Those handcrafted rope chains are very cool, and I, for one, love them.. And If you are
doing a 4 to 1 mark up on them I think you are very much in the ball park. EXAMPLE
The other night I priced out all my silver and gold it took to make a big wide V collar.
And to my surprise it was about $75. That is a lot of money just for materials. But I can wholesale it at
$150 and my retail price is $299. Now I may not sell a whole lot of them but they do sell and I get paid
when they do sell. So i feel you are on the money with pricing your chains.
This is the skinny on handcrafted chains:
The average jewelry customer does not know handmade chains from machine made chains,
and does not care so, it is hard to get paid when selling to this person. To sell to this person
you have to tell them about all the features of the chain and it's value.
Few people have the cash to work in 14k, but if you are making a chain, you could get $1500
to $2000 for a big 14kt gold cahin, a nice one. That way you are doing the same work but getting paid for it. But
to break into these types of sales, you have to be in a gallery or be exposed to some high
rollers with deep pockets. If you try to get big bucks for your chains in 14k, they have to be of
very high quality, so it is best to practice, and learn your trade in copper before you go to silver and gold filled or
When you are ready to get the
really big bucks and move up into high karat gold, such as 14, 18, 24k. Some people, including
me, can only wear 24 k and are willing to pay the price for it.
Never put a cheap manufactured hook and clasp on a nice hand made chain. It could really
ruin the look of the whole piece. If you can learn to make the chain, then learn to make the
hook and catch. You can find some examples of these handmade hook and clasps at online
jewelry museums on older jewelry and even in our bootcamp.
In closing, the trick is not making the chain; but asking your price, and then finding a market that wants to buy them.
Pricing is as important as the production of the chain and it seems you are dead on with your pricing. Good luck to you!
Master Wire Sculptor