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After Divorce, What Happens With The House

After Divorce, What Happens With The House

In all divorce situations, the house is a very important consideration because there are questions that need to be addressed by both sides.  Usually these questions should be put into the top priority file simply because if there are children involved, some sort of continuation of routine needs to be kept up. Everyone needs a roof over their heads and the children, if there are any involved, need to feel that security at this crucial stage of their young lives. Therefore decisions about the house have to be attended to as quickly as possible.

Divorce proceedings will ascertain what is going to be done with the house, therefore the more you can both talk about it beforehand, the quicker this issue can be settled.  If you were both lucky enough to have been the full owners of the house, then there are a few options that are available to you both.

  • ·       You can decide to sell it and split the profits.
  • ·       One of you can buy the other out of their half outright.
  • ·       One of you can just allow the other to have it either for a predetermined period or forever.

It is not an easy decision to make, therefore if you as a couple are still in the warring stages, then help from the court system is the best way to go.  This is only an option if there is no possibility whatsoever  for either of you to talk reasonably about what to do with the house.

Should you decide to want to keep the house, then you need to be sure of your financial obligations and commitments before making this momentous decision.  Always keep in mind that your income is going to be reduced to one income from this point on and so the things to think about are:

  • ·       monthly mortgage payments
  • ·       home maintenance costs
  • ·       insurance premiums
  • ·       property taxes
  • ·       utility bills

Another serious consideration on your part is – do you really want to stay in the area?  Do you want to stay in the same house? Is this where you want to be now that you are about to rebuild a new life for yourself? Are the emotions you are experiencing at the  moment tending toward spiteful or total need?

While the court system and professionals involved in that area know what they are doing, are they the most suitable people to truly determine your future as to what should happen to the house?

Let’s fact it, they have never lived there themselves.  They do not know the qualities of the house you have both shared.  They don’t really know what is involved with the upkeep emotionally, physically or financially.  It was not their money that got you both to this point where the house is involved. They have not been involved with the investment that has got you both this far.

There are personal questions that need answering as well – like is this where you want to live with all of those memories whether good or bad? Is this a house that has been passed down through the generations, therefore are your emotions highly charged concerning this particular house that might be clouding your judgment at the moment?  Are the children on the top of your list of priorities concerning this house? Do they want to stay where they have been growing up for the past few years and remain around the friends they know and trust? Is this where they feel loved and secure?

If you are the one who has to leave the house, then you need to be totally honest with yourself as to the liabilities and commitments you have already racked up in this investment that is now going to become part of your past.  If you decide to leave the house to your children and the other parent and there is still considerable money tied up in the mortgage repayments, can you be sure that your own credit rating will not suffer if, for some unknown reason, the remaining parent does not keep up the current and future payments?

Whether you live in the house or not, the bank or financial institution that you have the mortgage with will want their money on or before the due date every month.  If things are not going how they should with repayments, then how is this going to affect your own chances of starting again and being in a position at another stage to want to lend more money?

There may be a way whereby you can have your name extracted from the legal ownership documents.  That would help your future money lending agreements work out better for you. If you totally trust each other, then promises whether written or verbal can be undertaken, however, in my case I had a verbal agreement with my husband and as soon as he remarried, then he seemed to forget all of that and I was lumbered with financial obligations that I was not prepared for at the time, therefore I would seriously caution you here as to verbal agreements.  Everything you agree to should be put in writing and submitted to legal professionals for endorsement.

Self protection is what needs to be considered at all times.  Protection from further emotional trauma; protection from further financial disaster; protection from further physical harm; protection for peace of mind.

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Debbie Nicholson

Wholesale Jewellery – Diamonds

Wholesale Jewellery – Diamonds

At some time during your new career, there will be a call for you to make a piece of jewellery that will include a diamond.  And if you think that buying a diamond is just the same process as buying any other bauble, then you have another think coming because that is entirely the wrong attitude towards the most precious jewel of all and that is our Diamond.

Far more thought and time needs to go into the purchase of a Diamond because no matter what you think, Diamonds are certainly forever.  They are highly prized and even though they are being replaced by synthetic diamonds more often than not nowadays, the genuine article will never be outlived by any other piece of jewellery I can assure you.

