Price chains separately from pendant?

Hi all, As most of you know, I am getting ready for my first show in
Sept. I am hoping to finish 300 small pendants and 100 large
pendants (wishful thinking? It’s three days, I’d rather
play it safe than not have enough). I had been selling my small
pieces ($40-$55) with a silver chain so it was ready to wear. My
large pieces ($100 – $250) also were being sold with a chain. The
chains for my small pieces are inexpensive (wholesale) but when I
start getting into chains for my larger pieces the price goes up
because I have been choosing nice chains that really go with the
piece. Now I could go out and buy tons of chains for all of my
pieces - I do run the chance as I have in the past, that the buyer
wants me to switch chains because of the length or style. It will
also cost me $$$$$ for all of those chains. When you sell pendants
do you sell them with the chain, display it with a chain and sell it
separately, or just display it on its own. Thanks again,

We always price our chains and pendants separately as sometimes the
customers already have one and don’t want ours anyway. It is always
less confusing to have the prices separate anyway as then the consumer
knows what the handmade part is and what the commercial part is.

Daniel R. Spirer, GG
Spirer Somes Jewelers
1794 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140

Elle, As a buyer, I’d prefer to have the chain included with the
pendant – you want them to buy with something that they can enjoy
right away, and the extra cost is ‘hidden’ in the price. Also, the
quality of the chain should be in line with the quality of your
pendants. The cheapest price isn’t always my priority as a buyer!

If they really don’t want the chain, then they could always
renegotiate the price with you.

Good luck, Cathy Icardo

I usually price pieces separately, so that the customer can decide if
its worth paying for a more expensive chain. You can of course display
each piece with the best chain, you want to display your work as
attractively as possible, but as most customers in my experience
prefer prices clearly displayed, perhaps display the price of the
pendant and the price of the chain. You can also change the pricing
and display around each day and see what feedback you get

Elle, I realize that it is a Very significant investment to display
and include a nice chain with all of your pendants, However I also
feel that doing so does add considerably to the apparent quality of
your merchandise. If you go into almost any jewelry store you will
see the pendants on chains. And the cost for a gold chain is even
more significant than for a silver one. I also would suggest that you
consider the apparent quality of your packaging, boxes displays etc.
All of this will add to the perception of your product.



What I have done in the past is take two or three styles of “bulk”
chain and if a customer wants a special length, I make it up for them
right on the spot. Only taking an extra couple of minutes. Of course
the jump rings, etc., won’t be soldered but that has never been much
of a problem. You can have some already made up with pendants in your
display with the standard size for most people.

Charles Lyndon Design
Contemporary Wire Jewelry Sculpture
P.0. Box 760 Hollywood, MD 20636-0760
Ph:301-475-3988 Fax:301-475-2159

Hi Elle, My experience has been that a pendant has a much better
chance of being sold if it is displayed on a chain and sold on a
chain. The chances of a sale are even higher if you have other
choices of chain available for the customer. The end customer likes
to see a complete product and try on a complete product. (I have had
this discussion and experience with someone who sells pendants and
chain for me) I hope you have a great show!!!

many unusual gemstones freeforms cabs
extremely bright facets.
(201) 541 4160

I display my pendants/slides in nice glass display cases without a
chain. Less clutter plus chains get tangled up. Most women already
have a chain (if not several) and/or an omega which is why they’re
looking for a pendant in the first place. I keep a few 18" chains in
the back of the case in case someone wants to try one on, though most
women can decide if they want it just by holding it up to their neck
and looking in a mirror. If they want to buy a chain, that’s extra.
The main thing is to make the bail large enough so as to accommodate
just about any size chain/clasp.


hi Elle-I include the chain when pricing all my silver pendants. I
use a lightweight snake-like chain for most of my pieces, so I can
offer different lengths(tho generally I still find that 18" is most
popular). I usually have 16" to 24" available.Occassionally, a
customer will ask if I will sell a piece without the chain for a
slightly lower price. I am careful to make the bail large enough to
accomodate a different chain, if the customer wants to switch. When I
used rope chains, I offered a 2 or 3 inch length for use as an
'extender ’ if the customer was waffling on length.My gold pieces I
price chain and pendant separately. Good luck at your first show!
Daphne on the Fall-like coast of Maine

elle, I usually on my more expensive peices quote the price of the
chain seperately…Unfortunately not all of your customers will want,
or necessarily like the chain that you are adding the peice …this
way, it’s makes it more flexible for your customer and makes it
easier for you… you can sell the peice for the customer’s chain, or
sell another chain maybe cheaper, but more than likely more
expensive, but this gives you more versitility (plus the customer
could see the actual breakdown. sometimes when you add in the chain,
the price can go up drastically, this way, the customer can see, the
pend. will cost XX dollars, and the chain will cost you XX dollars =
XXX dollars .) good luck at the show!!! -julia

    When you sell pendants do you sell them with the chain, display
it with a chain and sell it separately, or just display it on its

