Educating the consumer

Many of us who create handmade, artisan items have put our thoughts together to give our readers and customers an idea about just what goes into creating individual unique items. First I think you must understand just what you're getting with a handmade item. What I recently added to my bio on Etsy is this: What you will NOT find in my jewelry shop is mass produced, cookie cutter, or poorly made, low quality items. We are not large conglomerate chain stores, buying the cheapest qualities of gems and metals, sending them to a factory in some third world country to be mass produced on a production line by workers making pennies a day. Now I may be over-exaggerating a bit, but I hope you get the point.
Here is a chart which shows the daily spot price of precious metals. I used the silver chart, as this is a popular metal that we jewelry artists work with.

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As you can see, the spot price for silver, today is $21.79 per ounce!(as of the writing of this post) And this price seems to be on the steady increase. To give you a better understanding:
A troy ounce of sterling silver wire today would cost $21.79 (approx.) depending on where you buy it)
A troy ounce of 22 gauge sterling silver wire equals 30 feet. Let me illustrate with one of my bracelets.

In this bracelet, I used over 27 feet of 22 gauge wire just to create the coil links and wire wrap the stones in the centers of the copper links. That's just one metal I used for this. I hope you're starting to get the picture.
This is just one aspect of "what you're getting" when buying a piece of handmade jewelry. I invite you to check out these other great artist's blog posts to better understand what kind of jewelry they create and the work involved. It will be eye-opening. Stop back for more, as I feel this could become a weekly feature.
Check these out for more information:
~Rosy Revolver~
~Bella-Bijou Jewelry~
~Alice Istanbul Designs~
~Nova of Sweden~
~Sissy and Jack's~
~Blue Piranha Jewelry~

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Thanks for posting, and the visual with the bracelet is great!
I do think it's important for your buyers to know what kind of materials you use and how much time you spend on a piece. Buyers like myself would not know all this info. and it lets us know we are buying quality pieces. Your work is lovely :)
RosyRevolver said…
I'm so glad you posted, Cindy. That bracelet is incredible and I know nothing about that kind of metal work . . . 27 feet!! Holy smokes!

I'll be sure and add a link here from my blog. :))))
Audrey said…
Outstanding post Cindy!!

Thanks for sharing!!

Your post is very informative and really gives people the truth about the difference between mass produced and high quality.

TiLT said…
great share :) It is always nice to inform the consumer...I always struggle with this one myself...maybe I'll give it a go again in writing - thanks :)

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