As I've mentioned previously, silver
prices have been going through the up dramatically. In the last
year they have risen from a
low of about $4.50 an ounce to today's close above $8.00. In the
last month alone, silver prices have risen by more than 22%!
Many of us are
used to paying a set price per gram in cab or faceted categories,
because for a long time the cost hasn't done anything except go
down as competition has increased. Silver is a worldwide market,
so there is no difference in the price of silver in India vs. Mexico
vs. Thailand. The difference in price comes mostly from the amount
of silver used in a given piece and from the cost of labor in a
particular production country.
with large inventories have tried to ride out the recent increases
by limiting reorders. This period, for us anyway, has ended and
we are having to restock at current prices. This will translate
into higher prices for our customers and higher prices ultimately
for your retail customers.
for the raw material cost increase are not clear. I have heard everything
from rising industrial demand to crazy conspiracy theories to explain
the rise in price. Whatever
the cause, those of us in the silver jewelry business need to accept
what is happening as a part of business and adjust accordingly.
It is especially
important that the retail customer be made aware of the increase
in the raw material to avoid the perception that you are raising
prices on your own. That new silver ring in your display with the
higher price tag may be the first time a particular customer has
any inkling of rising silver prices. Make sure they understand that
the rise is due to silver prices, not because of your own circumstances,
so that you don't lose a customer to the perception that you have
become "too expensive."
One idea is
to print out an explanation of the rising silver prices and place
it neatly in your jewelry display. It is probably better to be proactive
than wait until a customer says something. In the overall scheme
of things, silver at twice its current price is still cheap. That
small ring you sell for $4 may have to sell for $7 instead. Information
is power, and if you give your customer an explanation before they
have to ask, most will appreciate your candor.
For our part,
we have already begun raising prices on restocks as they come in.
We will do our best to limit the amount we raise prices initially,
but they will have to reach an equilibrium at some point to reflect
On a lighter
note, our Tucson
Blowout continues, and those costs were locked in before the
price increases. These items were a great deal a month ago, but
now they are more than 22% better! We still have a few more items
we are adding, so look for even more stock soon. The prices for
and rings by the gram will only be at 40¢ per gram for
just a little longer...
April 7 & 8 we will be moving our office, so we may not be able
to ship and answer phones as quickly as we usually do.
month we are running a special on star lamps. All our stars are
off for the whole month! Click here
to get your discount applied automatically or enter the code star20
in the discount code bas during checkout.
The Fanciest Gem
for April is diamond, which comes from "adamas," the Greek word
for "unconquerable." This refers to the unsurpassed hardness of
this highly sought after gem. In ancient times, April's birthstone
was an emblem of fearlessness and invincibility. Courage, strength
and fortitude were attributes given to the wearer of diamonds, and
diamonds were considered to be a man's stone.
The giving of
a diamond as an engagement ring to a woman is a relatively new tradition,
but people have been wearing them as birthstones for far longer.
Diamonds are usually colorless, however brown, yellow, green, blue,
pink, red, gray and black variations are also found depending on
the impurities present.
a hardness rating of 10 on the Mohs scale, making it the hardest
of all minerals. Colored diamonds are often irradiated or painted.
are very durable, however diamonds are subject to chipping and fracture
when handled roughly. Diamonds should be stored separately as they
can scratch other jewelry as well as each other.
are names given to other stones to imply the value of diamonds:
"Ceylon diamond" and "mature diamond" designate colorless zircon.
"Jourado diamond" is an imitation colorless stone.
"Killiecrankie diamond" and "Saxony diamond" designate colorless
"Radium diamond" is really smoky quartz.
"Alaska black diamond" is really hematite.
"Nevada diamond" and "Nevada black diamond" designate obsidian.
"Herkimer Diamond" is actually a naturally occurring quartzite.
mostly found in Australia, Ghana, Zaire, the former USSR, the USA
(Arkansas, California, Colorado, and North Carolina), and in Brazil.
of the Site
Blowout continues: high quality, unique
silver designs at great prices.
Handbags: Bright, fun and full of color!
off entire stock of star lamps!
Coming Soon: New textiles (curtains, duvet covers, and more).
Over Spring Sale!
Retail Sales According to Women's
Wear Daily, department and specialty stores report that spring
selling is off to a strong start, with double-digit increases in
such categories as designer, contemporary, and some accessories
After a long,
dreary winter, it seems that retail customers are now ready to spend
some money on the hot trends of the moment: color and femininity.
As we have been saying for some time in this newsletter, brights
are the flavor of the moment, especially pink, but also yellows,
greens and oranges. Customers are looking to brighten up their mood
with color, and this trend is translating into sales at the register.
Lucky Magazine (always a good
source for what's hot right now) has page after page of ads and
editorial fluffed out with fun solids and floral prints. Soft feminine
looks dominate, along with clean contemporary silhouettes. Flip
through the magazine and you cannot help but notice and that every
major design from Wal-Mart
to Ann Taylor has hopped on
the color bandwagon.
and Sak's Fifth Avenue are representative of major retailers this
season: both claim 25% jumps in same store sales over year-ago figures.
Executives at both major retailers say their success is due in no
small part to the great palette they have stuffed their stores with.
trends call for real or faux fur and python, pebbled or pearl-tone
leather, fabric mixes such as tweeds and bouclŽ with leather for
top-handle duffel handbags and wristlets, and Art Deco shapes and
hardware. Colors range from magenta and violet to olive.
Check out our
selection of fun
handbags, newly arrived from India. Cool designs include our
Backpack with Sari Detail, the Mirrors
and Sequins Bag, funky woolen
shoulder bags, and our contemporary Vietnamese
As always, I
wish you a happy, healthy and successful month. Let
me know if you have questions or comments.