Wednesday, September 23, 2020

State of the jewelry biz… 2011

A mixture of silver and gold is more affordable. Submitted

A mixture of silver and gold is more affordable. Submitted

It was once again an interesting season on Marco Island and the rest of the planet. The 2010 holiday season was busier than 2009 and as I predicted,  silver was white hot! I did something that carried me through and surpassed the dismal 2009 season, I began manufacturing sea life silver jewelry with gold accents instead of all gold, the response was fantastic!

My off season will be dedicated to creating more new designs for the next holiday season; less gold more silver makes my pieces more affordable. Gratefully there are still occasional clients who still won’t settle for anything less than solid gold, and because of that gold sales were also up this past season.

It’s no secret to 70% of the public that the price of gold is astronomical, ($1505.00 per ounce) the other 30% must have their head buried in the sand and are completely oblivious to the fact. These are the uninformed I must deal with on a daily basis, “Oh that’s so expensive”, or “ you’ll have to do better than that!” or “Oh, that’s way out of my price range!”

I then tell them, I have news for you it’s out of my price range too!

But it is what it is, and if you can’t afford the price of gold don’t go shopping for it. It’s comparable to hanging around a Bentley or Rolls Royce dealership shopping for a new car and all you can afford is a Yugo, and wasting the poor salesperson’s time. Talk about Champagne taste and beer budget.

In my opinion this economy is by no means out of the woods, but it’s getting better slowly and the dropping dollar value and a precious metal markets are still putting a serious hurt on the industry.

It was never more apparent last summer when my wife and I attended the gift/clothing shows in Las Vegas. (We avoided the jewelry shows and gold was only $1100.00 then!)

Now you must realize this is Sin City! City of high rollers and instant fortunes, the fine jewelry and high end watch shops were vacant except for small groups of salespeople huddled together with desperate looks on their faces, no customers, no browsers… nada. The only thing missing was the tumble weeds and vultures; there was one window shopper …me!

It was no secret to the jewelry industry that economic conditions affected most diamond and jewelry producing manufacturers resulting in layoffs and production shutdowns and their in stock items were extremely lean. This also hit close to home by the numerous jewelry store closings in Naples and even here on Marco.

On a good note, the reason some jewelry stores are surviving (like yours truly) is by buying gold and silver from the public. No one can resist quick cash and you would be surprised how much your old gold and heavy jewelry you never wear is worth. Baby boomers are finally parting with their 70’s disco jewelry, cuff links and gold collar clips for cash.

By sticking to our plan to keep away from the high ticket items we had a surprisingly good retail season, plus all the services we provide on premises.

Here on Marco, the hottest items are still sea-life jewelry and my new Calusa Indian collection that includes the Marco Cat and other artifacts I created in silver and gold plated pewter. I’m proud to announce these pieces are available in the gift shop at the new Marco Island Historical Museum.

My goldsmiths in our commissioned jewelry and repair department are still incredibly busy; folks are trading old gold for new more exciting wearable jewelry and restoring everything that needs attention.

In closing, happy days will be here again, it’s not our first recession and it won’t be our last. If new jewelry is not affordable to you right now bring in the jewelry you currently own and for a minimal fee it can be inspected for wear and tear. We also check for loose diamonds or gemstones and clasp security. We can give your cherished pieces a deep cleaning and polishing to create a new shiny happy experience for yourself.

An F.Y.I. to my loyal readers’ friends and clients …Late this summer my shop The Harbor Goldsmith at the Front Street location for over 15 years will be moving to a new location at the Island Plaza next to Beall’s Outlet and my New Richard’s Reef store. We expect a smooth transition and we are looking forward to serving you in our brand new location.

“Gold goes in at any gate, except Heaven’s”

Richard Alan is a designer /goldsmith and the owner of the Harbor Goldsmith and Richard’s Reef’s on Marco Island and welcomes your questions about all that glitters. 239-394-9275.

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