When the gold price rises it seems that more people get interested.
The 70s runup put an end to the “Sterling Era”. Some of you old
timers will remember that period when sterling was in and gold was
out. Pretty much coincided with what might be called the 2nd Arts &
Crafts Movement. Similar to the 1st one in many ways, part of the
rejection of all things precious that took place in the late 60s. I
mean gold really didn’t work well with a work shirt and jeans.
I started business in early 1978 and we called ourselves
silversmiths. Then gold started its run and it seemed like overnight
gold was in and silver was out. The next year we changed our name
to…goldsmiths. Gold went up, more people wanted it, sales
increased, what could be bad about that? There was a downside. People
were so sensitive to the ost of the material that they would come
into the shop and want to know the weight of every piece they were
interested in. Now, I was young, leftish and idealistic trying my
best to live the Arts & Crafts aesthetic, and I found such questions
insulting. But, indignation is not an effective sales tool. Finally I
hit on the answer. Rather than indignantly refusing to weigh one of
our handmade creations I hit upon another angle.
One day a smart-ass New Yorker (there are a lot of those) walked
into the shop and asked to see a pendant that had maybe five dwt. of
gold and maybe ten hours of labor in it.
“How much does it weigh”, he asked.
“I don’t know”, I replied. “I can tell you that it took two days to
make but don’t worry about the weight, the gold is free!”
The man stared at me wild eyed. “Whadaya mean the gold is free?”
“Thats right”, I said, “we don’t charge for the gold only for the
work we put into the piece.”
That changed the whole sense of the discussion. Don’t think I made a
sale but I did get a good bit of satisfaction. Try it!
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