We have all gone online searching for certain products to buy and found them to be cheaper in Asia. Ebay, Amazon, Etsy are all full of Asian Jewelry manufacturers that easily undercut US manufacturers. There are 2 reasons for this: labor costs and quality. First, the average laborer in Asia makes a fraction of what they make in the west. Asian Jewelry is made in sweat shops where man, women, and children work for pennies a day in horrible conditions. Second is the quality. Asian Jewelry is, if it even the metal you paid for, thin, lightweight, and of notoriously poor quality. But more often than not, your Sterling Silver isn't Sterling and your 14K Gold isn't 14K. Their gemstone record is even more atrocious. Such a high percentage of gemstones being used in Asian Jewelry isn't even the species they claim or treated when they say it isn't, or just plain glass, that they must be over there laughing at us dumb Westerners.
But on top of those problems are the health issues cheap Asian Jewelry can cause. A non-profit organization called The Ecology Center ran tests on 99 pieces of Asian Jewelry (some of which was for kids, but most of it was for adults) that were purchased from 14 different discount stores such from around the country, like Target, Claire's, Glitter, Forever 21, Walmart, H&M, and Hot Topic. They checked each piece for dangerous things like lead, cadmium, chromium, nickel, brominated flame retardants, chlorine, mercury and arsenic. And, to no surprise, lots of the jewelry was full of the stuff.
Over half of the jewelry, all of which cost less than $20, had high levels of these hazardous materials, including 27 of the pieces which had lead levels that topped the 300 ppm limit for children's products. 10% of the pieces had Cadmium, which is a toxic metal that's been the subject of other jewelry and toy recalls.
Is saving a little bit of money on Asian Jewelry worth the hassle of poor quality, fraudulent materials, or your health?
At Valeria Fine Jewelry, you will never find anything but the highest quality precious metals and alloys in your custom jewelry. We also use high quality gemstones possible, but more importantly, we support local businesses as we manufacture our jewelry in Texas.
Click HERE to see our portfolio or contact us with your custom jewelry idea.