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2012 Jun 27

WigJig Jewelry Tools Presents our Jewelry Making Newsetter for Jun. 27, 2012

Jewelry Making Videos:

We have posted a new video in our WigJig Jewelry Channel on You Tube,  The new video is called Video 4 -- Making a Bead Dangle Using Head Pins and Beads.  You can visit the WigJig Jewelry Channel on You Tube by selecting here, or visiting the following URL:WigJig Jewelry Tools Video Jewelry Making Instructions Video 4

Please bookmark this site and tell your friends.  We believe that these videos will be very helpful to beginners to using a jewelry making jig.  Our new video is intended to show people how to decorate wire components with beads.  . 

WigJig Newsletter Format:

We are experimenting with different formats for our WigJig Newsletter.  This month's format is quite a bit different from last month's.  If you would like to provide us feedback on our newsletter format please send us an email

WigJig Jewelry Tools Web Site and Store: 

Our anticipation is that we will upgrade our web site and Internet store now during the month of July 2012.  We are working very hard to ensure that all content is migrated to the new site and that the quality of the new site will be superior to our current site and to our current store. 

For those of you who are familiar with our old format for our website, that format will still be available at the following web address:

This should be relatively easy to remember, just replace the "www" with "west".  Please bookmark this site so you will have access to our "old website" after our migration to the new website in the coming month. 

Question on Pricing of Handmade Jewelry:

 In the past month, we received a question about the prices of handmade jewelry versus the price of jewelry made in China and imported to the US.  The individual who asked this question was understandablely concerned about the inexpensive jewelry imported from China and his ability to make jewelry at the same price point.  Certainly this is a legitimate concern.  First, we will address some differences between jewelry made in China and jewelry made by hand within the US, then we will price our Fish Earrings, last month's jewelry making project. 

Let's talk about what you get when you buy jewelry made in China.  Right now China does not have access to gold-filled  or silver-filled wire and jewelry making components.  Since solid gold components are too expensive for the cost conscious customers who purchase jewelry from Chinese manufacturers, very few Chinese jewelry manufacturers import real gold or sterling silver jewelry to the US.  Our experience has been that Chinese jewelry manufacturers tend to use gold-tone and silver-tone metal alloys without identifying what the elemental components of that alloy actually are.  We aren't going to tell you that Chinese jewelry contains lead.  We will say that if you don't know what the metal alloy is, it might contain lead.  It is fair to say that jewelry made in China generally uses less expensive materials. 

US law hasn't kept up with the technology of jewelry manufacturing.  We won't say that we know all there is to know about jewelry law, in fact, we aren't lawyers and haven't even played one on TV.  What we know about the law is that the labeling of gold and silver jewelry isn't precise.  Our understanding is that jewelry that is made from 14 k gold-filled components can be advertised as "gold".  We further understand that some vendors differentiate between gold and solid gold by labeling solid gold jewelry as "solid gold" and calling jewelry made of gold-filled components by the name "gold":  Gold-plated jewelry is normally labeled "gold-plated" to differentiate it.  Silver-filled wire is relatively new, as are silver-filled findings.  As far as we know, the law hasn't mandated that silver-filled jewelry be labeled indicating that it is not solid silver.   If we are in error in this understanding, please send us an email

Fish Earrings Jewelry Making Project made on WigJig jewelry tools out of beads, jewelry wire and jewelry supplies.Now that we have provided some background on jewelry components, let's talk about the actual price of handmade jewelry.  In general, 20 gauge silver-filled wire costs $1.50 per foot.  Some earring projects can be made with just one foot of wire, some projects might require several feet of wire.  Just as an example let’s say that your earring project uses two feet of wire (Many projects will require less.)  Beads to embellish a jewelry project can cost from $0.10 to $2.00 per bead depending upon the bead.  In our most recent earring project, the Fish Earrings, we require either four larger beads or 12 smaller beads.  The larger beads would cost $0.58 each, or four for $2.32.  When making the fish earrings, you can make your own ear wires out of six inches of 20 gauge wire, or your can purchase pre-made ear wires.  Pre-made ear wires would cost $1.95 for a pair.  The earrings would also require four head pins to attach the beads to the bottom of the earrings.  Each head pin costs $0.34, or four for $1.36.  This brings the total to make the fish earrings to $3.00 for wire plus $2.32 for beads, plus $1.95 for ear wires plus $1.36 for head pins.  The total to make the fish earrings, made with silver-filled wire, would be $8.63 with purchased ear wires and $6.68 if you made your own ear wires. 