Wouldn’t it be nice if all of the jewellery pieces that bear your brand name could come into the Diamond forever lasting category?  Well they can, if you take particular care in your designs and when putting them together.  Why shouldn’t your brand name be known forever if you have put your heart and soul into something that could very well last beyond your lifetime.

The beauty of a Diamond is not matched anywhere in the range of gems that are known to mankind.  Therefore because of its importance there are four very important items to consider when purchasing a Diamond for your collection.

  • ·       Cut
  • ·       Clarity
  • ·       Color
  • ·       Carat weight

It is very necessary when you have an order for a piece that must include a Diamond that beauty is at the foremost of your mind in the design you are considering.  The stone should be the centerpiece of the finished item, but not in an overpowering manner, being set to be in harmony with what you have in the entire setting.


Now when I talk about the cut of a diamond – I am not referring to the shape at all.  What the Cut means is the quality of the cut, the style or design guide used in reference to its symmetry, the proportioning of it in all facets and the actual polish of the Diamond. This all affects the brilliance of the stone. The shape is actually only an afterthought in the entire process.


If you don’t know much about Diamonds, then they are a natural stone found deep in the earth and have been formed as a result of a carbon that has undergone huge pressure and incredible heat in its natural state hidden in the depths of the earth in various locations throughout our world. Through these natural processes that take many, many years to complete, a diamond will develop internal physiognomies called inclusions and external physiognomies known as blemishes. When someone is called upon to evaluate the clarity of a diamond, what is considered in this process is the number, the size, the relief, the nature and the position of these physiognomies, and what effect they have on the overall brilliance of the stone.  There has never been an entirely pure diamond, however, the value of one is determined on how close to purity it can be assessed. Once a flawless diamond is found – then the value is astronomical.


A very pure Diamond will be completely transparent, however, I doubt that you would be considering one of those for your jewellery manufacturing business.  Most white diamonds could have a yellowish hue and are affordable for what you are doing, whereas the pink or blue diamonds carry far more value. A red diamond would be the ultimate but they are very, very rare. Be wary if someone tries to sell you a ‘blue white’ diamond as these are the most inferior of the range and are to be avoided as they will not enhance your business in any way.

Carat Weight

A carat is equal to 0.2 grams which would be an equivalent weight to a paperclip.  Your customer will be most interested in this aspect of their Diamond and they always come with a certificate which you need to get from the company from which you are purchasing your Diamond, so that you can hand it on to your customer who will be expecting it.  If the company with whom you are dealing does not offer that certificate then walk away from them as their product is not a genuine article.

Now that you have learned a bit more about Diamonds which you will find in more depth in my book on actual diamonds themselves, it will be obvious to you that Diamonds are not only precious because of their value, size and appearance, the very name also holds special significance in someone’s heart.

Their forever significance is what makes them special.  They are most the most resilient and indestructible stone ever to exist on or under the earth.

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Debbie Nicholson

Wholesale Jewellery and eBay Auctions

Wholesale Jewellery and eBay Auctions

While eBay is a fantastic venue to find whatever your heart desires, it is also a place where con artists run rampant with such a growing market of innocents in their millions.  Wholesale Jewellery attracts these people as well as the good ethical people, therefore I am just warning you to be aware that all sometimes is not as it seems on eBay.  Yes, you can get many deals on eBay – as I have warned in previous chapters – make sure that the person you end up dealing with is the genuine article.

Where would you start with eBay you might ask?  Well, if it were me, I would make it my business to read everything there is to read on the site where the wholesale jewellery you are contemplating buying is.  Read all that small print.  If in doubt, get a professional to read it as well.  Ask the seller questions and see what you can glean from their replies.  Read the comments and stats.  And above all, keep all communications on eBay so that there is a definite paper trail that can be followed should the need arise later down the track.

It never hurts to check everything.  Check out the person you are seeking business with.  Check out their company if they are advertising as one.  What about their ratings?  What about the feedback from other customers?  Are they listed on the site?  What, if any are the negative comments posted?

Should you have any doubts whatsoever, this is your gut talking.  Forget about this auction and go pursue another one as there are sure to be plenty more.

Perhaps the seller has a great reputation among his following. Perhaps the feedback is all positive.  Perhaps the ratings are sky high. Then this is also your gut talking to you.  If you trust them, then use them. If you have any doubts then do not use them.

