Dear John & All,
This is a good example of how we view money and what we do.
Some artistic folks will sneer at anything but pure creativity. How
dare I consider money entering my jewelry world? Well, look around
and see what is happening to our jewelry world. It is called
globalization. We recently lost a decent size manufacturer to China.
Bang out the door after Christmas and unemployment for about two
dozen jewelers, diamond setters and polishers. I’m talking about gold
and sterling jewelry not brass or copper.
My point today is profit. I teach two or three classes that include
pricing jewelry. Profit and time are a major factor. Your base line
expense is time and materials. Keep track or those. In the
traditional pricing world a wholesale mark up of approximately 40% is
added on to that cost and you have the price to charge a store. This
is by no means the industry standard. Fame and recognition will get
more. Harder now for everyone with $1500.00 per ounce gold. A store
will triple the price and offer a discount, because everyone wants a
deal. Most stores will never actually charge less than one keystone
which is a 100% mark up. Hello China labor costs!!
Here is the comparison. If you can at all find a piece anywhere that
resembles what you are making, the race is on. Stuller is a great
catalog to obtain. They offer a picture with weight, price and gold
market price right on it. So I can determine a price per pennyweight
to compare. There is a window or profit now that I can compete
against. For the profit, I can either make the piece or buy it.
Better yet you can determine a price per pennyweight they charge. I
need to know that. Especially with today’s market and mark ups.
Another pricing standard is price by weight. In my own shop I had an
account for many years that the rings were put on the scale as
castings and I doubled the cost and out the door they went. They were
a finished store quality ring sold by weight only. If I could make
them fast enough I did OK. The weight only factor is mainly in import
product, but for a few years I did quite well. This was also a 14
karat ring line that sold several rings a week. Gone now with the
If you see a product imported, you will not be able most time to
compete with the price. Machine made chains are the best example of
what we cannot make by hand any longer. Several other items come to
Currently my gold sales are primarily in wedding sets. Silver still
sells and bronze, copper and alloy are entering my line.
Good fortune to all.
Southeast Technical College