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What is value?


#1

Value is relative Value like beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Or
in the case of a whole market, the beholders. That is individual
buyers and sellers establish what is valuable. If I have a piece of
"Poorly colored, fractured, discolored material," and I believe it is
valuable. It is valuable… to me, but unless it is very rare or
somehow the inclusions make it very beautiful it will not be valuable
to anyone else. My apprentice found some fairly large chunks of nice
quality Prehnite sitting in gravel by the road ; obviously of no value
to the quarry operators. " non-jewelry stones mounted into jewelry is
not valuable. It does not matter how it is cut. We can cut it, place
it in fabulous metal work, it does not matter. It may look beautiful,
but it is not valuable." While this may not be Gerry’s attitude it
makes me think of an attitude that has become very prominent in the
jewelry business. Selling diamonds and gold by the pound, that is
selling jewelry on it’s innate value, has nearly bankrupted the
Jewelry Business. Many of us jewelers and sometimes appraisers look at
a piece of jewelry and all we can see is the innate value represented
by the gems and the quality of gold, maybe even the quality of
manufacturing. But there IS more to value than innate quality. How
else could signed pieces go for double the prices of generic jewelry
at auction or a string of Jackie’s fake pearls ( which have an innate
value of a few dollars) go at auction for almost $30,000. You may not
like what QVC, Home Shopping Network, a few succesful Craft Galleries
and jewelry stores are doing, but selling design, artistry and
intangibles as well as the innate qualities of jewelry does create value. John


#2

John, I am not talking about the inartistic value of an object created
to be an art piece. I am talking about the value in dollars and
cents. That is what it is all about with over 90% of all jewelry
items sold. Gold and gemstones are what through the ages have
determined stability of currency of a nation. When rich people fled
their countries because of wars they took with them their gold and
jewelry. Not because it was an art piece. Because it had real value
and could be easily exchanged for currency. Every day people
purchase jewelry thinking they are getting a real, dollar and cents,
value for their money. My whole thought is that they are not getting
their moneys worth because many manufacturers are using inferior
stones and low quality gold to market their items. These people are
buying the items because they seem like they are a good buy. The
marketers know exactly what they are doing and it has created a
distrust between honest stones cutters, dealers, and the public.
Jewelers sit in the middle of this struggle and make the best piece
of jewelry they can out of these low value stones. What creates the
dollar and cents, everyday value of a jewelry piece. Every pawn shop
knows. Ask them about broken dreams and lost money when someone
tries to sell a jewelry item. Even a pawn broker will pay top dollar
for goods worth the money. As one advertisement put it…“Where’s the
beef”

Gerry


#3

Gerry, Oh, I misunderstood what you were talking about. So, you are
talking about liquidation value? Using jewelry as a monetary asset or
as an investment. What a mistake that would be. For the best
residual value the investor would want to spend some large dollars
and the stones shouldn’t be set or if jewelry not worn . The larger
the price the less the retail margin will be (percentage wise) and
therefore the higher the liquidation value. I have had customers who
look at their jewelry portfolio this way, but since they are actively
trading up they also are aware of the economic realities that we have
been talking about. Personally I don’t believe that monetary return is
a large part of the motivation to buy jewelry though. The real value
of jewelry for most people are the feelings associated with it. When
the dreams break the value is gone; at least that is what I have seen
when I buy jewelry off the street. respectfully
John


#4

I agree, But “come the revolution” jewelry could mean the difference
between surviving or not. I realize this is a very odd scenario in our
world, but remember in 1918 many people left Russia. Their only means
of survival was the jewelry they had sewn into the linings of coats,
dresses, etc. One shouldn’t overlook the possibility that some day it
is possible that one’s jewelry could save your life. (of course, it
could be the reason you lose it, if attacked on the street while
wearing it, too.) Just a thought in retrospect.

Miki c


#5
in 1918 many people left Russia. Their only means
of survival was the jewelry they had sewn into the linings of coats,
dresses, etc. 

G’day; in similar circumstances, wouldn’t it be better to use 24
carat gold wire to wrap around one’s waist etc next the skin, or wear
strands of heavy 24 carat gold chain copper plated and sulphided -
you could sell that by the link after treatment with almost any mild
acid, such as hot lemon juice…?
John Burgess