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