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Cost of materials

Since I look at gold from the viewpoint of a person who likes both
to make and to wear larger pieces of jewelry, I can say that, much
as I love gold, I have no plans to work with it or buy it. To do
so would get into matters of safety – it’s prudent to watch that
thieves do not steal either the jewelry or the raw materials and to
collect all the gold dust from sawing and abrading. That’s more
than I want to bother with.

I work in base metal and feel very free in experimenting with it in
all kinds of ways. Most of my customers are folks who can (and do)
afford gold jewelry, but my pieces are for fun and for not having to
keep in a safe or safety deposit box. And for those folks who are
more middle-class (like I am), if they like my designs, they can
afford the larger pieces of jewelry.

I’m glad that there are all kinds of jewellers out there, making all
kinds of things. I simply can’t (or won’t) afford the kinds of
jewelry I like – that’s part of the reason I went into
jewelrymaking, and it’s very satisfying. I remember when, in 1966, my
husband and I were looking for gold wedding rings. I personally don’t
care for diamonds, but I thought that at least this once I could buy
a gold ring whose style I really liked. I was deeply disappointed in
the traditional and uninteresting gold rings that were available
(this was in the Philadelphia area). We bought one I like well enough
and am still wearing! But now I make (and sell) my own rings. Base
metal is my “niche” in the jewelry market, and I enjoy it. My own
customers keep telling me I should raise my prices (which I do,
sometimes). I should make more things in sterling silver, but just
don’t find the time. Sometimes I add silver accents to my pieces, and
I do think it increases saleability. Well, enough rambling!

Judy Bjorkman