Value of work in the market

I’ve been wondering about what constitutes the actual value of piece
of jewelry to a knowledgable person. A high value seems to go with
name recognition or famous branding but, that is a bit too elusive
for this discussion.

You can take a $1,000 diamond and put it in a $200 production
setting and probably call it $2k-4K in retail store. That’s not what
I’m looking for. I’m looking for the value of an item that would be
praised in the Orchid Gallery,

Perhaps in a formula like this:.

Value design+metal+stone+craftsmanship

I know that quality must be good in all of these but, what carries
the most weight in today’s marketplace?

Could an extraordinarily well designed and crafted Argentium pendant
with a jasper cabochon equal a ruby set in a well balanced white
gold setting?

Is any imbalance due to the stones? The metal? Can a dazzling design
over ride the value of components? Can a popular design be applied
so well that it overshadows the components?

Is the value of our work surpassed by the value of the metal/stone?
Or can pure design and workmanship out weigh and carry higher
percentage of the value.

Without high name recognition, and to a knowledgeable buyer, is
silver & cabochon normally limited to less than $200 market and the
gold/platinum & diamonds over the $1,000 market?


Thank you,

Value is the price you can sell something for. It’s going to differ
from buyer to buyer. When a buyers valuation equals or exceeds a
sellers then you have a deal!


Value is the regard you have for something. I, for example, value my
freedom very highly.

The problems occur when people mistake one type of value for another

  • for example when they go to sell their grandmothers jewelry.

Tony Konrath

Value is contingent upon desire. I’d suggest you build your business
to address that desire, take care of your customers and they will
take care of you.

Value design+metal+stone+craftsmanship 

I don’t believe that when people shop they have anything like that
formula in mind. That formula might better represent the cost to
produce which is not related to perceived value.

Seems like a logical place to restate my two rules of retail…

Always work to your clients’ best interest. Never take a client for

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
threads :}

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
million washers…

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
thoughts, really…

Value is contingent upon desire. I'd suggest you build your
business to address that desire, take care of your customers and
they will take care of you. 

We should not confuse “value” with “price” and “utility”. Market can
only affect price. Customer willingness to part with money depends on
utility and supply and demand equation a.k.a market. Value is
independent of customer moods and economic conditions. It is almost
never the case that value and price coincide. The whole idea of been
in business is to sell value when it is overpriced and to buy it when
trend is reversed.

Leonid Surpin