Amber and Silver Earring
Organic materials continue to be the focus into spring and
summer. These amber earrings fit the bill! Measuring 1"
tall by 1/2" wide, they are just: $10.50
Sorry this month's newsletter is so late. As I mentioned
in January, I traveled to Thailand, Laos and India to visit with
suppliers and order new products. The trip was long but very successful.
I found a couple of new suppliers for handbags and accessories,
and I ordered from a new silver supplier that has some great pieces.
The trip to
Asia was almost three weeks long. It would have been less, but as
luck would have it I landed in Tokyo during a snowstorm. Although
it snows there about once a year and the forecasts had shown the
storm headed their way for three days, the airlines were caught
completely off guard. I ended up stuck in the airport, sleeping
on the floor and battling to find a seat on an outgoing flight.
It was a total disaster, as there were literally 10,000 people stuck
all of ten days at home, I headed out again: this time to Tucson
for the annual Gem and Mineral Show. See the article below for details
of the hot topics of this year's show. As usual, it was initially
overwhelming but once I found my groove I sailed through spending
(I mean investing) money like it was going out of style.
the desert air of Tucson is not what my body is used to after almost
30 years in humid Hawaii. As I write this I am still recovering
from the cold I caught in the dry air.
many new designs, as usual, to the site since our last newsletter.
You can find them at our "new
arrivals" section. Look for upcoming additions in purses,
cushion covers and accessories as the new designs I've ordered start
to trickle in.
If you are interested
in attending, you can find information on the show at http://www.tucsonshowguide.com/tsg/
Silver Pricing on the International Market
begin 2006, the buzz in the silver jewelry market is all about silver
prices. How high will they go? Are we headed for a big correction?
This is more
than just idle chat at the water cooler. If you are involved anywhere
along the supply chain, from manufacturer to retailer, then the
current price crisis will affect your business. As of February 1,
the closing price of silver was US$9.79 per ounce. Compare this
to the closing price on September 1, 2005 (five months ago) of $6.85
and you can see what a wild ride it has been!
we have seen a spike in silver prices in the face of declining demand
in both the photography and jewelry sectors. What is even more interesting
is the fact that production of silver has actually been increasing
over the past several years despite the decrease in demand. Economics
101 tells us that if you have increasing supply and declining the
demand, the price should go down, not up.
This begs the
question that I have been hearing over and over lately: What the
hell is going on with silver? And of course the answer to this question
depends on who you ask. According to the analysts at the website
the market is headed for a correction. This prediction is based
on the increased supply, decreasing demand, and the fact that the
rally in silver prices has been fueled by something other than concerns
about the US Dollar which they say is often a primary price indicator.
They say look for prices to fall as low as $4.00 to $4.20.
Then you have
the $50+ price that Theodore Butler, the analyst who predicted the
famous silver crash of the early 80's, says is not just probable,
it's certain. He lists the primary reasoning for this as the loosening
of control of the silver market by the manipulative hands that have
artificially suppressed the price for the past 60 years.
What is certain
is that as the silver price increases, we will see a decrease in
demand from the jewelry sector. Jewelry is discretionary, and as
prices climb consumers will spend less because silver (and gold)
are more expensive. The rumor among silver jewelry manufacturers
in Jaipur, the silver capital of India, is that prices will stay
high until the spring, then head downward again.
While in Tucson
this week I spoke to a gentleman who predicted (correctly) a year
ago that silver prices at the show this year would be near $10.
Last year's price during the show was below $7/oz., so his prediction
of an almost 50% rise seemed crazy to me at the time, but now I
admit I give him some serious analytical street cred.
this year? Nothing but up, with $15 or $20 prices per ounce of silver
being totally possible by next year's show. Ultimately, it's out
of our hands. The best I can do as a supplier of silver jewelry
is to continue to produce the highest quality pieces at the lowest
prices possible. Other than that, lets keep our fingers crossed
for lower prices before much longer.
2006 in Review
Tucson Gem and Mineral Show is an annual event that draws exhibitors
and buyers from all over the world. The idea that this is just a
"one-tent event" is a misnomer. In truth, the Gem show
is over thirty different shows held at the same time all over Tucson.
There are name brand venues like the Holidome, Gem Mall, GJX and
Rodeway, and there are smaller, newer shows like the new one I saw
this year being held on an RV sales lot near the Gem and Lapidary
great about the Tucson event is that regardless of what you need
from across the gem and mineral spectrum, odds are you can find
it here. Big manufacturers from India and China come to the show
to buy rough gemstones for their production in the upcoming year.
