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Unique, One-of-a-Kind, Custom
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Word count/read time: 345 words; 1-1/2 minutes

Unique. One of a Kind (OOAK). Custom. These phrases are like crying wolf they are so abused. You could cite the dictionary definition but an individual's preference and reality will ultimately determine how they're used. Since none of these words have a legal definition there will be infinite interpretations.

Custom is as wide open a term as any person could dream of...so much flexibility that it fits every situation! All it means is that something was changed or done by request...or not. Who's to say otherwise!? It formerly carried prestige and implied uber-quality made by a talented worker. Now it is a relative term and doesn't mean it is any more desirable, unique, high-quality, or OOAK.

Unique means only one. The context might give it more clarity: the only one in existence; the product line is the only one of its kind; the company/manufacturer is the only making it. Again, it means whatever a person wants. Add enough qualifiers to any statement and it eventually becomes true. Everyone gets a trophy.

 
All it means is that something was changed or done by request...or not.
 
One-of-a-kind dispels any doubts about how many there are. Exactly one. Then again, even if there are millions of identical ones in the marketplace but this particular seller has only one, couldn't it be OOAK in their limited scope? Or because one ring has a nick on it or the rings aren't closed properly, that makes it OOAK too, right? It all depends on what the definition of "is" is.

Some people think these terms apply to every item they make! Their argument is that it was hand-assembled so no two will ever be exactly alike, even if there are 50 identical ones lined up. It flies in the face of convention and definitely is not in the spirit of the concept.

I make dozens of pieces I've never seen anywhere else including my numerous "extremely unique" 18k gold Jens Pind Linkage bracelets (JPL3, JPL5, and another JPL5). As rare or unique as they may be - or not - my choice of words doesn't change them. They are masterpieces that speak for themselves.


Posted by M: July 19, 2020


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