I put the price on one side of the dumbbell tag. On the other side I
put the chain length, and the price of the chain, which has either
been rounded up or down to the closest dollar amount. For example:
$155.–, the price of the pendant and the chain together. The other
side has ‘24"’, and below that C-55. This lets me know the chain
length is 24", and the chain alone costs $55. If they want to change
the chain to a different style or length, it’s easy to deduct the
price of the chain, put the chain back into stock, and select another

I always put chains on my pendants anymore, because I found out there
are people who can’t visualize what a pendant is supposed to look like
without a chain. K.P. in WY

Elle - Price out your different types of chain so it isn’t confusing
to wiggle prices if someone wants one that’s more expensive. But
sell them as a unit. I always tell customers that the chain is just
a vehicle for the pendant. They aren’t really buying the chain… - Dana

Dear Elle: I always price my chains and pendants separately, so they
can be changed with little fuss. I find that if I have picked out the
prettiest chain to go with a pendant, that is usually the one customers
like, because it just looks good. However, the length may be wrong. I
try to keep a good inventory of chain styles and lengths, and I can
always order in the right length in a day or two, so customers are
usually pretty happy with that. Good luck on your show, Kim, in
Peterborough, Ontario.

Daniel, At the risk of seeming contentious,( we often disagree…) I
heartily disagree with your practice of pricing chains separate from
pendants. You state that it protects the customer from confusion
while my perception is tha it does just the opposite ! You are
forcing the customer to do an arithmetic calculation instead of a
sensual response…“kinda” reminds me of the joke ending with"Are
you through yet dear ? "Ron at Mills Gem, Los Osos, CA.

    Elle, As a buyer, I'd prefer to have the chain included with
the pendant -- 

For what it’s worth: I, as buyer, wouldn’t. I am small–small
shoulders, small torso, small chest; I look rididulous in the same
long pendant that looks elegant on a woman whose frame can carry it.
[I also can’t wear such a piece without practically choking myself everytime I move abrubtly; I think there may actually be something to do with the chain ‘nesting’–or not, in my case–between the breasts.]
In fact, though I love pendants, I’m not very fond of chains; I
prefer a stiffer ‘wire’ collar. I think to show and price a pendant
with a chain is a good idea, but I think it’s very important to know
to yourself that you are willing to be flexible–AND to have options
available. The customer doesn’t need to know that you have a stash of
extras for such cases; they will feel more grateful/special about
their purchase if they feel you’ve bent over backwards to accomodate
them. A bonus is that often the ‘substitute’ chain will actually be a
less expensive one–and often it won’t be necessary to notch down your
price. [On this note, I HIGHLY recommend having a stash of simple
silver ‘wire’ collars–maybe a couple of diff. sizes/guages, maybe
with a ‘notch’ in the centre to accomodate your pendants. These can
give a completely different, ‘sharper’ look than a chain–and they’re
easy and cheap to make. And customers love the fact that they’ll be
able to use the collars to give a new look to their existing
pendants/eardrops, too.] Two more thoughts: first, if the customer
sees you pull a substitute for them from another piece of displayed
jewellry (as opposed to from a box jammed with dozens of ‘extras’)
they will feel they are getting something more unique. The second
point is just to remind you that some pendants (and some people) look
great with silk chords, fine ribbons [the sort of romantic choker
look], leather thongs. I can remember a tray of exquisite Victorian
crosses that had been sitting dormant for years… one day, in
response to the cross/choker trend that was hitting the runways, I
took a selection of black & burgundy velvet ribbons in to the store,
tied one around my own neck as a choker and diplayed the rest on a
neck-width cylinder. Suddenly they looked stylish; six crosses sold
within a month. NB: it sometimes takes a bit of creativity to make a
pendant sit properly with a ribbon or chord–depending on how much you
want to go into this area, this could be a way to generate custom
work, and loyal customers. For example,

eads-a nd-fab ricate-a-proper-clasp…

I’m passionate about jewellery, and I’m entranced by the magic it
works on us all–it makes us feel special. So the sort of scenario I
just outlined is not [as I’m afraid it reads] the product of a
manipulative sales-oriented mind; it is simply an example of the sort
of interaction/visualisation that can occur spontaneously with a
customer when you’re willing to tap into the THEIR side of the
experience. This is quite a spew; didn’t know I had so much to say on
the subject. I hope at least some of it is useful to you. Good luck
with the show, Elle.


Very interesting thread on this subject - who would have thought
there would be have been such diverse opinions. Here is what I have
been able to deduce/assume:

  1. It makes a difference whether one does art shows and has to break
    down frequently vs having a shop/store where the display is permanent.
    I’m assuming that those people with a permanent display are the ones
    displaying their pendants with chains. Otherwise, how are you keeping
    your chains from being tangled up when you break-down?

  2. I think that your selling price makes a difference and the
    quantity of pendants you display. If you have expensive pendants I’m
    thinking you are selling them with chains and including them in the

3… If you have a small quantity of pendants, I’m thinking you are
displaying them with chains so as to make your inventory look larger.

Now, please tell me if my assumptions hold any water so I can judge
whether I need to get with the program and start displayingimy
pendants with chains. Oops! One more assumption needs to be made - I
am assuming that those of you displayingipendants with chains are
making more sales than those not doing so. Please clarify. Thanks.


