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April Specials: $7 off orders over $150 PLUS 20% off all star lamps!  

Silver Prices: Going Up...
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.

Many wholesalers 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.

The reasons 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 the increases.

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 pendants and rings by the gram will only be at 40¢ per gram for just a little longer...

Going On in April...
On 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.

This month we are running a special on star lamps. All our stars are 20% 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.

April Birthstone: The Fanciest Gem
The birthstone 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.

Diamond has a hardness rating of 10 on the Mohs scale, making it the hardest of all minerals. Colored diamonds are often irradiated or painted.

Generally, diamonds 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.

The following 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 topaz.
"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.

Diamonds are mostly found in Australia, Ghana, Zaire, the former USSR, the USA (Arkansas, California, Colorado, and North Carolina), and in Brazil.

Highlights of the Site
Tucson Blowout continues: high quality, unique silver designs at great prices.
New Handbags: Bright, fun and full of color!
20% off entire stock of star lamps!
Coming Soon: New textiles (curtains, duvet covers, and more).

Tickled Pink 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 categories.

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.

This month's 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.

Neiman Marcus 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.

Fall handbag 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 new Canvas Backpack with Sari Detail, the Mirrors and Sequins Bag, funky woolen shoulder bags, and our contemporary Vietnamese purses.

As always, I wish you a happy, healthy and successful month. Let me know if you have questions or comments.


Mike McGinnis
Whirled Planet


Tucson Blowout

$4.50 earring assortment
Assorted faceted and cab earrings. Just $4.50 per pair, sold by the dozen.
Pedants by the Gram
Assorted pendants sold by weight at 40¢ per gram (10 pc. minimum for discounted price).

Rings by the Gram
Assorted rings sold by weight at 40¢ per gram (10 PC minimum for discounted price).

April Special:
Spend $150 and get $7 off toward shipping! 20% off entire stock of star lamps!

New Items

Mirrors and Sequins Bag
12"x12",Has mirrors and sequins on the front, and a metallic thread embroidered stripe across the middle: $8.00

Tapestry Cushion Cover
16" by 16", rich embroidered design that will add a sumptuous accent to any sofa or bed.. Asst. colors. $9.25...

Jester Star Lamp
New designs just added, all at 20% off this month. This design: $5.60 (incl. cord, after discount)

Our Promise:
You may return any item for any reason. We have a no-questions-asked policy. If you get something you don't like, for any reason, just send it back!

About Us:
All our silver jewelry is guaranteed sterling (at least 92.5% silver), and whenever possible each piece is stamped to indicate this. All our stones are genuine.

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