is silver & cabochon normally limited to less than $200 market and
the gold/platinum & diamonds over the $1,000 market?
Well, Regis, I’m sure you just started one of those looooooong
Assuming that there’s no purpose in discussing esoteric economic
theories - saying that gold is valued at $1208.50 right now and that
IS it’s value, for instance, and assuming good business practices,
there are a few “truths” to answer some of your question.
First thing is that generally people make a higher percentage profit
on items that are lower in price (generally). People who make steel
washers are making 1000% (made up number, yes) on their materials
cost, but they are selling the washer for a penny. If you make a
copper pendant the size of a poker chip, your metal cost is almost
nil, but you can sell it for 20 dollars. The other side of that coin
is that you need to sell 20 of them to make your car payment. Or a
If I sell a one carat diamond in a stock platinum solitaire, ~my
cost~ is going to be $5k - whatever. If I put 20% on that I get a
thousand dollars for it. The fundamental thing to understand in all
of that is “the truth” - the value of the platinum IS $500, the
value of the diamond IS $4500 - again, not esoteric arguments about
whether it’s actually worth that. It’s the fair market value, today.
That speaks to the difficulty of making a living by working in base
People aren’t stupid, people know all of this. Right now silver is
$18.31, meaning that an average silver pendant will cost $5 in
metal. There is a definite ceiling to what ANY artwork can add to
that five bucks to make it into something that can be sold for more
than a certain amount.
Unless your name is Picasso and there’s a collectable market behind
you, nobody’s going to give you a thousand bucks for $5 worth of
silver. Well, maybe once, but not twice.
And that speaks to the base truth of it all: The value of a piece
isn’t the price you put on it, it’s the amount that somebody will
give you to buy it, and the fact that they will give it to you at
all. If nobody buys it, then on some level it has NO value beyond
the intrinsic metal/stone value. You can put any price you like on
anything - if it doesn’t sell at all, then something is wrong with
the equation - unsaleable work or overpriced or both. This is
probably the most important thing a person needs to know to be
successful in jewelry. You can make anything, the whole point is to
sell it, so you can make some more, sell it, make more, on and on.
And that takes a realistic atttitude to begin with. Just some