How do you explain to your online customer in terms they will
understand that a lab grown stone is chemicaly identical to a real
stone and is not the equivalent of base metals and cheap glass beads
(and is the statement I just made coming from my own bias or theirs)?
How do you convey to them that there are times when this might be the
best choice considering thedesign of the piece and their budget,
when they are purchasing your product online or through a shop where
an associate doesn’t really know much about your jewelry? I have
found that when the word “synthetic” or some similar term is used,
people tend to equate it with lower quality or have a lack of
understanding about what it means.
I have been discussing using lab stones in some pieces but I’m not
sure what it will do to the perceived value of my work. Same thing
with copper or brass. I recently took a chemical etching class using
brass and copper.
I really enjoyed exploring the technique and have been wondering
ever since how adding these materials to my work would be perceived
by the average customer. I know I can etch silver using nitric acid,
but I’m not sure I want to go there right now because of the
chemical issue. I found the etching process to be such a wonderful
opportunity for creative expression, that I would really like to
incorporate into some of my jewelry.
I consider my pieces to be artisan jewelry, focused on a customer
who does not want to purchase costume jewelry, but doesn’t want to or
can’t afford to purchase more expensive pieces (over $500). My work
is designed to sell for $40 to $300 with the highest focus between
$50 and $150. I have been using sterling and 14K gold-fill with an
occasional copper accent for color, but even gold-fill is getting
expensive to use for pieces in my lower price ranges. I pay myself a
fair wage and do not intend to undervalue my work or the work of
other artisans by selling for nothing.
Does the average consumer understand or care about the specific
materials used in a purchase of this amount (short of nickel, and
cheap plated base metals sold at craft stores) as long as they are
purchasing quality workmanship and the appropriate materials have
been protected/sealed to avoid issues with skin discoloration and
Most people make a decision to buy a piece jewelry in this price
range because they see it and love it. Is there even a need to
explain the quality of the materials or is this whole thing coming
only from my perception and past experiences?
I would really appreciate thoughts and insights on this from others
who might have been down this road.