Well actually Ron I am not so presumptuous to my customers that I
would force them to take a pendant with an 18" chain on it when it was
not the right length for them. So let’s say they need a 20 " chain
because their neck happens to be somewhat larger than what may be
considered “normal”. So then I have to put a different chain on that
will be a different price. How romantic is it to have to spend half
your time on the sale looking up a price so that you can figure out
how to adjust the price?

Daniel R. Spirer, GG
Spirer Somes Jewelers
1794 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140

    1.  Otherwise, how are you keeping your chains from being
tangled up when you break-down? 

In the flat cases, the chains are pinned at least at the closure end
to the pads. When I’m ready to pack up, I put a thin piece of foam
between the jewelry and the glass, and close the lid. This prevents
things from sliding around. In the big cases, I take out each pendant
and put them in their individual baggies. Ones that have chains that
kink easily are prepackaged in clear boxes with a standup card. The
chain is hung over the card at the top, with slits to guide the chain,
and the excess chain is wire tied (covered wire tie) in the back.

    3..  If you have a small quantity of pendants, I'm thinking you
are displaying them with chains so as to make your inventory look

Yup, looks nicer too.

    One more assumption needs to be made - I am assuming that those
of you displayingipendants with chains are making more sales than
those not doing so. 

Again, yup. After taking the advice of a veteran, I started
displaying the pendants on chains. My sales increased quite a bit,
more than worthwhile to take the extra trouble. Quite often, I wind up
changing out the chains for one heavier or more delicate, or same
style in a different length.

What looks good on a 5’10" lady, 200 lbs. with a deep bosom is going
to look ridiculous on a 5’2", 105 lb. lady, bosom or not. Large ladies
have a tendency for the pendant to get lost in the cleavage, or have
it hanging off the edge of the ‘shelf’. On small ladies, a too long
chain can draw attention to something they would prefer not to draw
attention to, or accentuates a pointy chin. This is an excellent time
to give some expert advice on choosing chain styles to take advantage
of visual redirection. Before long, we’re discussing the best earring
styles for her face shape or neck length, and rings which will make
her fingers look less like sticks, or more slender. The customers
appreciate the advice, and they come back to look for more jewelry
which will fit their frame types. Jewelry is an accessory, as well as
being something beautiful and intriguing. You are a designer, and you
design your jewelry with this in mind as well.

Thank you all for your generous responses regarding my questions on
to show or not to show prices on my work and pricing my pendants with
or without chains. I just love this board as you are all so giving
and informative. I have been checking out several high end craft
shows with hopes of getting in next year and have been very observant
of their overall displays, how their work is shown and how they
price. It has been very interesting. I have purchased one of the
Sam’s E-Z up tents to the dismay of many of you, but for my limited
budget it is all that I could do right now. I really only need it
for one one day outdoor show and will be bringing it to a big show
to set up inside three huge tents – something I did notice many
artists doing at several recent shows. (Cost was $200 with three
sides and I figured that when I make more money I can buy the better
kind.) As far as to show or not to show prices I have decided to
show my prices on all of my work. I will probably make small black
folded cards with the price and a description of my metal and
additional stones I use. I will also mark each high end piece with
marker coated with nail polish – just have to remember to bring the
acetone to clean it off before I sell it! My lower end pieces will
have the little white dumbbell stickies on them. I realized after
seeing many jewelry displays, I was hesitant to ask the prices of
items when they weren’t marked, and when the artist was busy talking
to other customers (or sometimes just with other artists :frowning: )I got
tired of waiting around and then just left. With so many fine
jewelers around I could find many nice things at other booths that
were priced! Especially if it is a large show, your customer may get
lost and not find their way back to your booth! As far as the chains
go, I will have all of my pieces on different chains and have the
pendants and the chain priced as one but have a code on the chain for
its price, that way I can offer my customer different chain options
and adjust the price. (My husband is still at odds with me over this
one, he thinks I should mark them all separately!) Thanks about the
idea of not having many lose chains out, I think it does make the
customer feel as if you are doing something special for them when you
don’t pull out tons of chains, plus I think we would both be very
confused after looking at tons of chains! Well, better get back to
my studio, I have a ton of work to do and not enough time to do it.
Will keep you up to date, and of course I’m sure to find more
questions to ask!!!:slight_smile: Elle

Goodmorning All, I have been watching this discussion for some time
now so I thought I would add my 2 cents in here. I’ve had the same
problem with all of these chains 18 vs 20 vs 16 …ugh…I quote
…“you can’t please all the people all the time”…Wrong…(thats
all in caps)…I make all my chains the same length…then I add
more links to the end you clasp onto…Thereby making them all
adjustable…then I just add a doodad onto the end of the links so
that it looks nice when it is hanging down your back. (FYI) the
doodad is ususally a drop pearl… (sexy too) …Oh yea…I make
the extra links over a 7mm European knitting
needle…Perfect…Susan Chastain in Florida where
its too hot to ride but I taught my Quarter Horse to say “Cheese” I
have the picture to prove it…