Beads, Jewelry Wire, Tools & Jewelry Making Supplies by WigJig Newsletter 06/27/2012



Sign up here to receive this FREE WigJig Newsletter via e-mail!
To unsubscribe from our newsletter please visit the above web page, enter your e-mail and select Unsubscribe.

SpokesDog Boomer for Beads, Jewelry Tools and Jewelry Making Supplies by WigJig Web Site

How to Unsubscribe:  If you signed up for our newsletter and then decided you don't want to receive it any more, the proper way to unsubscribe is to select the "Unsubscribe" link at the bottom of every newsletter e-mail or to follow our sign up link above.  On that sign up page we also provide a way for people to unsubscribe. Please Note:  We are sending you this e-mail because someone using this e-mail address requested that we send it.  We do not want to send our newsletter to anyone who does not want to receive it. 

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:WigJig Video Jewelry Making Instructions Video 4

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

Fish Earrings Jewelry Making ProjectNow 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. 

  1. When selling handmade jewelry emphasize the materials used.  Be prepared to inform potential customers that inexpensive imported jewelry normally does not list the materials used in the jewelry and some contents of some jewelry can be dangerous.

  2. Differentiate your handmade jewelry by incorporating some hand made findings like our "Stays On" ear wires. 


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. 

WigJig Sterling Silver Head Pin Jewelry Making Finding
Item 0082 Sterling Silver Head Pin
Silver Artistic Wire Jewelry Wire 18 Gauge
Item 0133 18 Gauge Natural Silver Artistic Wire
20 Gauge Brass Non-tarnishing Artistic Wire

20 Gauge Brass Non-tarnishing Artistic Wire

Silver-tone Earring Hoop Jewelry Making Finding

Item 2466 Silvertone Earring Hoop

4mm Topaz Swarovski Beads
Item 2495 4mm Swarovski Topaz Bicone Glass Beads
6mm Swarovski Bicone Glass Crystal Beads

Item 2505 6mm Swarovski Bicone Emerald Glass Crystal Beads

2mm Sterling Silver Round Metal Bead
Item 2601 2mm Sterling Silver Round Metal Bead
Fine, Curb, Sterling Silver Jewelry Making Chain

Item 2612 Fine, Curb, Sterling Silver Jewelry Making Chain

1x1mm Sterling Silver Crimp Beads

Item 2625 1x1mm Sterling Silver Crimp Beads

Swarovski 4mm Crystal Pearls Cream

Item 2721 4mm Swarovski Crystal Pearls Cream

Anti Tarnish Strips -- Jewelry Making Accessory

Item 2894 Anti-Tarnish Strips

Stainless Steel Ear Clutches -- Jewelry Making Accessory

Item 2981 Stainless Steel Ear Clutch

Sterling Silver Toggle Clasp with Rope -- Jewelry Making Finding

Item 2998 Sterling Silver Toggle Clasp with Rope

6mm Magnetic Clasp Silver-Plated -- Jewelry Making Finding

Item 3165 6mm Magnetic Clasp Silver-plated

8mm Sterling Silver Round Bezel with Loop -- Jewelry Making Finding

Item 3194 8mm, Sterling Silver Round Bezel with Loop

  Sterling Silver Earring Post for 8mm 1/2 Drilled Pearl Beads -- Jewelry Making Finding

Item 3287 Sterling Silver Earring Post for 8mm 1/2 Drilled Pearl Beads



Sunsets in Texas: 

May 28, 2012

Sunset May 28, 2012 B Sunset 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.     

Boomer Humor:

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. 

Boomer Philosophy: 

Here is a little philosophy borrowed from Abraham Lincoln.

  • "My dream is of a place and a time where America will once again be seen as the last best hope of earth."

  • "How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg?  Four.  Calling the tail a leg does not make it a leg." 

  • "Marriage is neither heaven nor hell, it is simply purgatory."

  • "Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another, but let him work diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built."

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.

Gary Helwig



Content on this Beads and Jewelry Making Supplies by WigJig web site including jewelry making and wire designs is copyrighted© by WigJig. 
® is a registered trademark.  Last modified: 05/29/2012

Return to WigJig Jewelry Making Tools, Beads and Jewelry Supplies Home

See our selection of beads, wire, jewelry supplies and jewelry making tools.

View Prior Newsletters 

2003    2004    2005     2006     2007     2008     2009     2010

01/04/2011     02/09/2011     03/22/2011     04/26/2011     05/24/2011     07/26/2011     09/20/2011

10/18/2011     11/29/2011     02/14/2012     05/02/2012

Beads, Jewelry Tools & Jewelry Making Supplies by WigJig Jewelry Making Newsletter