The jewelry trade is a multibillion dollar industry in which the supply chain connects manufacturers, suppliers and retailers. The industry is comprised of a wide range of products, from luxury pieces to fashion accessories. Some jewelry is crafted from precious metals, such as gold and silver, while others are made from glass, wood, shells or beads. In addition to being functional, some jewelry can serve as a symbol of religious affiliation or status. Some designers use their craft to create social commentary, while others simply want to make a profit.
In order to succeed in the jewelry trade, entrepreneurs need to understand their market. This includes identifying their target market, including age, sex, household composition and occupation. It is also important to understand the lifestyle, beliefs and opinions of your customer base. This may help you select materials and styles that appeal to them. For example, someone who is passionate about saving the environment might be drawn to eco-friendly products. Offering biodegradable packaging or donating a small percentage of your profits to an environmentally focused charity may encourage them to shop with you.
The most popular type of jewelry is fashion, which consists of necklaces, bracelets and rings. It is often made from low-cost materials and goes in and out of style quickly. In contrast, handmade jewelry is often more expensive but can have a long-term appeal. Some handmade jewelry is vintage and has a story behind it, which makes it even more appealing to some shoppers.
A jeweler can offer a trade-in deal where customers can bring in old jewelry that they no longer wear and exchange it for new merchandise. This is a convenient way to unload unwanted items and make room for new ones, but it is important to set realistic expectations for the trade-in value of the jewelry. The best way to do this is by researching current market prices for similar jewelry items. This knowledge empowers customers to negotiate effectively and make informed purchase decisions.
In the early 1900s, a movement called the arts and crafts style helped establish a more artisanal approach to jewelry making. Designers like Rene Lalique contributed to this trend with intricate, decorative styles that removed the focus from gemstone setting and instead highlighted the artistic design of a piece of jewelry. The movement also helped to establish the use of more natural materials, such as agate, rock crystal and jade. In the UK, this style was given added legitimacy through a law requiring goldsmiths to stamp their work with a hallmark. This ensured the authenticity of a piece of jewellery and gave consumers confidence that they were getting what they paid for. The law is still in place today, although the hallmarking process has been simplified.