While I knew on some level the price of silver and gold had been rising over the last two years I was not quite ready for how truly high the price had gotten.
I've designed several new pieces in the past few days and I'm super excited about them. Unfortunately, after pricing them out I'm a lot less sure that they are "good enough" for the price they have to be due to current silver prices.
Of course, I'm pricing based on the current cost of materials...in other words, what it would cost me today to replace the materials I used in each piece. Even though I did not pay $40+ an ounce for silver two years ago I realize I have to be able to replace my supplies. It's a painful process.
The same piece I may have priced at $50 two years ago may need to be up toward the $75 or $80 mark now, if not higher.
I can understand why there are so many people no longer using silver as a foundation of their jewelry. They can't afford to buy the metal and people can't afford to pay a fair price for their work. If I put $40 worth of silver into one piece I have to charge at least $120 ... and realistically $150 or more to account for wholesale pricing. That $40 in silver does not include my time and I've decided I deserve to get paid more than minimum wage at this point. And it does not include any other extra things like accent beads. And yes, I have used a full ounce of silver in a couple of pieces. It's not hard to do when using thicker gauges and PMC.
My hope is that I'll be able to combine a combination of hand forged metals, PMC, and beads to have affordable price points for everyone. I have a feeling though with my own expensive taste in materials that my jewelry may reach a price that even my mom will find too steep.