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Branding and other observations


Does anyone ‘brand’ their items such as ‘Made in America’, ‘Made in
India’, ‘Made in the UK’, etc? I see alot of people talking about
overseas jewelry killing ‘local artisians (or designers, etc)’ but I
don’t hear much discussion about people doing anything to make sure
that the public knows they are buying locally made items whether it
be USA, UK, India, whatever.

Would it make a difference to the public? I think so. The problem I
guess is if you are buying stones or findings from china or india (or
who knows) you can’t really say ‘made in xyz’ you have to say
’assembled in xyz’, that’s another story though… not knowing where
your items are coming from that you assemble if you aren’t
fabricating everything by hand.

I sometimes see a trend on here where people are trying to buy the
cheapest items possible to assemble their jewelry, and we all know
where the cheapest items come from… then you see (sometimes) the
same people complaining about overseas competition! Well, almost your
whole piece is made from overseas components what are you complaining

Just some observations… feel free to blast away it’s OK… at least
there will be some more discussion going on…




Would it make a difference to the public? I think so. The problem
I guess is if you are buying stones or findings from china or india
(or who knows) you can't really say 'made in xyz' you have to say
'assembled in xyz', that's another story though.. not knowing
where your items are coming from that you assemble if you aren't
fabricating everything by hand. 

I also think it makes a difference to the public if made in America
vs. made somewhere else. If I was to speak as part of the buying
public…I would lean more towards purchasing if it were from
someone with small production (who didn’t outsource any part of
production to another country). When I think of made in America (as a
customer) I don’t equate that with all components (stones for
example) being cut in America…I equate it with the assembly part.
In other words…I think of assembled in America (to me) does mean
made in America as well.

If, for example, I designed and made a ring that had a stone that
was cut and polished in India in it. I would have no moral problem
with stamping it made in America…because I feel it was. As far as I
know, there are no guidelines for this as of yet (otherwise the
Sundance company may be in for some mighty lawsuits). Now if I
designed a piece that called for a specific component and I had that
component mass produced in India or China (or wherever)…I could
not stamp it made in America…even though I got the mass produced
component back and assembled the piece. This is confusing
question…kind of like going down a black hole. The first point I
would raise with my own line of thinking is (of course) what’s the
difference between buying a stone that was cut and polished in India
and having a component of your jewelry mass produced in another
country…I don’t see a way out of this one.


to qualify the mark ‘made in xxx’, 2/3 the cost or value of the
domestic materials and the direct cost of processing, expressed as a
percentage of the ex-factory price of the exported products should
have paid in the country of origin. In import to the USA, and another
20 countries, a Form A (Certificate of Origin) is required.

mark in pargue

I see alot of people talking about overseas jewelry killing 'local

if that’s the case, they are making the wrong stuff. It makes no
economic sense to compete that way, deliberately or inadvertently.
Sell yourself and your work on its special nature. But it better be
special. I don’t worry quite so much any more about price points. I
used to, when my career was more oriented to over the counter,
merchandising of manufactured goods. But Ettienne Perret said to me
once something about “throw away jewelry”. And Scott Cusson observed
about the extent to which I was detailing a piece…“Be the best and
be expensive”. Words to live by. And I have.

I still consider price points though, in as much as certain prices
ranges seem to be easy sells, people are looking to spend $X on a
gift. So I try to fill that need but I don’t get maniacal about it.

Thinking more about it…while I’m lucky in that I’m long
established and have a loyal following…I can see where a new
jeweler would feel price pressure. In order to survive she/he has got
to make sales, now! A discount can be enticing bait. Think about a
pricing structure that will allow you to discount when needed yet
still make enough to pay your rent.

As long as the subject line includes ‘other observations’ I’ll ramble
just a bit more. Rents. If you have a storefront operation the
temptation is to be in a high traffic(ie: expensive) location.
Prestige and image play into that. And all your other overhead
increase accordingly.Yes, image is very important in this business.
But at what cost? For years I was in a high rent location (makes my
hair curl just thinking about it) with a staff of 6 and while total
sales were higher bottom line suffered. If you’re doing this as a
business, keep in mind that profit is what you are seeking. Certain
emotional concepts don’t automatically gain you profit. One might
think, " a jewelry store has to be this, that and the other thing
and its going to cost big bucks" Yeah, that’s fine, if you have the
capital and merchandise and the marketing in place. And can survive
things like Black Monday and September 11. Wow have I rambled,
sorry. I need to open. Ciao.



Would it make a difference to the public? I really don’t know but I
have my doubts. In the U.S. it is the law to stamp where the jewelry
was made if done outside the U.S. (i.e.) country of origin. If in
doubt go to the FTC website at

Anyone can go there and read section 23.1 deception for more

Some manufacturers do put Country of Origin on their merchandise and
it is up to the retailer to make sure that the country of origin is
properly displayed (it should be stamped, not merely a
tag)If you look at Italian made goods they generally are
pretty good at stamping their merchandise (i.e.) chains. Do you ever
see merchandise stamped from other countries at the retail level or
for that matter directly from the manufacturer?

Does the public really care. As I said earlier I doubt most of them
do. I think the reason is until it affects their paycheck they don’t
worry about it.




Stamping is kind of silly, in a sense ! Anybody can buy a stamp, but
damned few can perform an assay…Furthermore, to the best of my
knowledge, there is no government agency that acts as a watchdog
over the industry. There ARE guidelines, but there are no enforcement
agencies. A guideline is even less significant than a law that is
not enforced ! The guidelines that have been published by the
government have been largely ignored inasmuch as the plumb gold laws
have long since been ignored with respect to enforcement and
usage.The original intent of the gold plumb laws were to provide a
basis for enforcement of laws that were intended to prevent foreign
producers from misrepresenting their products. They were also
intended to create a level playing field for producers who were
competing on domestic ground. Realistically, gold purity is a moot
point…the price of a piece of jewelry, more often than not, is
not so much the value of the mounting as it is the value of the
stone. The buying public is ignorant of this reality…unless, of
course, we are considering the value of platinum. I just made up a
fourteen Karat ring for a 2.3 ct. diamond and the 8 mm. head cost me
$141.00 ! Nevertheless, the public obsesses over the consideration of
the value of the metal… What is the relevance of a setting that
costs $ 141.00 when the value of the stone is $15,000.00 ? Hey, what
the hey ! Spending mega bucks on jewelry spreads our butter, lines
our tummies and feeds our kids…what better can you ask for ?

Ron @ Mills Gem Co Los Osos,Ca,

Does anyone 'brand' their items such as 'Made in America', 'Made
in India', 'Made in the UK', etc? 

Hi Craig, in the UK the hallmarking shows this - each assay office
has it’s own mark- and in Australia, the goldsmiths guild members
use it’s mark (a kangaroo’s head ),

cheers, Christine in Sth Australia