Diamonds are forever. What if you could find out more about the source? We had a chance to talk to Éva Báldy, the creator of Aranysziget Ékszerkészítő Bt., a jeweller, and the owner of BáldyDESIGN.
How did you start making jewellery? Tell us about your journey.
At 17, I became a goldsmith and started working at other firms for a couple of years. We opened our company 22 years ago. My husband, who is a mechanic and gunsmith, joined us soon after as we had so many orders.
Two years ago, we decided that 2 stores in Budapest are not enough and expanded online. First, we tried Facebook and some online craftsman marketplaces, before creating our online store BáldyDESIGN with Webnode.
What style of jewellery do Hungarian women wear?
Speaking for the entire population of Hungarian women here would be presumptuous. We are a small shop for customers who offers quality jewels for a fair price. Our products are affordable, simple, and wearable. Gold and silver necklaces, medallions and earrings are beloved, since they are timeless. Women like pearls too.
There are small trends we notice. For example, tree of life medallions became very popular in the last years. Lately, our „Elven rings” are in demand. Why? Because they are based on the Lord of The Rings trilogy. Snake-themed jewels were on trend but nowadays not anymore. On the other hand, the so-called Prince of Wales chains were not in demand for years and now have their comeback. So, fashion changes and older motives sometimes return.
You work with precious stones and pearls. What is the rarest or most special piece of jewellery you have sold?
Every single product we sell is unique. As it is handmade, it is unrepeatable. Still, there are some special pieces. For example, once we created a ring and a bracelet with deer teeth or decorated a horn with silver ornaments. The latter was for our long-term customers. He has it proudly displayed on his wall.
Someone else asked us to create a golden phial to treasure the ashes of his/her beloved one. It was emotionally moving too. Probably the most expensive item we designed was a pair of earrings with 3-carat diamonds! We really had to take care. These special tasks are the gift of our profession.
What is the difference between a natural pearl and an artificial pearl? Can I tell just by looking at it?
There are three kinds of pearls:
- Natural pearls grow in nature without human intervention. Collecting them is dangerous. As a result, they are rare, making up approximately 3-5% of the market.
- Cultured pearls are grown on farms. Their appearance is like natural pearls. Hence, they are also considered real pearls.
- Imitation pearls are man-made faux pearls. They are made from various materials with different techniques. Unlike natural and cultured pearls, they have uniform shine and an even round shape. However, nowadays they prepare also amorphous shaped ones on purpose.
There is a quality check you can do. If you take two pearls and you can slide them smoothly against each other, they are likely imitation pearls. But, if they make a scratchy sound and move ruggedly, they are probably cultured or even natural.
Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring (1665), courtesy of Mauritshuis (The Hague).
In Vermeer’s painting, Girl with a Pearl Earring –1665, it is said that the pearl is too large to be real. It is probably an imitation pearl. Vermeer painted it with only two strokes of white paint: one at the bottom to reflect the collar and a thick dab at the top. There is nothing more, not even a silver hook.
Have you ever seen or worked with an unusually large pearl?
True that the pearl is unusually big. It even has a strange shape. In my opinion, it could be real. The “Pearl of Allah”, the well-known pearl that was found in the Philippines, measures 23 cm and weighs 6,35 kg, for instance. In the South Sea there are living giant clams, so theoretically it is possible to find a large pearl like that.
Sometimes, I have the chance to work with bigger pearls, but not that giant of course. That one on the painting had to be a rarity.
Who buys more jewellery, women or men? Can a man fall in love with a piece of jewellery?
Women buy more often in our shops, definitely. But when Christmas or other events are around, men start to shop as well. They usually don’t have a concept and ask for our suggestions. It is not that common for male customers to have a clear vision or to demand a bespoken piece. Usually, women are the ones who order custom-made jewels. From time-to-time men buy for themselves – usually a simple silver or golden chain, bracelet or ring.
How has Webnode helped you in your store?
When we decided to try selling online, we have been searching for a solution for a long time. We didn’t want a web designer to build the e-shop, because we wanted to be able to upload or update the products whenever we wanted. We have tried many editors, but Webnode was the one that was easy for us to use.
We still have the most sales in our physical stores. There we do custom orders and repairs. Nevertheless, thanks to our e-shop, we have reached a new segment of customers. People living out of town can search the product photos, order and get it delivered conveniently.
It’s also a great opportunity for later when we retire and close our high street stores. We can keep running our e-shop and keep selling our jewellery.
Name 3 things, why you would recommend Webnode?
- As I already mentioned, I really appreciate the fact that it is easy to use. Of course, it takes some time to get used to it and discover all the features.
- I really like that it has a mobile editor so I can upload photos of our products directly from my phone. It saves me time.
- I’m also glad the editor and the customer support are in Hungarian. Up to now, I didn’t know Webnode has a Hungarian blog, I will check it out if there are some useful tips for me.
Are you planning to create your own online store? Try this step-by-step guide.