In the U.S., federal guidelines developed by the Federal Trade Commission clearly indicate that the term “hand made” should only be used when jewelry is entirely made by hand methods and tools. To avoid any confusion, jewelers generally go one step further and refer to these items as “hand fabricated” so that it is clear that none of the elements incorporated into the finished piece were cast or die struck.
Throughout history, jewelers would spend weeks to months designing and crafting a single piece of jewelry. Often, the skill required to craft such a piece had been passed down through generations within a family or community. Hand fabricating involves direct crafting on metal, and doesn’t utilize wax, molds or casting.
The craft of hand fabrication is much more time consuming than the partially machine produced or mass produced. In hand fabricated jewelry, the amount of imperfections that need to be smoothed out at the end of the construction are virtually non-existent because of the control the craftsman wields throughout the entire process.
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