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Pricing of metal and work


Hi Folks,

I think it is time I add my 2 cents to this discussion. In
dentistry, the way we do things is with a fee schedule for each
restoration or procedures over and above the normal crown fee (ie:
a crown to fit under an existing partial/removable denture costs
$35 extra). In jewelry fabrication I realize that this is not

The metal is billed separately. The cost of the alloy is
computed per grain(troy). The metal cost per troy oz. is rounded
to the next higher $10 for gold and palladium alloys(ie: $323.50
is rounded to $330). The cost is multiplied times 1.10 and the
result ($363) is divided by 480 = $0.75625 per grain. Rounded to
$0.76 or even $0.80 if you like. The button is weighed prior to
casting, as is the new metal. After casting and clean up and
cut-off the button is weighed again, its weight is subtracted from
the pre-cast total, and the client pays for the difference. Just
because you bought your metal when prices are low doesn’t mean
that your client benefits. They won’t understand the high price
of metal you were desperately in need of, ordered, and then had
the bottom fall from the market. For sheet, wire etc. stock use
the fabrication addendum added to the silver spot cost.

In jewelry pricing, I figure my metal price as above, my stones x
200%, and my labor at $35 per hr. I adjust my labor price
downward if I spend too much time on a process because of
inexperience or other delays. I usually quote a price with what I
think is a 25% fudge factor, and if I end up doing it and still
have that 25% left, I split it with the client. He feels like he
got something (1/2 of the % you have left) and I take the other
half as a reward for my efficiency!

I firmly believe that the creator of the piece needs to be
compensated fairly for the years of study, mistakes, practice, and
learning it took to acquire the level you are at. It pays for all
the $50.00 pieces that have $35.00’s worth of materials and 5 hrs.
of labor from early in the process.



                              Skip Meister
                            NRA Endowment and