After the revolution and the victory of socialism, gold should be
used to make toilets - to remind people of capitalist waste.
Value, or the perception of value, is a strange and complex thing.
In China, a black bear’s gall bladder can fetch a lot of money. In my
opinion, it’s a cruel waste of the life of a beautiful animal,
arguable one that’s in danger of extinction in some places. And I
suspect if’s efficacy as a medicinal is similar to that of snake oil.
Gold, diamonds, etc., achieve their market value as a result of
scarcity, demand, and the elaborate systems of mining, distribution,
and marketing. Why is a beautiful amethyst worth less than a much
smaller mediocre emerald? Not with me, the amethyst will sell itself,
the emerald needs talking up.
I have a 1973 Stratocaster guitar, which I bought new back then. I
saw one like it on Ebay, asking price, nearly $7000. I paid $275 for
it new. Will I sell mine? I doubt it. That guitar earned me my way
through college as I played weekends in Country Western bars, strip
clubs, biker parties. I dodged a lot of flying beer bottles in my
time. But for $7000, I could probably buy several of the best new
guitars on the market, ones that would play and sound better than
the old Strat.
You’re right, our skills and talents and hard work should determine
the value of what we make, but for all times, jewelry’s value has
been largely based on the beauty and rarity of the materials. The
master craftsman who made it usually remain anonymous. I say, sell
both values, because WalMart is selling gold without craftsman, and
all the high end manufacturers are selling their name with products
that have little originality or design. Make good jewelry, use good
materials, hope for the best. At least you’ll have a product you can
believe in. And that’s the secret to successful sales.
David L. Huffman