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Any real benifit to offering only 18K gold?


#1

I was wondering how many of you offer jewelry in only 18k gold as
oppose to lower karats, and what is the benefit? I ses mostly “high
end” jewelers doing this also while offering platinum jewelry as
well. Does it make the work harder to rip off? (i.e. “You can tell
authentic ‘insert big name designer here’ pieces from fakes because
our pieces only come in 18k”) Does it add to the air of exclusivity?

I’m of the opinion that offering more choices in karats should
increase your sales - but maybe I’m wrong? big shrug


#2

The store I worked for before opening my own in 1974 was called

18Kt

Sold any metal but jewelry of choice was 18kt. Higher end. Something
special.

David Geller

David Geller
JewelerProfit
510 Sutters Point
Sandy Springs, GA. 30328
(404) 255-9565
www.JewelerProfit.com
dgelller@bellsouth.net


#3

My personal opinion is to try to stay with 14kt.it is stronger than
18kt and to me is easier to repair when welding.I think it looks just
as good when you polish it up for them really good.

Billy


#4

I only show 18k gold but I will work in 14k on request. I think it
does add an air of exclusivity to the product. It’s also a nicer
color which most people who haven’t seen it before don’t realize (it
used to be the case that people hadn’t seen it before–now the
customers are far more sophisticated). It does help to increase your
profit margin as well.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, LLC
1780 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140
@Daniel_R_Spirer
www.spirerjewelers.com


#5

Well, my two cents are that 18K gold looks like gold, the lower
carats not so much. However, I have a good friend who makes
impeccable jewelry, her finishes are superb as is everything about
her jewelry; and she works almost exclusively in 14K. She gets 18K
prices for her work though because her technique is so good.

I asked her why not use 18K and she said she would have to ask too
much for her things and didn’t want to push her price point.

She does do custom in 18 and platinum. I quess it is up to how you
want to market your work. She sells fantastic quality and stone etc,
and settles for a lower carat to keep her margin higher on her labor.
Others mark up the gold in higher Karats and get more profit there.

I think that offering your work in higher than you traditionally
work is a good idea but I wouldn’t work down. I.e., make 14k for the
show case and sell custom and special order in higher. That way you
don’t tie up $ in inventory. Now a days most of what seems to walk
out of stores in custom, everyone wants to be ‘special’.

Good luck, Dennis


#6

I don’t think there’s any ulterior motives for using 18kt - snobbery
or the like. People use it largely because of the rich color, and
it’s mostly just that simple. There are snobs in all walks of life,
of course, but they don’t matter. “I only wear 14Kt never
10kt.—sneer!!” It’s also the perfect yellow complement to platinum

  • it looks WAY better than 14kt.

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#7

any of us use 18 karat gold because of the wonderful working
properties it offers to the goldsmith. It is often an aesthetic
preference rather than a commercial implication.

Michael David Sturlin
www.goldcrochet.com
www.michaeldavidsturlin.com


#8

Over here in the UK our jewelery retailers are obsessed with selling
cheap 9ct jewelery. In the last thirty years I have only used high
carat golds, with 18ct being my favourite. 14 ct gold is not used
much over here, only 9ct, 18ct and 22ct are our common carats. The
trouble is that most customers regard gold as the ultimate purchase,
not realising that 9ct gold is less than 38% of actual gold content.
I wonder if customers would buy jewelery if it was advertised as 38%
gold. At least the 18ct could be advertised as 75% gold. Lets try to
encourage fellow metalworkers to keep the gold standard high, if you
spend your time and skills creating, then it should be a benefit to
add some metal value to your skill value.

One last comment, when I am asked why I do not quote prices for my
goods using the lower priced 9ct gold. I reply saying that I would
not buy a burger that was less than 40% beef so why should I buy gold
that is only 40% pure. I personally think that low gold alloys should
be promoted as what they are, cheaper prices because they are made
from cheaper metals.This might mean that I do not have to justify the
higher cost of my 18ct gold products. Finally the colour of 18ct gold
is far superior to that of lower carats, and it also holds its colour
for far longer, over here in the UK a lot of the low carat jewelery
offered for sale has been gold plated to inhance the colour anyway,
so it deteriates over time when worn.

Peace and good health to all in these times of unrest.

James Miller FIPG.


#9

Thanks everyone for your opinions. Beyond the more brilliant yellow
color, it does seem that 18K’s main selling point is “prestige”.

Dennis’s remarks about his friend wanting a higher profit margin and
therefor working exclusively in 14k fits my current work philosophy
though I would like to offer a few 18k pieces. I look at designers
like Me & Ro who charge 18k prices for 10k gold and I know they are
making a good profit. I do wonder though how their work does in
countries where a higher karat is prefered.

Another question: I am considering offering a special line of
jewelry in 18k - a few pieces just to test sales. Do you think
offering both karats will detract from the 18k pieces? I was also
wondering if their were any stats that show how many Americans
actualy buy one karat vs the other.

Thanks again to all of you.


#10

The reason I work in nothing but 18kt or 22kt is the amazing
characteristics of the metals. The workability and the color of the
gold is one of the most alluring things to me. I do mostly
granulation work and I find it makes my heart pound. The excitement
of working on the edge of success and melt-down is part of the
thrill. I used to have a jewelry store and found that the best money
was in the custom and high-end, custom jewelry. Got rid of the store
and now always seem to have all the work I can handle.

