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How the gold jewelry business works


#1

Was: It’s just copper, who’ll buy it?

Not the stuff you get at the mall store, as that is boring. 

Pulled over from “It’s just copper, who’ll buy it?” And not to pound
on the person quoted, who I don’t remember said it anyway. It’s just
the point of view.

I’m not going to presume to really define the business, but there
are some common things that are good to know. #1 is that the gold
business requires cash flow. No doubt there are some trust fund
types who toy around with it for fun, but for most it is required
that it be a business - gold bought, gold sold. It’s just too
expensive to misfire. #2 is that most of the gold jewelry in the
world is made in factories, or whatever you care to call them. That
is as opposed to retail stores. I gather Daniel Spirer has a retail
store with a shop in the back or somewhere, but he’s not the norm. I
don’t know how many here know the name Jeanine Payer - I guess she’s
big, lately. She has her retail store on the street, and her
workshop upstairs in our building.

The last shop I worked in had 6 goldsmiths, 3 setters, 3 polishers,
2 in the casting room, a foreman and the front office. What I’m not
sure everybody grasps is that it was a gold shop. Each worker had
probably $3000 worth of gold on their bench - the setters much more
than that, in diamonds. It’s like working in a bakery where flour is
the raw material, and there’s bins of it, except that it’s gold. Big
operations.

That’s really just background, because the real point is this: Since
gold is a business, and most people want certain things over and
over again, that what stores stock. Wedding bands, solitaires,
charms, what have you. When you walk into a jewelry store you are
looking at inventory, which can be more or less creative depending
on the store. What you don’t see is me and people like me. When you
walk into a store and tell them you want something different,
they’ll say, “We have to have our shop make that up.” —well, their
shop is us. We make anything and everything that is wanted - we’re
the art department. We have no limits, ultimately. Don’t confuse the
stock wedding band case with what the gold business is all about,
because it’s not. That case likely pays the rent, though.

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#2

Hi John,

Not the stuff you get at the mall store, as that is boring. 

It was I who said the above, in response to someone else who was
decrying the jewellery bought at the mall. The “boring” stuff I
refer to is the inventory that the “cheap” chain store jewellers
sell. I was NOT referring to the quality merchandise of "proper"
goldsmiths like yourself and Daniel Spirer. We have only about three
small, family-run goldsmith type jewellers in our town, who actually
make most of the jewellery themselves. That to me is NOT boring. It
wasn’t until getting into this business that I realised exactly what
you have just pointed out, ie that the mall stores are not generally
goldsmiths/jewellers themselves, but merely inventory carriers,
selling factory-made “jewellery”. I admire the independent
goldsmiths and what they are doing and would love to aspire to their
skill level at some point in the future.

Helen
UK