HANDMADE VS THE REST
"I'm finding there's a growing trend for people to to buy their jewellery on-line. Whilst the internet is a convenient method for researching products and prices, there are a number of pitfalls that I wish they could made aware of.
A lot of the jewellery you see on-line is computer-designed in CAD, then a 3D wax printer prints the ring, then a mould is made from it and the metal injected into it. The end product has a porosity which means that the inside of the metal has tiny air bubbles throughout it - (I liken it to an Aero chocolate bar). This makes the metal unsuitable to hand-engrave, as the chisel tears through the bubbles and doesn't cut cleanly.
A lot of the modern CAD designs that I'm seeing coming in for repair are impractical for normal wear, as the claws and setting edges for the stones are so fine. Whilst they look delicate they are not built for longevity of wear and are incredibly difficult to work with and repair. Cast claws on rings are prone to cracking which often causes a loss of stones and the bands can also crack when re-sizing.
A handmade item is in my opinion far superior, as it is far more durable. I am proud of pieces that I make that I know will stand the test of time and endure for generations."