Vocabulary is a funny thing, a change in vocabulary really can alter perception. It's all about branding. We no longer eat vegetables from our garden, we are dining "farm to table." No one is a "craftsman", they're now an "artisan". At some point during the rebranding of our lifestyles the phrase "heirloom quality" started to get tossed in the mix.
We all hear it all the time and usually don't think to question it; however, I am past the point where I can bear to hear one more person calling a machine stamped, base metal, made in China piece of jewelry an heirloom worthy jewel. This is something older generations understand well so I thought some education might be in order for millennials.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines Heirloom as: a valuable object that is owned by a family for many years and passed down from one generation to another. Now I am not saying you have to spend a fortune to have something that is heirloom worthy, but I am here to tell you that mass produced, plastic bead necklace you've been touting on Instagram as something our daughters will wear one day doesn't fit the bill.
A lot of the value might be sentimental but there isn't time to build any sentiment if the piece doesn't last. Heirloom quality first and foremost needs to be something of quality. Good materials are the backbone of quality and workmanship is key.
You want to look for materials that are precious, durable and perhaps most importantly repairable. It's highly unlikely you will be able to find a jeweler to fix a chain made from a base metal when it breaks but that sterling silver or gold necklace can be fixed and worn for years to come.
These items are not made to be discarded to the trash, they are going to stand the test of time because they're uniquely special. Something that is heirloom quality whether it is furniture, jewelry or anything else should be made with intention and passion. Crafted with love, to be loved for generations; made with quality to last as long as it's loved.
There are hundreds of artisans out there producing really well thought out, quality pieces that are affordable and lasting. At Catsavis LifeStyle Company we pride ourselves on finding the best and rounding them up here to make shopping for quality items easy.
I hope you've enjoyed learning some new information, as for me I've worked up an appetite. On the menu today is a farm to table heirloom tomato salad.
This locket has the hallmarks of an heirloom piece. The materials are of excellent quality, 14K gold and diamond. It is engraveable, and a nice weight which keeps it from breaking easily.