Again I can’t stress enough about shipping costs.  What about timeframes for shipping items – is that clearly stated?  What payment options are being offered?   As the buyer, you can’t get away from paying the shipping costs as they are usually the responsibility of the buyer and will require an up-front payment before any shipment of products or items are made. In fact in my experience, the shipping costs are added to the cost of the product or item and all of this needs to be paid beforehand.

What about insurance?  Some of that wholesale jewellery you are buying may carry an insurance cost as well. Find out with whom the insurance policy lies.  Make sure it is adequate so that your product or item that you are paying up-front is adequately covered should there be loss in transit.

eBay has that escrow service that they offer so use that service where and if possible. That is what it was designed for in the first place – to protect you and the seller and your goods. If the seller suggests using another escrow service then perhaps you should not deal with them as  just maybe going through with this particular deal might not turn out to be the right deal to be doing. Listen to the hunches you feel from your gut.

Snipers are very real so beware of them as they are rife on eBay even though it is against all eBay’s rules.  While sniping itself is not against the rules, the use of automatic software is and this software is built to bring in the highest bidder at the very last minute, not giving anyone else a chance to secure a bid of their own before the auction finishes.  When placing your bids, make sure that yours is the maximum amount that you have decided is what you can afford to put towards the wholesale value of the item upon which you are bidding. Should the bid be raised at this point, then your bid will automatically go up as well until the ceiling that you have placed on that item is reached. This action is definitely a legal action according to the rules of eBay and is not considered sniping.

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Debbie Nicholson

Importing Wholesale Jewellery

Importing Wholesale Jewellery

There are usually a lot of extra and sometimes hidden costs when it comes to importing wholesale jewellery, therefore this article is more of a warning as to whether this option is a viable option to choose.  Shipping doesn’t come cheap.  Insurance doesn’t come cheap.  Does your seller have a good reputation?  Dealing with Customs Agents is not an easy matter.

These are but a few of the problems that could block the steady progress of your home made jewellery making business.

What type of items are you thinking of bringing into the country?  Do they include animal products? If they do, then have the animals been slaughtered ethically in order for you to have your share? Unfortunately there are many rogues out there who are even white-collar rogues who slaughter animals illegally – they do not care if an animal is on the extinct list – they want it, so they make sure they get it no matter what the cost to human or animal kind.  Many are ruthless.

What happens if what you order is not what you get?  Is there redress available for this type of situation?  Even if you have checked that there is a money-back guarantee or refund policy in place, just how genuine is it? Do you understand the language your seller speaks and does he understand the language you speak?  Are you working through an Interpreter who has a great reputation?  Is your story getting across to the seller in the way you wish it to be stated?

This is what I mean by hidden issues.

Often it is better to shop within the boundaries of your own country, if for no other reason than for peace of mind.  Being ripped off by someone in another country happens more often than not.  How much experience do you have dealing with the people involved? At least if you are shopping within your own borders, then you do have the ability to follow up more immediately than were you shopping in a foreign country.

Yes, the costs may be higher within your own country, but unless you have a track record of success with the sellers, the potential costs for redress are far higher when working with a company that is on foreign shores.  There is not just the procurement of the jewellery items and other bits and pieces that you need, there is the shipping to be added as well and while you are about it, there are taxes and insurance as well.

It is not difficult to find someone in your own country with whom you can safely place orders, having full confidence that you will receive what you ordered in good order and in good timing.

Consider these suggestions when thinking along the lines of importing wholesale jewellery.

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Debbie Nicholson

How to Select Beads

How to Select Beads

Beads come in all sorts of grades, quality and quantity when choosing from a wholesale market.  Therefore when purchasing such things, you must take some care and be pre-informed about what you want to buy and why.  The beads you need to select need to possess some value to you, therefore it is important  that the designs you wish to make are already formed within your creation patterns so you know beforehand exactly what you are looking for. After all, we are not children making things out of plastic anymore.  I suspect that a hobby of making jewellery has come from you doing these things when you were young with what was available to a child at the time.  And at that time, what was available were all sorts of pretty beads and chains made out of plastic.  Am I right?

