.
As with any product, if you buy it and it's not suitable then you have the right to return it. Check the policy offered by the designer you are planning to use to make sure that they have a no-hassle returns policy.
There are many potential benefits to buying handmade bridal jewellery sets online, but as with any goods examine the details presented, ask questions and take steps to reassure yourself that it's a reputable seller.