Custom Jewelry or Mass-Produced Jewelry – What’s the Difference?


Everyone’s experienced the excitement of picking out a new ring or necklace from a department store. 

The glittering jewelry shelves are calling your name.

You answer the call and try on a few different stone and metal ring variations. There’s a version you love, so you buy it.

The next morning, you lift up your finger to admire your new ring and, to your astonishment, your finger is… green. 

We’ve all experienced the green ring finger. 

The facepalm feeling when you know the $9 purchase wasn’t worth it, and you’ll never wear this ring again.

Whether you realized it then or not, this was a moment you experienced the difference between mass-produced and custom jewelry.

Want to know more? Here’s the lowdown on the mass production versus custom jewelry debate—green finger not included.  

Mass-Produced Jewelry

Mass-produced jewelry is any form of jewelry that is made in large quantities. Most often, this jewelry is made for the specific purpose of fitting a fashion trend. 

For example, layered necklaces became popular in 2021, so many companies have started mass producing them.

A necklace design is made and then is replicated hundreds of times—until the trend dies and the design is discontinued.

Mass-produced jewelry can be fun for certain occasions. It’s budget-friendly, but it does require a major sacrifice of the quality.

Plus, you might show up to a fundraiser with the same necklace as your business rival, Linda.

What Is Custom Jewelry?

Custom jewelry is jewelry made individually—piece by piece. Even if you order the same design as someone else, no two pieces will ever be exactly alike.

Custom jewelry is controlled completely by the buyer.

You choose the metal, gemstone, size, inscription, even the design—and the jewelry is made completely based on your specifications.

It’s not printed at a factory; it’s created by a family-owned business. One ring at a time—all made with the utmost care. 

Custom Jewelry through the Years 

Kings, queens, and other royals wrote the book on custom jewelry hundreds of years ago. They hired jewelers to create pieces inspired by their own tastes in color and design. 

In more recent history, fashion icons have popularized custom jewelry. Celebrities like Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn made a statement with their custom jewelry—that now it could be accessible to the general public. 

The Benefits of Custom Jewelry in the 21st Century

The internet has millions of jewelry designs to choose from.

We are more overwhelmed with styles and ideas than ever before.

Say goodbye to endless Google searches, trying to find a match for the ring you saw on Pinterest or a celebrity’s Instagram.

Since custom jewelry is personalized, you can show a picture of any ring, and your jeweler will make it for you.

Custom jewelry also creates space to duplicate old designs.

If you’ve lost an heirloom ring, a design can be drawn up to recreate it. Or, if you want to have matching rings with your loved one, just ask your jeweler to make it for you.

The sky is the limit with custom jewelry designs.

When You Should Choose Mass-Produced Jewelry

There are a few select occasions when you should choose mass-produced jewelry instead of custom jewelry. Here, we’ve compiled our top reasons.

When You’re Not Looking for Quality

We’re suckers for a high-quality ring, but we admit—you’re not looking for quality in every purchase. Some jewelry is meant to be worn only a few times: out to the beach or on a vacation. Carpe diem.

When You’re Not Looking for a Long-Term Piece

Sometimes, you’re only going to wear it once. Mass-produced jewelry is the best solution for casual events—like bachelorette parties or college social events.

When You’re Not Looking to Stand Out

Standing out can be exhausting. You’ve caught all the attention you need for the week and you’re ready to relax and just be yourself. If you don’t want to turn heads, it’s time to dig out your mass-produced jewelry and cute slacks.

When You Should Choose Custom Jewelry

You could say we’re biased to custom jewelry, but there are truly so many reasons to choose it for your fashion wardrobe. Here are our top 3. 

When You Want to Create an Heirloom Piece

You want to create a piece of fine jewelry so elegant it will be passed down through generations. This piece will be cherished by your grandchildren and great-grandchildren as part of your legacy and will immortalize your fantastic taste. 

Look at it this way—you’re buying a gift for yourself and for future family members. It’s a win-win.

When You Need High-Quality Jewelry

The quality of a fine jewelry piece drastically increases when it’s handmade with premium materials. Custom jewelry stands the test of time and can be loved for generations without breaking, becoming dull, or going out of style.

Your Design Is One-of-a-Kind

Become your own designer. You’re dying to use a unique design for your fine jewelry piece. Whether you have a picture for reference or want to draw up an idea with a jewelry designer, custom jewelry is the way to go to create something truly special.

Custom Jewelry Inspiration

There’s so much to love about famous custom jewelry pieces. If you need inspiration for your next custom piece, we suggest looking at British royals’ heirloom jewelry. Or, check out some celebrity-inspired custom jewelry online.

Quality vs. Quantity

In a world that values mass production, fast food, and quick fixes, aim for quality. Choosing custom jewelry is the difference between ordering drive-through fish sticks and ordering chef-made salmon from a seafood restaurant.

It simply can’t compare.

Mass-produced jewelry is meant to fit the trend. Custom jewelry is meant to be timeless.