In the not so distant past, men and women made and repaired or mended things with their own hands. They knew what quality was and recognized quality materials and workmanship when they saw it.
Today's consumer is different. Few have made an item that demanded serious hand eye coordination and learned skills.That has made the modern consumer vulnerable to poor quality items that look attractive in a showroom or in a photo in an online sellers website but in fact are more often than not of poor quality.
Fast Fashion has raised an awareness around the tragic sweatshop practices and shoddy quality of the fast fashion clothing industry but little has been mentioned of the fast jewellery industry. It is a problem too.
I can't tell you how many shoddily made engagement rings I've been asked to repair. I usually decline because many can't be properly repaired without basically fabricating a new ring, an expensive proposition. Let's be honest, most fast jewelry is junk jewelry.
By the way, cast jewellery, is NOT handmade jewellery. Porosity, softness and breakage are the hallmarks of cast jewellery. This is how most Fast Jewellery is made.
My advice to the consumer who wishes to purchase a quality jewel such as an engagement ring is to find a goldsmith, often called a jeweller, who uses his hands and not a catalogue. There are very few of us around who actually know how to hand fabricate jewellery. Most people who call themselves jewellers today are just sales people. Once the consumer can recognize quality jewellery, they will avoid these merchants.
Handmade is the way to go if you want quality and durability. Handmade IS Slow Jewellery.
Find a goldsmith who has a goldsmith's bench and uses it most of the day. Purchase from a real jeweller and you'll have something to be proud of and will likely last several lifetimes.
Vive la différence!