Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The new gold reality

Lions and Tigers and 900 gold, oh my!

It is sure that the runup in gold has reached the ears of most people by now. For those of us in the business of making our work in gold and silver, the recent runup in the precious metals market has given us a deep sinking feeling. Unlike the so-called "goldbugs", who are using a buy, hold, sell approach to gold as an investment, jewelers are much better off when the price is more stable.

Basically, we have to raise prices to keep pace with the market, and that means that just in the past month, that is a 10% increase. Believe me, we don't use this as an excuse to extract more from customers. It is necessary just to keep ourselves from becoming insolvent. If we sell something at an outdated price, we wouldn't be able to replace it with another piece because the amount taken in is less than the cost of making a new one.

Not only is it gold, but silver and platinum as well. I expect that in this year, a great number of jewelry designers and makers will be making very petite designs. The challenge will be to get a more substantial look without a substantial use of metals. I am sure that people involved in jewelry making in the early 80's have some insight into this.

As for myself, I am working on a very new collection of work. I will most likely be recycling some heavy gold pieces into work that has gold accents with silver. Trying to use this challenge to stretch my design skills seems to be the best approach.

For anyone with old gold or platinum jewelry that is not worn or is broken, etc, it would be a really good time to think about selling it off for the precious metal value. Keeping in mind, of course, that gains from small amounts are offset by the refining fee.

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