Okay, well we have to get away from that thinking pattern now.  Now you are an adult or at least on your way there, and you have decided that making jewellery would be a fun way to earn some money.  And in order to make money making homemade jewellery, your thoughts need now to be gathering into a space of abundance, of value, of beauty, of the highest quality you can afford, of authenticity.

Glass or Lucite beads are what you need to look for now as they are the prettiest on the market, plus both are durable and they have a shiny look about them – all these things are important when one wants to make jewellery and to wear it.  So keep away from plastic as plastic stuff has a cloudy appearance and that is not what your ultimate market will be looking for.  Noone wants to know that when people observe them wearing their jewellery, that it looks fake.  It may be fake but it can look a beautiful fake and that is what you need to aim for to keep your potential customers happy.  Think about what you like to wear yourself whenever you have designs in your mind.  I mentioned in the early part of this paragraph Lucite which is plastic true, however, it is a solid transparent plastic made of the same durable material as Perspex or Plexiglas. In other words, it looks good.

If you are able to do so, then inspect the beads you wish to use for any imperfections. Some beads may have been clumsily made – e.g. may look lopsided.  Some may have been chipped in transit, some even broken in place or scratched in some way.  These do not lend to quality at all, therefore, steer clear of anything that is not perfect in your eyes. Sure, they may be a bargain for you to start out with but honestly, they will not be a good look in the long run. Therefore my advice still stands – steer clear of anything that is less than perfect.  This way you are also developing in your mind a classy, distinctive, genuine look and feel and most importantly an ethical branding of you.

Now most jewellery beads are sold in bulk, therefore you will get a good price per item by using this system of acquirement.  When this happens, of course, then you will not usually have the privilege of being able to examine each piece as it comes to hand and you will just be subject to the luck of the draw as to what arrives in the post to you a few days later.  This is when it is important to make sure there is a refund and money back guarantee policy in place.  Look for it before you purchase as it could save you a lot of money in the end.  You want to feel confident that you can exchange any faulty beads that arrive with your order.  Of course these ideas are for when one would be living in an ideal world.  Some companies may not offer this.  Then you are at their mercy.

Make sure you deal with a reputable trader is my next suggestion, advantages of which have been discussed in other chapters throughout this book.

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Debbie Nicholson

Making Custom Jewellery

Making Custom Jewellery

If you have a flair for making jewellery, then why don’t you consider making something that stands out on your customers by making something of their choosing. It is always satisfying to be paid for just being you. Someone taught me that some time ago, and therefore it has become my habit to find things whereby I can be paid for just being me.

It’s like finding a good hairdresser – you keep going back for more. And if you are able to satisfy your jewellery customers with jewellery that only they have, then guess what, they will certainly come back for more when they have special events they want to attend and want to match their evening wear or daywear with the jewellery that only you can produce.

Plus there is the added bonus of them asking you to make them gifts for their friends, who inevitably will probably in the end come to you as another client in the not too distant future. And so the snowball keeps getting bigger as it rolls around and around.

Making custom jewellery is not going to be something too hard to tackle. You are already making jewellery so why not try a few pieces that just look a little different . And with your artistic eye, you probably already know someone who would be happy to be your guinea pig model because you already know their personality and therefore it wouldn’t be difficult to conjure up something just for them and for no one else. Then you only have to display it on them, and if you have done your work correctly, they will just adore it and you and then there is no going back from there.

The whole essence of it all is to think “unique’ when you are designing in your head the next piece you wish to work on. You would begin with a certain colour scheme I would imagine, and then you would decide whether an earring would suit as a post or a drop. It is always fun to have a matching set, therefore you would then go on to make something unique in a choker, or a necklace or something with a longer chain – and the bracelet is already worked out from the length of chain you have chosen, and then with these three pieces why not try for an anklet to set the entire matching set off. It’s only a matter of the length of chain after all. An earring would match a brooch in its setting – I tell you, the sky is the limit and I have only thought of these things as I sat quietly and wrote about them in these few seconds. Imaging sitting there with pencil and paper and sketching stuff – wow!

Nowhere else in the world is there anything that is the same because all of these ideas have come out of your head just now.

The only difficulty I can see now is to match your idea with the image in a customers mind. And that shouldn’t be too hard because your initial interview will be extensive as this will be the most important part of the entire design and work involved. Getting that image they have out of their heads into your head.

