Stanley Bright many thanks for your letter back to me… I too, used
to spend at least 5-6 hours a night and that was after a full day
working in a jewellery company and another 20 hours over the
weekend…many times I was fiercely reprimanded for not finishing
much of the setting…gladly those days are happily long gone.
I had a trade client only ask me two days ago if I could
Princess-set some CZ’s into silver rings…after I gave him my LOWEST
price…the phone got disconnected…hmmmm! If he calls me back my
phone might get disconnected as well…
Moral of this; our setting fees are not getting better, but lower.I
have still in my past archives “June 30, 1974” setting fees.
Prong/claw setting.35 cents and solitaires @ $1.00 have not risen
much in the past 38 years…Today, its solitaires at $10.00 The most I
can get today is only $ 4 - 5.00 for the most basic "Bright-Cut"
Just where is the incentive to do any trade work? My new lines of
jewellery that I am putting together are involving many setting
needs. My revised today’s setting fees, I think are reflecting a true
value of my skill and training. Even my teaching/training fees are
getting better in certain schools around here…An out-of-town school
is offering me anywhere between $60-75.00 per hour…compared with
another Toronto school is still only offering only $32.00/hr…maybe?
You all gotta read this…A trade shop I worked at two years ago gave
me some CZ’s to set into some silver brooches…each stone was at .15
CENTSeach! He said he could get them set in India faster, and still
cheaper…and what about setting tapered baguette diamonds at .12
cents each, again including polishing and Rhodium plating…
My dear friends, its far better if we do all the manufacturing work
ourselves and we can then enjoy the PROPER setting rates we so
richly deserve. My new “rule of thumb” is to charge yourself the
highest possible setting fee you can muster around your town, and
then “triple-keystone”, or 3 times more…How do you do this?
Read this further, Toronto’s full-bezel setting is “trade-price” at
about $ 7.00 per simple 5x7mm and now its $20.00 PLUS…get my drift?
if its a very large expensive stone, go full tilt at $50-75.00+++ or
even more…silver-set Cabochon is worth $25-45.00 plus your own
profits of ???
The days of doing trade setting for everyone, just to pay a few
decent living expenses is now a thing of the past…note on this, I
am charging myself in my new line of items Bead Setting at about
$30.00 just for one “4-bead” setting process. Why should I give my
skills away just to make a simple sale? Tools and gold have gone way
up, including travelling expenses, but our mfg’ing labour has not
kept up with the story…remember to double up your fees and then
"triple-keystone" at the very end…This way you all will arrive at
the best possible fee on anything you do while at your own designer
benchs. David Geller is totally right about increasing your labour
fees…everyone else is doing it…why not YOU?..Gerry!