I hope that the following topic is appropriate for this list. If
not, please accept my apologies.
I come from a jewelry craft artist background but am starting to do
some easy repair jobs for a local jeweler.
I am somewhat confused as to the going rates. I have no way to
compare fees and don’t know what to charge. I fully understand and
agree with the per-job fee structure, which makes it fair since the
time for completion of a job is taken out of the equation.
The jeweler has a rate sheet from a goldsmith who does some of his
work. I have no idea how old this rate sheet is. This goldsmith
nowadays quotes his prices per job on the repair envelope (I am not
privy to this); the rate sheet was developed as a guideline. Working
off this really spare, uncommented rate sheet involves a lot of
For instance, one line item is “simple solder: $5”. I would consider
a simple solder something like when a jump ring needs to be soldered
as part of a chain clasp. But this jeweler also considers a tricky
chain repair a “simple solder”. I find some chain repairs to be quite
tricky and definitively more time consuming than soldering a simple
jump ring. For fee purposes, is it all the same? Is this the norm?
I know that there exists Geller’s Blue Book and understand that it
has a fee breakdown structure explained in it. It is just a bit too
much of an investment for me now, and am not even sure if it would
answer these questions from a bench jeweler’s perspective.
I would appreciate any and all comments about the rates for simple
repairs: fixing chains, performing simple ring sizing, etc., and how
this is handled in various shops. Feel free to respond off list. I
will treat any off-list correspondence with the greatest discretion
I have a great relationship with this jeweler and I don’t believe
that he is out to take advantage of me. I would just rest easier
having become more knowledgeable about this matter.
Thank you in advance for your replies.
PS: thank you, Orchidians, for this wonderful list. I have learned a
lot from reading my daily “Orchid fix”!