We all love a bargain, and there are always cheaper versions of beloved products available to cater to that addiction. However, when it comes to contemporary jewellery, you’re better off buying the real deal.
Back in 2012, an American non-profit organisation called the Ecology Center performed tests on 99 items of suspiciously cheap jewellery from retailers including Claire’s, Forever21 and H&M. Sadly, their suspicions were confirmed: the ultra-cheap necklaces, bracelets and bangles contained dangerously high traces of toxic metals and chemicals, including brominated flame retardants, cadmium, nickel, chromium, mercury and (most astonishingly of all) arsenic. If you’re rubbing your eyes or squinting at your screen to see if you’ve made some mistake, then we can assure you that you did, in fact, read that correctly: some items of jewellery contained arsenic. It’s the kind of substance one expects cads and bounders to poison each other with in novels by Agatha Christie, but it seems that many manufacturers also decided it would make a marvellous fashion accessory.
However, as alarming as this news is, there’s no reason to be turned off contemporary jewellery altogether. This horror story is confined exclusively to the world of cheap, knock-off jewellery. The message is clear: if you want high-quality British contemporary jewellery, go to artisanal and respected retailers. Pieces sourced from individual craftsmen and established brands remain safe to wear.
We at Monkey Puzzle Jewellery take the utmost care when sourcing our products, so even our most affordable items are guaranteed not to contain any nasty surprises. When you’re shopping for jewellery, stay safe; make sure you only buy from the experts and from sellers you know you can trust. Cheap knock-offs might come with tempting price-tags, but they’re just not worth the risk.