Do not make the mistake of doing it while they are watching either, because if they are smart like you, then they will soon seize the opportunity to learn how to do it themselves and then you will have lost a customer plus added to your competition list. You don’t want that. Always make it seem a difficult task to complete even when you are laughing inside yourself as to just how easy it is FOR YOU.

Talk to them about what they want for a very long time. Make this part of your costing factor – that first interview. You need to know their likes, their dislikes, their preference for colours, their personality, what they hope to match it with in their wardrobe. These are all essential pieces of information you need to find out when gathering the data you need to make custom jewellery.

If it is to be a gift for someone, then still take the time to ask the customer what they know about their friend to whom they are giving the gift, or you could be extra sneaky and arrange a chance meeting with them personally so you can steer the ensuing conversation to what you need to make the gift.

It all comes down to communication and the more communication that takes place then the better.

Some customers might even have a piece they would like you to dissemble and use parts out of the old and put into the new. You might even be asked to just pretty something up that is seeming old hat to them right now. Do you have the skill to do this? You don’t want to ruin their perfectly good if not favourite piece by not being sure of the skill needed to carry out this extra work. Finding out about the history of the piece helps especially if it holds a special meaning in their heart to them.

I watched a video today about someone displaying their grandmothers jewellery and she was so reverent about picking up each item and she whispered about every piece – it was an amazing video – and you could feel her love for the grandmother who had passed away many years ago and yet she could still show you and make you feel her love for this favourite woman in her life. You will see the video feature on one of my blogs if you wish to see it yourself.

Naturally, any pieces you need to assemble the final item, you will easily be able to get wholesale somewhere. Be sure of their quality, always having in mind that uniqueness and therefore deserving of extra care and attention to what you select to make that final item. Maybe an imported piece might be suitable for this occasion.

After the interview, you must not discuss price until you have done some research of your own as to sources, what their charges are going to be and don’t forget to take into account shipping costs and time. If you are not careful with this part of your research then it will be easy to lose money and you are not doing custom made jewellery to lose money. You are actually adding it to your usual work therefore there will be a certain premium that you should feel good about charging on top of the basic costs as well as the addition of your profit margin.

This is a special one off. Therefore it needs to be treated as such even in your pricing. There are no friends in business. If there are, then do not go into business. Let them buy something from a shop that is already made.

And if you have done your homework right, then you can make enquiries at jewellery stores yourself and ask them what kind of prices would they charge for a so on and so forth item. Their answer might surprise you.

Once you have got your quote ready, then show them how you are able to reduce the price to a special price by deducting 15% or even the entire 30%. They are not to know that you have already added those percentages to your price anyway and taking them off is not going to make you suffer from a loss of profit. This is what the shops do, so follow suit.

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Debbie Nicholson

How To Repair Jewellery

How To Repair Jewellery

The chances of something breaking in this world is a definite possibility whenever an idea on how to make something pops into someone’s mind.  In the world of manufacturing  jewellery, it is no different.  The pieces are so tiny, that it is inevitable that somewhere along the line a repair might be necessary.

So in your studies of making jewellery, then it is always a good idea to also study the best way to fix things as well.  Customers like to see that when they read your catalogue as well.  If they know that should something become broken or discoloured or not to their satisfaction somewhere down the track, that they do have redress on their precious piece of jewellery.  This will also add to the relationship you have with your customers and you will be surprised how word of mouth follows up very quickly.  I remember when I used to have my Jewellery parties the first thing that people wanted to know was whether there was a repair service offered as well.  There was with the company I represented at the time, so I was always happy to let them know that. In fact, it became part of my introductory selling spiel in the end, so that people’s questions could be allayed before they were asked.

Customers also look for guarantees as well so make sure your jewellery does come with a guarantee.  I have seen a “guarantee with free repair for a certain period of time following the sale” offered.  I have seen a “money back guarantee offered with no questions asked” offered.  So there are many ways you can advertise what suits you.  This sets you apart from your competitors which will also help with word of mouth advertising.

