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WigJig Newsletter for June 27, 2012
Videos: We have posted a new video in our WigJig Jewelry Channel on You Tube, The new video is called Video 4 -- Making a Bead Dangle Using Head Pins and Beads. You can visit the WigJig Jewelry Channel on You Tube by selecting here, or visiting the following URL:
Please bookmark this site and tell your friends. We believe that these videos will be very helpful to beginners to using a jewelry making jig. Our new video is intended to show people how to decorate wire components with beads. .
WigJig Newsletter Format: We are experimenting with different formats for our WigJig Newsletter. This month's format is quite a bit different from last month's. If you would like to provide us feedback on our newsletter format please send us an e-mail.
WigJig Web Site and Store: Our anticipation is that we will upgrade our web site and Internet store now during the month of July 2012. We are working very hard to ensure that all content is migrated to the new site and that the quality of the new site will be superior to our current site and to our current store.
For those of you who are familiar with our old format for our website, that format will still be available at the following web address:
This should be relatively easy to remember, just replace the "www" with "west". Please bookmark this site so you will have access to our "old website" after our migration to the new website in the coming month.
Question on Pricing of Handmade Jewelry: In the past month we received a question about the prices of handmade jewelry versus the price of jewelry made in China and imported to the US. The individual who asked this question was understandablely concerned about the inexpensive jewelry imported from China and his ability to make jewelry at the same price point. Certainly this is a legitimate concern. First, we will address some differences between jewelry made in China and jewelry made by hand within the US, then we will price our Fish Earrings, last month's jewelry making project.
Let's talk about what you get when you buy jewelry made in China. Right now China does not have access to gold-filled or silver-filled wire and jewelry making components. Since solid gold components are too expensive for the cost conscious customers who purchase jewelry from Chinese manufacturers, very few Chinese jewelry manufacturers import real gold or sterling silver jewelry to the US. Our experience has been that Chinese jewelry manufacturers tend to use gold-tone and silver-tone metal alloys without identifying what the elemental components of that alloy actually are. We aren't going to tell you that Chinese jewelry contains lead. We will say that if you don't know what the metal alloy is, it might contain lead. It is fair to say that jewelry made in China generally uses less expensive materials.
US law hasn't kept up with the technology of jewelry manufacturing. We won't say that we know all there is to know about jewelry law, in fact, we aren't a lawyer and haven't even played one on TV. What we know about the law is that the labeling of gold and silver jewelry isn't precise. Our understanding is that jewelry that is made from 14 k gold-filled components can be advertised as "gold". We further understand that some vendors differentiate between gold and solid gold by labeling solid gold jewelry as "solid gold" and calling jewelry made of gold-filled components by the name "gold": Gold-plated jewelry is normally labeled "gold-plated" to differentiate it. Silver-filled wire is relatively new, as are silver-filled findings. As far as we know, the law hasn't mandated that silver-filled jewelry be labeled indicating that it is not solid silver. If we are in error in this understanding, please send us an e-mail.
Now that we have provided some background on jewelry components, let's talk about the actual price of handmade jewelry. In general, 20 gauge silver-filled wire costs $1.50 per foot. Some earring projects can be made with just one foot of wire, some projects might require several feet of wire. Just as an example let’s say that your earring project uses two feet of wire (Many projects will require less.) Beads to embellish a jewelry project can cost from $0.10 to $2.00 per bead depending upon the bead. In our most recent earring project, the Fish Earrings, we require either four larger beads or 12 smaller beads. The larger beads would cost $0.58 each, or four for $2.32. When making the fish earrings, you can make your own ear wires out of six inches of 20 gauge wire, or your can purchase pre-made ear wires. Pre-made ear wires would cost $1.95 for a pair. The earrings would also require four head pins to attach the beads to the bottom of the earrings. Each head pin costs $0.34, or four for $1.36. This brings the total to make the fish earrings to $3.00 for wire plus $2.32 for beads, plus $1.95 for ear wires plus $1.36 for head pins. The total to make the fish earrings, made with silver-filled wire, would be $8.63 with purchased ear wires and $6.68 if you made your own ear wires.
One general rule of thumb in pricing jewelry is to sell your jewelry items for three times the cost of the materials. So the question is do you think you could sell the Fish Earrings for $25.89 (three times the $8.63 price with purchased ear wires)? The answer to this question is it depends. If you were selling in Northern Wisconsin, in a rural, farm community, the earrings would not sell for that price. If you were selling these earrings on Park Avenue in New York, you could easily sell the handmade, made in America earrings for twice that price. (We have seen similar earrings sell in a resort in the Bahamas, made out of solid gold, for $150.) If you are selling in a craft show in the suburbs of most American cities, I would tell you to price the earrings at $25.89 and mark them down so that the “Sale Price” would be less than $19.99. I would also tell you to make your own ear wires using our "Stays On" pattern to differentiate your hand made earrings from imported, machine made jewelry.
For those of you who are making and selling jewelry, here are two suggestions.
NEW SALE ITEMS IN WIGJIG STORE:
The following items are on sale in our WigJig store for 25% off their normal retail price. Please select any picture or the text below the picture to view that item in our WigJig Store.
Sunsets in Texas:
May 28, 2012
June 21, 2012
Our camera is good for taking close up shots of jewelry. It is not as good at capturing the full colors of the sky when we have an impressive sunset. We do our best, but these sunsets were more spectacular in real life.
A man was depressed over the state of the economy, the status of the Euro, and the difficulty in getting a meaningful job so he called the Suicide Hot Line. He got a voice response unit asking him to press 1 for English, which he did. He was connected to a call center in Pakistan and proceeded to explain his depression and thoughts of suicide. The person at the call center got very excited and asked him if he could drive a truck.
Here is a little philosophy borrowed from Abraham Lincoln.
Lincoln had many thoughts on many different topics. We find that many of his thoughts are still appropriate today.
Thank you for your continued interest in our WigJig Newsletter.
View Prior Newsletters
2010 Beads, Jewelry Tools & Jewelry Making Supplies by WigJig
Jewelry Making Newsletter
Beads, Jewelry Tools & Jewelry Making Supplies by WigJig Jewelry Making Newsletter