Until the 1980s, Germany’s jewelry industry was very nearly the world’s largest, second only to Italy as the global leader. Nowadays most jewelry is made in India, followed by China. Italy still ranked seventh until recently, while Germany no longer numbers among the top ten jewelry manufacturing countries.
But along with this development, a remarkable change occurred in Germany and, to a lesser extent, in several of neighboring countries. To the same degree that industrial mass production disappeared, individual workshops re-established themselves in which small series of sophisticatedly designed and primarily handcrafted jewelry are produced.
Alongside jewelry from a few manufactories and the very small proportion of artistic one-of-a-kind jewelry, these artisanal workshops – and the authentic personalities who run them – cultivate a contemporary jewelry culture worthy of its name. All of these craftspeople have developed their own unique “handwriting” in the course of thorough training in craftsmanship and mostly complementary design at specialized academies. Our examples show that this development is also able to survive crises.