When you make your own jewellery, it is probably a given that you will instantly know how to repair the pieces anyway.  You have already been intimately involved with their design and settings, so the repair problem is already catered for before it crops up. Usually repairs only involve a replacement piece, or a better fastening to the setting of a stone that has been used.  People might just need a new clasp.  It’s usually not a biggie to you, however, a true feeling of consternation to the customer.

The only cost that can be ascribed to the repair might be the postage back and forth in which case I would suggest a refund or a replacement as then you would only be up for one way postage costs.

If you don’t make the jewellery yourself, then you still need to make the sale with a covering offer of “free repairs within a specific amount of time after the sale” because this is simply just good business.  If this is the case, that you don’t make jewellery yourself, then perhaps learning how to repair jewellery might be an added skill that we suggest you look into.   Purchasing jewellery making or jewellery repair tools would then be the next step. They are relatively small, and therefore do not take up much room and they are generally good cost-wise.

A magnifying glass would be the first item to have in your repair tool kit. Make sure it is something that stands on its own because usually you need 2 hands to fix things when in a repair situation. The lighting surrounding your work table has to be the next important item on your list because jewellery is usually so delicate that good eyes are needed for this type of work and good eyes require excellent lighting.  A box of clasps, chains and spare gemstones will also be handy, however, you don’t need many because not actually being involved with the direct manufacture of the pieces means that you might never have to use the repairing items you have on hand.  We are just making sure we have covered every potential scenario.

Naturally if the company you have purchased your pieces from to onsell them offers their own repair and guarantee service then you need not worry about keeping your own little stash at home.  All you have to do is collect the item to be repaired from your customer and send it off to the original seller and let them deal with it.  They will send it back to you in a good state and then you can send it back to your customer.  Or you could just leave the customer to deal direct with the original seller.  In doing this though, I should warn you, you could lose your customer at this point, because often if people don’t have to deal with a middleman they won’t.  Plus in this scenario, the company might not be as nice and understanding to your customer as you are, therefore bad feelings could erupt that affect you as well.

Whatever you choose to do it is ultimately your decision.

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Debbie Nicholson

Wholesale Jewellery And Deceased Estate Sales

Wholesale Jewellery And Deceased Estate Sales

Deceased Estate Jewellery Sales are a boon to people like you looking for wholesale prices for your own collection and shopping at estate sales is quite easy.  Most estate pieces originate from the older generation passing away and leaving pieces that the children and grandchildren are not in the least bit interested in having themselves.  Often the mood of the generation left behind is that they are only interested in the monetary value of the estate rather than the value of things that have been left to them, therefore they don’t even bother to investigate often to see exactly what it is that they are letting go for a pittance as compared to what they could have got for them.  Of course, usually there is more than one person involved in the beneficiary list, and often there is always that one who says get rid of it regardless of the interest taken by one of their siblings.

I can vouch for that myself because when my own parents died, they had things in their china cabinet and hanging on their walls that to an experienced eye were very valuable.  But there was contention between the three of us, therefore I was overruled in all things and the words, “get rid of it” were bandied around too frequently and so all the treasures were lost to our family ever after that. Very sad indeed.

However, for you, the hunter, will acquire wonderful value with what you seek and buy from estates. You will have access to very rare and very old pieces that are far below even the best wholesale jewellery prices and why not.  Someone will always come out at the better end in all situations and in this case, why shouldn’t it be you.

Generally when someone dies, there is not an appraisal done of estate items.  The generation left behind are too  much in a hurry to go through with this procedure regarding anything their parents left as just “old stuff of theirs”. No respect or regard for the wisdom of those who have gone before.  Were the person who has died a very wealthy person, then this would not be the case, because the next generation would only be too much aware that their parents only spent on things of great value, therefore a valuation of everything would get done probably before they are even cold in their grave.  The heirs still have the same goal in mind – simply wanting to cash in – only they are prepared for the time to receive to come a bit later.

Generally though, heirs have no clue as to what value they might have in their hands.  They just want to “get rid of it”.  So it is very likely that you could come away with an heirloom piece at a very good rock bottom price. Often you will just find these items stashed in an old suitcase at a garage sale – a treasure trove to you, but a discarded “who cares” item to the garage sale seller.  It is very possible to walk away with thousands of dollar worth of all sorts of things that might be stashed away in those old suitcases! Some of it could be jewellery, just what you need.  Some of it could be other items that might lead to further sales in another category.

