In a value based pricing model you try to exploit the acceptable
price range of your clients, ie. your try to get near the upper
limit of what customers are ready to pay for your work.
“Exploit” is not an appropriate word! If you do real handmade
pieces, it is the jeweler who gets exploited, no matter what the
I apprenticed with the guy who was the real master in coronet
clusters, but he never showed how it was done. Whenever, he was
working on one, he would always find me something else to do.
I was fascinated with the setting, and still am. When I went on my
own, I spent countless hours to discover correct sequence of steps. I
have read everything that was ever written on the subject and I
realized that one does not have to know the subject in order to write
about it, but that is a topic for another day.
I offer coronet cluster to my clients and the cost of the material
is a relatively small factor compared to labour, but considering my
efforts in discovering the technique, it is I who’s being exploited.
Jewellery trade is multifaceted. Some outfits treat jewellery as
commodity and that is where these pricing schemes originate. Gold X
2, or 1.5, or any other number. I have no interest in that. I am
addressing my comments to the jewellery community where work involved
in making a jewel is respected for what it is.
There is a very simple yardstick. Take a good look at a piece that
you just finished and ask yourself “what would it sell for 10 years
from now ?”. For most of the commercial stuff, client would be lucky
to get the scrap value for the metal, and may be 10 cents on a
dollar for the stones. On a handmade piece, a client should at least
triple the money originally paid. That is because highly skilled
labour, required to produce handmade jewellery, becoming more and
more scarce, and skilled labour costs grow exponentially.
The only component in jewellery, which is a real investment, is not
the metal, not the gemstone, but the craftsmanship. There is no
mathematical way to value it.
It is appropriate to finish this post with the following: If you do
not respect your work, nobody else will !