Thanks to the boom in e-commerce, you have options for online jewelry shopping. Gone are the days of perusing for hours in a store. Now, you can purchase from the comfort of your home. However, not all merchants on the internet offer genuinely handmade, high-quality jewelry. So how do you know which jewelry is the real deal? What should you look for? In this guide, we outline tips for shopping for handcrafted earrings online.
How to Shop for Handcrafted Earrings Online
Shopping for superior-quality earrings online can be tricky. Here are a few tips to help you choose pieces that are worth the investment:
Closely Inspect the Gemstones
At first glance, genuine and inauthentic gemstones may look identical. However, distinguishing a low-quality gem is easier than you think.
First, many gemstones, like diamonds or pearls, may have a certificate to show their authenticity. This documentation is typically from the GIA, IGI, or the EGL. In addition, your jewelry may come with other documentation—such as cleaning instructions and care tips.
Another way you can spot fine handmade earrings online is to look at the luster of their stones. For instance, pearls should have a light and reflective surface. And authentic pearls are a little bumpy around the edges—they're rarely perfectly round.
Similarly, authentic diamonds will have natural imperfections. Replicas of diamonds are often a mixture of glass and plastic, and they're overly smooth.
So when shopping online for high-quality earrings, be sure to pay close attention to the materials. Often you can check out the quality by looking at the sellers' photos.
Look for Hallmarks
One of the first things you should inspect when shopping for a new set of earrings is to look for hallmarks. The hallmark will tell you the metal content of the earrings. It also tells you the stated purity—or percentage—of a specific type of metal.
Sometimes the seller will have the hallmark included on the product page. But if you can't find the hallmark on the merchant's website, you can inspect the earrings when they arrive. You'll find the hallmark on the earring post.
Gold hallmarks include 18K, 14K, 10K, 750, 585, and 375. Platinum hallmarks include 950, PLATINUM, and PLAT. Lastly, silver hallmarks will read 925, Silver, 800, and Sterling. If your earrings have one of these markings, it's a good sign.
Even if a pair of earrings resemble authentic silver, gold, or platinum, it's not unless it has a marking.
Pay Attention to the Metals
When shopping for superior handcrafted earrings online, stick to gold, silver, and platinum. These metals can withstand everyday wear, and they are hypoallergenic. In addition, be sure to look for nickel-free earrings. This is because nickel is a common cause of allergic reactions.
Not only can unrefined metals cause skin irritation, but they deteriorate faster—making them unwearable.
A few low-quality materials to avoid include:
- Brass or bronze
Opt for Gold Filled Instead of Gold Plated
You've probably heard of terms like gold-filled and gold-plated. While they both sound similar, these terms have distinct differences.
First, gold-filled jewelry, a base metal, is smoldered to an outer layer of gold—most of the time, the base is silver. Gold-filled earrings have a thick gold coating, ranging from 10K to 24K. Because of their layer, gold-filled earrings don't tarnish, fade, or chip.
Additionally, gold-filled is the second most valuable type of gold, next to solid gold.
In contrast, gold-plated earrings contain a fragile base metal, typically brass or nickel. And the gold layer may flake off over time, exposing the metal underneath. The exposed nickel could cause irritation and infections depending on your skin sensitivity.
Unlike gold-filled earrings, the gold-plated option doesn't have any calculable gold percentage.
Gold-filled earrings are the wiser choice because they're higher quality and don't degrade as quickly as the gold-plated choices. Therefore, avoid earrings that include "gold-plated" in the description.
Assess the Seller's Reputation
When you shop online, you want to ensure that the jewelry seller is reputable and trustworthy. Therefore, do a few searches for reviews and customer feedback. What experience have others had with the seller? Google ratings and Facebook are great sources to find out what customers think.
Why Choose Handmade Earrings?
The beauty of handmade jewelry is that it's unique. Each piece is embedded with a certain level of care and attention to detail. There's something extra special about a pair of earrings made with love and professional craftsmanship, versus machines.
Here are a few more reasons to shop for handcrafted earrings online:
Better Quality Control
Jewelry craftspeople understand their designs inside out—so repairs will be easier and accessible to customers. Some handmade jewelry will even offer repairs on their website.
Thanks to the prevalence of social media, customers now get a glimpse into how businesses operate. With handmade jewelry brands, creators share the entire design process, from start to finish. As a result, you get a chance to see the designer's work come to life. This degree of transparency establishes trust, and it's an experience you can't get with mass-produced items.
One of a Kind Design
Most manufactured earrings on the market are copies of other designs—there are no unique elements. However, with handcrafted jewelry, no two items are alike. So when you buy a handmade pair of earrings, you get a one-of-a-kind piece.
Jewelry artisans place a lot of pride in their work, and the materials used reflect that pride. You'll find authentic and fine gems and metals that last a lifetime with handcrafted earrings.
Our Favorite Handmade Earring Designs
Now that you know what to look for in professionally handcrafted earrings, let's look at a few examples of some beautiful and elegant pieces you’ll want to add to your collection.
Small Gold Circle Earrings
For a minimalistic style, opt for classic silhouette hoops. Look for a pair that features a 14k gold fill. Small gold hoops add a touch of understated elegance to your look.
These petite hoops are perfect for a business casual ensemble. You can easily combine them with a suit, dress pants, or skirt.
Interlocking Gold Circle Earrings
Make a bold statement with the interlocking gold circle earrings. These stunners start with a piece of wire and bloom into three hand-formed rings, descending in size.
These hoops are perfect to pair with layered necklaces, sunglasses, and a slicked-back bun.
Baroque Pearl Earrings
Channel your inner Audrey Hepburn with some elegant pearl earrings. Featuring authentic baroque pearls and 14k gold fill, these earrings are best when paired with simple hues like black, white, and gold. For a classic look, pair these earrings with a pearl or beaded necklace.
Large Cross Earrings
Gorgeous and timeless, large cross earrings are something to pass down from generation to generation. Featuring an intricate geometric design and 14k gold fill, these earrings are the perfect statement piece for any look.
Discover Handmade Earrings from Liz James
When you purchase a pair of earrings from Liz James, you're investing in a high-quality, artist-designed piece that will last a lifetime.
All of our jewelry is lovingly crafted with high-quality materials that won't degrade. Shop our collection of earrings to find a pair that suits your personal style.