Even if the wholesale jewellery you find at deceased estate jewellery sales is not valuable, some of the pieces will definitely be interesting for you to add to your settings when making up your own pieces.  You just don’t know what you will find in these places.  It is both mysterious as well as exciting.

All you have to do is take each piece apart very carefully and reuse them.  Save everything you can, from the gems, the chains, the settings as well as other pieces.  In the long run, each piece you can retrieve or salvage from another piece saves you money and saves you the hunt for an equal or similar piece to include in what you are making at the moment.

What to look for when you are a more experienced shopper for wholesale jewellery?  I would use the 7 standards guideline as listed below.

  • ·       Size
  • ·       Scarcity
  • ·       Demand
  • ·       Design
  • ·       Colour
  • ·       Craftsmanship
  • ·       Condition

Being trained in using a loupe would be a good skill to have.   A loupe is a small magnifying glass that is used exclusively by jewellers and those who manufacture jewellery.  The naked eye does not often pick up what can be seen through such a tool.  Damage to the setting or to the stones set into the pieces is what you need to catch before your purchase.  The use of lead solder on a precious metal is not a good look either.  Being trained in using a loupe will pick up these things straight away and save you a good deal of money.  Authenticity is what you are looking for because there are so many synthetics that look real that you can easily be fooled.

There are a lot of unscrupulous people out there in the jewellery world, therefore having these skills behind you would be of great benefit to you. So if you are an experienced person with high expectations for your estate buys, then make sure you are equipped the right way.

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Debbie Nicholson

How to Find Birthstones

How to Find Birthstones

Now this is an exciting installment in this new book and is a topic that has always been close to my heart ever since I knew such a thing existed. Birthstones. Once my interest in Jewellery was triggered I started to wonder about Birthstones as being part of what one would need in order to make personal jewellery. So I went on the hunt for affordable sources.

Everyone loves jewellery and everyone likes to feel that they have something that is personal to them. And let’s face it, if you know the birthdays of your customers or just your friends, then it is always a great idea to find a personalized gift for them at gift giving time. And what better personalized gift could you pick up for them, but something that features their birthstone.

Not all birthstones are expensive – take for example opals. They are relatively cheap as compared to diamonds, rubies or emeralds. You can pick up opals of all hues and of course for varying prices as well. The ones that are dark in body tone are generally more expensive than those that are the lighter colours. There is a reason for this in that the darker bodied stones tend to be more brilliant in their display of colours. Black Opal would be the most expensive stone in this genre with prices coming in at more than $15000 Australian dollars per their carat weight.

There is the opportunity to buy simulated stones of course which would more than likely suit your budget better when you are a hobbyist Jewellery manufacturer. This just means that the stones are not genuine, but still have a pleasing aesthic appeal. When you use such stones, then it is important to make sure your customers do know that they are NOT the real thing. Many people are happy to have a simulated stone purely because of the price, but then you will always get the customers who would like the REAL stone and so you really need two sources of gemstones – one for simulated stones and the other for real stones.

Synthetic gemstones are grown in a laboratory and not in nature as are real stones. Manufacturers of synthetic stones use low cost materials to keep their prices as low as they can while enjoying a high production rate. While the results of these growths are still beautiful and often resemble the real thing, they are certainly nowhere near the beauty or value of the real made-in-nature stone.

Real gemstones are pieces of mineral crystals and come in a hard form as well as a soft mineral form. The soft mineral types are known for their sheen or other aesthetic value. The rarer the gemstone of course the more valuable it becomes. When such a crystal has been harvested, then they are cut and polished which allows their colours and shapes to be more enhanced for pieces of fine jewellery. Some jewellery pieces are made out of a certain rock such as lapis lazuli, or an organic material similar to a mineral but not quite – amber or jet.

Again the Internet is the best source for finding birthstones and because there are so many wholesale outlets that specialise in providing gemstones, whether simulated or real, the prices are usually very good in that they are very, very low. It is just your job to ensure the authenticity of the company to whom you wish to put your business their way. Make sure that what they advertise is what they advertise. Do not be fooled by real or fake. Do your homework.