Ronda Coryell


#11

Mike,

In my case, I use 18K or higher because that way I have less trouble
tying knots in the wire. I’ve had requests for lower karat, usually
couched in terms that indicated the person was angling for a lower
price on the same piece. My response is “Sure, if you want me to do
more work, I’ll have to charge you more for the piece, but I’ll use
stiffer wire if you insist.”

I do offer higher karat than 18, but unless it’s the microally from
PureGold, I insist that it be used in such a way as to not come in
contact with anything, i.e., it’s got to be the center wire in a
triple strand, the outer strands being 18K.

Loren
http://www.golden-knots.com


#12

Ronda and Loren,

I just wanted to say I was most impressed by the amount of detail
and skill evident in your work. Your sites depict pieces truly worthy
of higher karat gold.


#13

Billy Poe’s very simple answer really say it all. Americans in
general have a cultural preference for 14K. The color is what most
people in the market think gold should look like. I prefer 18K
myself and that is a more upscale material, but the color and
properties of 14K is what our culture is used to. In other parts of
the world they have different standards. My customers for Scottish
and Irish made jewelry often think that 9 ct. is junk, just as the
Asians think of our 14K as not-real-gold. You can break through
cultural barriers and prejudice, but you should ask yourself why you
want to. If you have a middle class audience for you work and are
happy enough working in 14K, stick with it. If you like higher
karats and think you can make your customers appreciate the
difference, go for it.

What ever happend to 10 karat? back when gold was $32 an ounce
America was flooded with it? I hardly ever see it any more and if I
do it is something from 1975 or earlier. Maybe this shows that
Americans are paying attention to the metal quality and that 18K has
a good future in the mainstream market.

Steve Walker


#14

Mike,

I am considering offering a special line of jewelry in 18k - a few
pieces just to test sales. Do you think offering both karats will
detract from the 18k pieces? 

You can’t offer the same styles in both the karatages. I presume
that you are going to charge more for 18k. Therefore, these styles
have to LOOK more expensive.

Usually, our clients prefer smaller stones and/or lower total
diamond weights in the lower karatages. Just goes to show that 18k is
considered ‘premium’ quality and is charged accordingly.

Regards,

Rasesh Chasmawala.
Mumbai, India.


#15

Hi James,

Over here in the UK our jewelery retailers are obsessed with
selling cheap 9ct jewelery. 14 ct gold is not used much over here,
only 9ct, 18ct and 22ct are our common carats. 

just as a note to your post, it is similar here in Australia,
excepting that 22ct seems to be exceedingly rare - I have not seen
any jewellery in 22ct here excepting pieces that came from the UK,
and I don’t think my casters cast in 14 or 22 unless a special order
( in which case you pay for tree and all! ) cheers and keep up the
good work, :slight_smile:

Christine in Sth Oz


#16
You can't offer the same styles in both the karatages. I presume
that you are going to charge more for 18k. Therefore, these styles
have to LOOK more expensive. 

I’m sorry but that’s just hogwash. I offer most of my designs in
both 18k and 14k gold. It’s simply a question of what color the
customer prefers. If you have a decent design to begin with it
doesn’t matter if it’s 14k or 18k. On the other hand if your design
is bad to begin with it won’t matter what metal you offer it in.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, LLC
1780 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140
www.spirerjewelers.com


#17

Hi

I offer most of my designs in both 18k and 14k gold. It's simply a
question of what color the customer prefers. 

This is something I am always curious about. When you have a good
design and put it together with potential customers, do you feel you
have to offer it in various colors. When many people either have
wedding bands that are done in 14k or a white metal (platinum/ white
gold) do you have a difficult time selling something done in, say
22k? I like to have things that match, but I am kind of anal and I
already know that about myself.

Thanks
Kim Starbard


#18

I think alloying Gold at less than.750 is really just brightening
copper… but that’s just an opinion, along with the entire EU which
doesn’t even accept less than 18k as real. The trick is lightness…
(Not to mention the No Dirty Gold Campaign!).

J.


#19

Kimberly,

I offer all of my designs in 14k and 18k and some of them in 22k. I
only SHOW 18k and higher but I am happy to offer them anything I make
in 14k. Most people however choose not to go with the 14k when I show
them the color differences. I get people to mix colors regularly,
although on an engagement/wedding band set it’s certainly harder to
do that (unless the bands themselves are mixed metals). But then if
they come to me for the engagement ring they’ve probably already got
18k by the time they get the wedding bands. Also, because of my
general price range, I think I see more people with 18k or 22k pieces
from other jewelers as well so it’s not as hard to match up with what
they already have. I would say that currently less than 2% of my
sales are in 14k, about 45% are in white metals (950 platinum, 950
palladium, 18k palladium white gold–I don’t offer 14k white gold),
and the balance is in 18k or 22k gold.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, LLC
1780 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140
www.spirerjewelers.com


#20
I would say that currently less than 2% of my sales are in 14k,
about 45% are in white metals (950 platinum, 950 palladium, 18k
palladium white gold--I don't offer 14k white gold), and the
balance is in 18k or 22k gold.

I understand preferring 18k yellow to 14k-- the color is much
richer, and also contrasts much better in two-color pieces. But as
to white gold-- isn’t 14k a better color than 18k? If so, not
offering it is all about perceived value–right? More about “snob
appeal” than physical qualities? Or is there some other reason? I do
not work with white gold at this point, but figure I will
eventually, so I’m always trying to understand…

Noel