Vendors from China, Brazil, South Africa, Morocco, Madagascar, Russia
and Mexico ship in literally tons of rough stones for resale by
the 55 gallon drum. One large Indian manufacturer I know buys three
20' containers filled with rough to ship back to Jaipur for cutting
There is also
a wide range of finished jewelry available of varying qualities
and price points. Silver is everywhere as Indian companies flock
to this Mecca of metalsmithing hoping to move hundreds of kilos
and open new markets. What often happens is that they discover the
bitter truth: the competition among vendors is fierce. Prices are
low for high-volume buyers, often just pennies above the cost to
produce the goods. Each year I see new Indian vendors come to the
show full of high hopes only to go home with little or no profits
to show after expensive travel, hotel and booth costs.
One of my suppliers
from India pointed out an interesting fact to me last year. He said
"look around, who is running all the booths now?" The
answer was clearly Indians and Chinese manufacturers come to move
their goods in the West. This has created something of a psychology
of discriminatory buying. I have heard from many other buyers that
if they see a Western face, as opposed to an Indian or Chinese,
they figure the price can't be good and they move on without stopping.
I must admit, my first reaction when I see an American vendor is
that they are probably not worth the time because they add the cost
of the middle man.
The main shows
are well attended, with the Holidome being an especially popular
venue. This show is set up in two massive tents outside the Holiday
Inn, and runs for just ten days as opposed two weeks for some of
the other shows. The aisles are packed within an hour of opening.
The crowd, while supposedly wholesale-only, consists as much of
retail buyers as it does of business owners. This can add to the
frustration level in the crowded conditions as business buyers have
to work around the person looking to buy one or two pieces as early
What I love
about the show is the sheer variety. A good example of this is the
show at Rodeway Inn. The main tent had vendors selling silver ,
jewelry, beads, findings in silver, gold vermeil and karat gold.
There were booths selling Chinese pearls in strands, Italian Murano
glass, Moroccan fossils,
Indian silver, American handmade jewelry, African trade beads, Thai
hill tribe beads and artifacts, Chinese carvings, Russian amber,
and Persian carpets. Outside the main tent, there are stands selling
mineral specimens, handicrafts, food and even clothing. I saw an
Afghani vendor selling Afghan carpets with American tanks and fighter
jets superimposed over a map of the country. My favorite is the
"dollar tent." Mostly from Indonesia, this makes the dollar
store in your town look positively boring.
This year I
went as a buyer for my two stores, focusing mainly on beads and
silver findings. If you look hard enough, there are deals to be
found, but you must bargain hard. For buyers in bulk there is room
to negotiate, but for those interested in Christmas gifts, good
luck! It's a great experience for Americans to learn to bargain.
Most of us don't like to haggle, which is what we dread most about
buying a car. After buying in Asia for many years, I feel I have
some insight into the mechanics of driving a bargain, but I will
be the first to tell you that I do not have access the same pricing
that Indians or Chinese buyers get in their home countries.
Every show it
seems there is some new item or trend that is hot. This year rhodocrosite
was everywhere. Kyanite, which has been showing up more and more
over the last two years, could be found in many different colors,
shapes and cuts. It also seemed like every other booth had spools
and spools of silver and gold filled chain. Not sure why this was,
but if you weren't careful you could easily pay way too much for
it! Of course there were a kajillion booths selling silver jewelry
with a vast array of themes and qualities.
One of the more
interesting booths I found was a small one run by a guy I know from
Bangkok. He has access to precious stones, and since he is from
India originally he also has access to Indian jewelry manufacturing.
I bought a small quantity of his ruby
earrings set in silver. You can see them here,
and despite how it sounds, they are very reasonably priced.
show was an exhilarating look into the international world of gems
and jewelry. There is a smaller show in September that gets mixed
reviews, but if you have never been, mark your calendar now to visit
Tucson during the first two weeks of February, 2007. It is an experience
you won't soon forget!
Spring and Summer
or Victorian looks
postcards, promo material or stamps
set in ladylike silver frames
or symbolic jewelry
of the Site
We've added many
new jewelry designs to the site.
New Arrivals section has all the latest and greatest.
Style shell and organic jewelry.
jewelry is hot!!!
I hope your
new year is shaping up well. If there is anything I can do to help
you be successful going forward, please let me know!
888-408-0072 toll free (US only)
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