Another thing to be careful of, is that with each order, you are absolutely sure that the stone you are using is exactly the birthstone you should be using to make the piece. Not being familiar with your market could cost you a lot of money. Each month is represented by a certain stone and it also depends on which tradition being followed.

I was fooled for a long while when I always thought that my birth stone was a peridot until one time I came across another birthstone being advertised in its place. I was quite upset, thinking that I had been led astray for many years, however, I found out that it all depends who is making the jewellery as to what their traditions are amongst their people.

You see, I didn’t know that August had 2 birthstones – that of the Peridot and that of the Sardonyx. Whereas the Peridot tends towards varying colours of green which lends itself to the other name they are called by and that is the evening emeralds, the sardonyx is more amongst the grey to white colours and is a silica mineral called chalcedony.

There are beautiful stories attached to these two birthstones for August, therefore, it would be interesting to follow them up in a another chapter later in this book.

So make sure, when you get your order from your customer, exactly which stone they are referring to when they order their August Birthstone. It could result in a terrible misunderstanding if the right expected one is not the one that they receive.

Thanks for reading my blog.
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Debbie Nicholson

How to Price Your Jewellery

How to Price Your Jewellery

As in any business what to charge the customer is a big issue.  It is not an easy thing to do because you don’t want to be seen to be greedy and you also want to stay in business, therefore margins need to be realistic.   Pricing is a very important factor to take into consideration because by charging too much, there is a good chance that you won’t have many sales.  At the same time, by not charging enough, then it is highly likely that your tenure in business is not going to last very long at all.

So what is a fair price as regards jewellery?  When I was younger, part of my business was to sell wholesale jewellery to shops as at that time the internet was not available to just the ordinary person on the street.  It was only available to the governments of the world and even then it was limited due to size of equipment and not enough experience. Nowadays one would scoff at those memories, however, there are still many of us who have lived through the time when there was no mobile phone and no computer in the home. Heaven forbid you will be thinking – how on earth did you manage??? Well we did, just by you reading this chapter makes you realise that we did survive.  Going back to my story of my jewellery business, it was known amongst us all that jewellers slapped 65% onto the price we sold to them. That is how people stayed in business way back then.  They had good margins that helped them survive.

Today I am astounded to find that those margins have more than halved, which immediately sent me into panic mode for my business colleagues.  One certainly has to be an astute business person to keep up with prices and the competition.  That is probably why I have noticed the demise of many of my once upon a time friends from long ago and explains to me what probably happened to them when previous to writing this chapter I had not given that reason a thought.

Today, there is a system that is followed by many in the jewellery profession whether the jewellery is purchased at a wholesale price and resold or just purchased and used purely for oneself. Wholesale prices in bulk give you greater leverage when on-selling.  And on-selling means a generally accepted markup to both seller and buyer of around 15% to 30%.  Things have certainly changed with the advent of huge discounts in the jewellery world to what I was used to.

So long as the customer is happy then you have to accept being happy yourself as the seller.  The regular price of jewellery should be seen as wholesale which is 15% + 30%.  A sale price should be seen as wholesale +15%. That would give you a good guide when it comes to thinking about what to charge for the pieces you make for your own jewellery business.

When one makes their own jewellery, there are many cost factors that have to come into play before deciding on the end price to the customer.  There is the cost of each item that goes into the makeup of each piece.  There is the shipping to take into account, remembering that every country has their own rules and costs for shipping at many different delivery levels. There is the storage of same products if you have a huge business.  And even if you have a business from home, then you need space to store your business, including the shelving or boxes they are contained in.  All of these little costs need to be considered when costing out for the customer. Then of course, you have the packaging that they will be housed in for sending out e.g. their own presentation boxes as well as the envelopes or boxes that they will be sent through the mail system in. If you have someone helping you with the packing, then there are these handling costs that you need to factor in as well.  Once you have all of those costs in hand and duly apportioned for each item on your catalogue, it is only then that you proceed to add the 15% or the 30% on top of that 15% depending on the status of the item you are selling.

Remember, that once you have the 15% markup added, then this becomes your wholesale price to your customer. And once you have the 30% markup added to the 15%, then this becomes the retail price to your customer.  Ensure that you have a good profit margin then of 45% above your costs when selling anything at retail prices.

Thanks for reading my blog.
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Debbie Nicholson