Why Rugged Rosaries uses the Italian Devotional Medals and Crucifixes
First, a little about the Catholic products industry. There are basically 2 sources for the majority of devotional medals and crucifixes needed by the rosary business. One is Italy and the other is China. Yes, there are some smaller sources in the USA, France, Brazil, Isreal, Germany, and others, but Italy and China are the major sources. We mainly source our materials from Italy because they are made in the "old world" factories there which are mostly family-owned for generations and their products are far superior to other versions. This is not to say all the products from these other countries are poorly made because that is not the case. But in this area, the Italians definitely have them beat.
The Italian products are constantly being copied by other overseas factories which produce an inferior product both in materials used and aesthetics. These knockoff factories will make molds that are not nearly as detailed as the originals from Italy and will often have misspellings on the medals. These knockoff medals/crucifixes will even say "Italy" on them. The image below shows an example. This image is of a rosary (a copy of one of our products actually) that is being sold right now on a major Catholic online store. The word "conceived" on this medal is misspelled "conceivep". You can also see how poorly detailed the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary is.
To mitigate this problem and also because over the decades even the molds used in the Italian factories do get worn down over time, the Italian companies are updating their products with newer molds and lovely new versions of many of the popular devotional medals and crucifixes. This is why you will see the new much higher quality Pardon Indulgence crucifix and many new devotional medals that have better detail on them. The Italians are upping their game in their factories to keep their customers from buying the cheaper knockoff copied product. You will also see superior medallions from USA manufacturers which are mostly produced using Sterling Silver.
Rugged Rosaries has chosen to not buy the inferior knockoff versions.
Many Catholic stores are going for the cheaper knockoffs. They are seen online at some of the biggest Catholic online stores and in the Catholic brick and mortar retail stores. Our two main products which we have been handmaking since 2012, the Paracord Rosaries and the WWI Battle Beads Combat Rosaries have also been copied. Not only is there a couple of larger USA companies copying our original work but there is a knockoff factory overseas doing it too. We have researched these copies and they do not even come close to being as nice and well made as the Rugged Rosary products. Even the paracord they use looks and feels inferior because it is made using polyester material instead of nylon. At least one of these companies claims to be the original maker of WWI combat style rosaries which is totally false. We were making them before these other companies were even in existence! We will stick with superior Italian products and USA made paracord, and continue to handcraft our own products in our Texas studio.
Rugged Rosaries uses only the Finest Available Paracord, Crucifixes, and Devotional Medals.
One way we distinguish our rosaries from the copycats is to use the highest quality materials (including the medals, crucifixes, paracord, etc) that we can find, and that is by far and away the Italian medals and crucifixes and the USA made paracord. We also will continue to offer a wider range of bead choices and colors because our beads are custom made for us. And, we will continue to make most of our products by hand in our own Texas-based studio. This enables Rugged Rosaries to have a very high level of quality control and also to give our customers the ability to customize their rosary. The few items we do have that are sourced elsewhere are carefully curated for uniqueness, quality, and value. An example of this is the Jujube Wood rosaries from South Korea which are a beautifully made product from a small family-owned company.
Our Competitor Company Exchange Policy
We are so confident in the Rugged Rosaries quality that if you purchased a "copycat" product and find that it does not meet your expectation, you may exchange it for one of our products! Why would we do this? Because it is a win/win. You get a better rosary, and we earn your trust. We want every customer to have the best rosary and we feel by doing this, we continue with our legacy of having excellent customer service and hopefully, we will earn a new customer's trust for life. You can read about Exchanges from Other Companies by clicking HERE.