Our Philosophy

Our Standard of Quality -

Susan Snyder Jewelry places great importance in creating jewelry that is exquisitely crafted with high standards of quality. Each piece of jewelry is made to order and great attention is paid to detail. In jewelry making, the term hand crafted has a specific meaning that is defined below. But our standard of excellence is defined in several ways. 

Design Excellence - Design excellence isn't just a matter of envisioning beautiful pieces of jewelry. There are many jewelry designers in the field that have little to no knowledge of the technical aspects of making jewelry. There job is simply to design, either by hand rendering or computer aided design, jewelry that another person or large scale factory will produce. This can often be problematic because great jewelry design requires production knowledge. The thickness of the metal, the placement and spacing of stones, the proportions of components that come together to make a finished piece, all of these decisions effect the quality of the jewelry. As a formally educated, working jeweler, I design not only for unique beauty, but for properly constructed jewelry which will last for generations to come. 

Materials - Over the past decade, there has been a huge increase in the availability of unique, hand crafted jewelry on the market. This work has challenged our previous notions of what jewelry should look like in exciting ways. Along with this growing trend, we've seen a movement away from traditional jewelry materials such as  precious metals like sterling silver, gold and platinum. More and more jewelers are working in brass, copper and bronze. While these metals can look beautiful, they can also be problematic. All metals used in jewelry making are alloys or mixtures of metals. Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc and bronze is an alloy of copper and tin. However, brass and bronze may also include arsenicphosphorusaluminiummanganesesilicon and in some cases, lead. Some companies that sell brass and bronze for jewelry making will identify the other metals and elements they alloy with, but many do not. There are tarnish resistant brasses, but in many cases brass and bronze will begin to tarnish within hours of polishing it and may discolor your skin. Copper is soft metal that will quickly tarnish and often turn skin a green color. Nickel is a grey white metal alloy that contains no silver, but be aware that some people are allergic to nickel and the more nickel exposure one has, the greater the risk for developing an allergy to this metal alloy.

Susan Snyder Jewelry only uses precious metals. Our line is produced in sterling silver, which is an alloy of 99.9% pure silver and 99.9% pure copper. There is no nickel in the sterling silver. All of our silver is purchased from companies that provide adhere to the set standard of what sterling silver is composed of. There are no such set standards for base metals such as copper, brass and bronze. As we moving into producing our jewelry in 18k yellow gold, we assure that there is no nickel added. White gold often contains nickel, but can be substituted with palladium for people with nickel allergies. This does increase the cost of the jewelry.

Another important benefit of using only precious metals is the ease of sourcing these metals from companies that use recycled metal. When recycled metals are not used, we only purchase precious metals from companies that use environmentally friendly methods of mining. Historically, multi-national mining companies were the sole source of precious metals used in jewelry, and their mining process had devastating environmental and social effects. But when it comes to precious metals used in jewelry, many sourcing companies have adopted an ethos 




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The Look - 

We all have different needs at different times. Our jewelry should reflect this. Some days, or nights, we need and want to make bold statements. Other times we want easy to wear, everyday pieces. And who's to say we can't mix the two? I design with this in mind. Sometimes a simple black shirtdress can be transformed into a stunning outfit with the addition of unique, sculptural pieces of jewelry. Other times, we can accent a crisp white blouse and jeans with minimalist pieces for a clean yet sophisticated look. 

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