Skip to content


Your cart is empty

Article: fine jewellery - Artisan or Tiffany's

fine jewellery - Artisan or Tiffany's

fine jewellery - Artisan or Tiffany's

elsa peretti ringdrop cap confess that I have both, my daughter tends to get Tiffany jewellery from me as I love it. It may seem strange that an artisan jeweller would buy a big luxury brand but there are important emotions which lead to these decisions often in an unconscious way which leads to the purchase of either or both.

The days of remaining loyal to one brand is diminishing particularly with the huge market of so many good companies. Individual priorities have become a more of a deciding factor in whether to go artisan or luxury as opposed to traditionally relying on a solo brand to anticipate your needs.


"the price of gold and precious metal remains the same whether its in an artisan design or a Tiffany chain"


Fine jewellery usually means the primary use of precious metals gold (Au), Silver (Ag), Platinum (Pt) & Palladium (Pd). It also means that the gold content used is 18ct (75% gold) or higher. 

While lower carats obviously have benefits in price they carry a higher risk of allergy due to nickel and copper content, are less durable importantly do not carry the rich colour of high carat gold. The old myth of 10ct (41.7% gold) being harder than 18ct (gold being a very soft metal) is largely debunked now with newer generation alloys. 

New generation silver alloys abound with germanium or argentium metals to replace copper in traditional sterling silver giving comparable strength yet superior whiteness and tarnish resistance.

The world wide prices of these precious metals is the main reason why fine jewellery is almost never on sale as prices remain the same regardless of maker. 



"the artisan's effort is focussed on the quality of work rather than being constrained to a price point"



 uring the Renaissance, jewellery and art was simply commissioned or sponsored by the church or eminent families such as the Medici's. There were no budgets or price points for attracting certain customers, they just produced renowned works with the best materials and their art & reputation has stood the test of time. 

Many artisan jewellers would have a similar view today, not willing to sacrifice quality or be constrained by an arbitary price point to attract more sales. Obviously not everybody can afford or has the desire for fine jewellery so it's a wasted effort to try and attract those customers through price discounting or sacrificing quality to appeal to those who would not normally buy it.

What you are paying for is different depending on whether it is an artisan or a luxury brand. Artisan pricing is pretty simple, it's the labour involved in making a single piece and the price of the materials. 

With a luxury brand, they command a premium for the same quality materials due to their recognition. Also their labour costs can be cheaper due mass production of components. The branding strategy they cultivate to draw customers at a certain price point and with certain desires has a cost which is not generally born by the artisan. 

When it comes down to a decision on what you are seeking there is no wrong choice. With an artisan brand, what you see is what you get, it is generally not wrapped up so intensely in branding perceptions or lifestyles, so you are getting the direct results of labour and precious materials. That is not to say artisan makers don't cultivate their brands, they certainly do but it is more likely to be reflected in packaging, website design and social media rather than advertising or expensive campaigns to elevate the brand's luxury status. 

Lastly as an artisan jeweller looking to purchase a luxury jewellery brand such as Tiffany's, I will be always be attracted to niche designers within that brand like Paloma Picasso or Elsa Peretti, giving a nod to beautiful design yet knowing that I equally desire the thrill of gifting that blue box.


Read more

giovanna garzoni paintings

The curious paintings of Giovanna Garvoni

hen one thinks of the Renaissance, the artists Michangelo, Raphael, da Vinci, come to mind but many would struggle to name a female.  Born towards the end of the Renaisssance in Venice, Giovanna ...

Read more
murano island venice italy

An impossible love...Murano(Venetian) Glass

t was love at first sight when I first saw my mother's Murano glass necklace. Those olive beads flecked with gold caught my eye and insisted forever more that colour must remain a primary focusin...

Read more