The Perfect Fit

Pewter Etched Tree Drop Earrings with Niobium Earwires
Ordering jewelry online is easy. But when customers are picking out a piece of jewelry at my art shows, they hold the weight of a pendant in their hands as they consider. They dangle an earring near their cheek with a mirror so they can imagine wearing it. They can even try on a necklace or bracelet to see the exact way it hangs on them.

None of these are things you can do online. But with a little careful consideration, you can take some of the guesswork out, and choose something you will be happy with for years and years.

My intention in writing this, is simply to remind you that the ruler is your friend. Knowing the size of your body and the item you are considering is extremely important in making a final decision about jewelry you will be happy with. The description of the item given online will give some basic measurements, but then what?

Photos, for reasons that are really no one's fault, can make things seem smaller or larger than they really are. I once ordered a pair of earrings that I thought would be about the size of a dime, and they were more like the size of a ping-pong ball! There's nothing wrong with earrings the size of a ping-pong ball if that's what you want, but it's nice to have a strategy so that you're not surprised.

Shell Disk Earrings with Niobium Wirework
When looking at measurements that are listed online, it's much better to have a physical ruler to look at than to just go by memory. It may sound great to buy earrings that are 2 1/2 inches long, but when you actually see them, you may discover you imagined them much smaller or larger than they really are. Besides this, any given measurement (a 20 inch necklace for example) may just look different on different people, due to body type or personal preference in clothing. Even people's earlobes can be different sizes and shapes.

So, what to do? Take an actual ruler, a tape measure (a soft one for sewing), or even a piece of string to measure, and see what a measurement looks like before you order. If it's a necklace or bracelet, take your string and "try it on." You can even draw out a small scale "ruler" on a scrap of paper to keep near you. Just mark off millimeters and inches so you can see exactly what the size of very small earrings looks like.

If you have questions about additional measurements or the weight of a piece, and you're ordering from a handmade artist, like myself, it's really easy to just send an e-mail or message and ask for the information your need. This is one of the many advantages of ordering directly from the person who made the jewelry.

All this predicting and measuring isn't really so different than catalog ordering has been for years and years before this. When I was a kid growing up in rural Iowa, my family relied on catalog service to get many of the clothes and other things we needed. Was everything a perfect fit the first time? Of course not. But we measured ourselves, measured each other, and asked questions before ordering. Sometimes we had to reorder a different size, but just mailing something back to get the right fit isn't so hard to do.

Imperial Jasper Leather Cord Necklace
Maybe this is a good time to remind you that I consider alterations part of the package when you buy jewelry from me. There are certain styles for which this will not be possible, but for most styles of necklaces or bracelets (and even some earrings) I can easily just trim or add links to be the length you desire. It's just irritating to have to live with something that is a little too short or long when you can simply ask the artist (that's me) to adjust it for you. I also offer custom orders if what you need isn't even in my shop yet.

All this measuring won't rule out every possible surprise but it will help. One aspect of having all this information online is that it allows you direct access to the artist.  You get larger pictures with different angles to get a better look at what you really want. With all the search options available online, it can save a lot of time in finding exactly what you want.  Isn't it nice that you can do all this still support an independent artist?  So with just a little foresight, you can take some of the guesswork out of the ordering process, and just enjoy your beautiful jewelry.


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