One general rule of thumb in pricing jewelry is to sell your jewelry items for three times the cost of the materials.  So the question is do you think you could sell the Fish Earrings for $25.89 (three times the $8.63 price with purchased ear wires)?  The answer to this question is it depends.  If you were selling in Northern Wisconsin, in a rural, farm community, the earrings would not sell for that price.  If you were selling these earrings on Park Avenue in New York, you could easily sell the handmade, made in America earrings for twice that price.  (We have seen similar earrings sell in a resort in the Bahamas, made out of solid gold, for $150.)  If you are selling in a craft show in the suburbs of most American cities, I would tell you to price the earrings at $25.89 and mark them down so that the “Sale Price” would be less than $19.99.  I would also tell you to make your own ear wires using our "Stays On" pattern to differentiate your hand made earrings from imported, machine made jewelry. 

For those of you who are making and selling jewelry, here are two suggestions. 

  1. When selling handmade jewelry emphasize the materials used.  Be prepared to inform potential customers that inexpensive imported jewelry normally does not list the materials used in the jewelry and some contents of some jewelry can be dangerous.

  2. Differentiate your handmade jewelry by incorporating some hand made findings like our "Stays On" ear wires. 


The following items are on sale in our WigJig store for 25% off the regular retail price.  Please select any picture or the text below the picture to view that item in our WigJig Store. 

WigJig Sterling Silver Head Pin Jewelry Making Finding
Item 0082 Sterling Silver Head Pin
Silver Artistic Wire Jewelry Wire 18 Gauge
Item 0133 18 Gauge Natural Silver Artistic Wire
20 Gauge Brass Non-tarnishing Artistic Wire

20 Gauge Brass Non-tarnishing Artistic Wire

Silver-tone Earring Hoop Jewelry Making Finding

Item 2466 Silvertone Earring Hoop

4mm Topaz Swarovski Beads
Item 2495 4mm Swarovski Topaz Bicone Glass Beads

6mm Swarovski Bicone Glass Crystal Beads

Item 2505 6mm Swarovski Bicone Emerald Glass Crystal Beads

2mm Sterling Silver Round Metal Bead
Item 2601 2mm Sterling Silver Round Metal Bead
Fine, Curb, Sterling Silver Jewelry Making Chain

Item 2612 Fine, Curb, Sterling Silver Jewelry Making Chain

1x1mm Sterling Silver Crimp Beads

Item 2625 1x1mm Sterling Silver Crimp Beads

Swarovski 4mm Crystal Pearls Cream

Item 2721 4mm Swarovski Crystal Pearls Cream

Anti Tarnish Strips -- Jewelry Making Accessory

Item 2894 Anti-Tarnish Strips

Stainless Steel Ear Clutches -- Jewelry Making Accessory

Item 2981 Stainless Steel Ear Clutch

Sterling Silver Toggle Clasp with Rope -- Jewelry Making Finding

Item 2998 Sterling Silver Toggle Clasp with Rope

6mm Magnetic Clasp Silver-Plated -- Jewelry Making Finding

Item 3165 6mm Magnetic Clasp Silver-plated

8mm Sterling Silver Round Bezel with Loop -- Jewelry Making Finding

Item 3194 8mm, Sterling Silver Round Bezel with Loop

  Sterling Silver Earring Post for 8mm 1/2 Drilled Pearl Beads -- Jewelry Making Finding

Item 3287 Sterling Silver Earring Post for 8mm 1/2 Drilled Pearl Beads



Sunsets in Texas:

May 28, 2012

Sunset May 28, 2012 B Sunset May 28, 2012

June 21, 2012

 Our camera is good for taking close up shots of jewelry.  It is not as good at capturing the full colors of the sky when we have an impressive sunset.  We do our best, but these sunsets were more spectacular in real life.     

Thank you for your continued interest in our WigJig Newsletter.



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