Cheaper isn't always better when it comes to jewelry findings and brass stampings.
Let's face it....in a tight economy, everyone's got to pinch pennies.
While we want to give you the best bang for the buck, we'll be quite frank and tell you that we have no interest in selling you lesser quality goods made offshore in factories where safety is of little importance.
For example, we sell *brass*-based findings, including jump rings, eyepins/headpins, and chain along with our fancy vintage style stampings. It's true, these stock-in-trade findings are not highly interesting, BUT....you MUST consider that they ARE the skeleton or base, of your designs. When you choose them, you MUST choose quality.
There are a lot of cheap findings out there on the marketplace with pretty ox finishes on them. MOST OF THEM ARE STEEL-BASED, which costs much less than brass. If you opt for poorly made and poorly plated cheap STEEL based findings, your design will lack longevity and your reputation as an artist will suffer.
That is why ALL of our basic findings are MADE IN THE USA and PLATED/FINISHED in the USA , as are all our new vintage style stampings.
New metal jewelry components made and plated in the USA DO NOT CONTAIN LEAD, either in the base OR the plating. They are plated under strict regulations for the jewelry trade in this country. I highly avoid offering items made with a steel base; if the item I offer DOES have a steel base it WILL be made and plated in the USA .... and it WILL be clearly marked as steel base in our auctions.
We carry select cast white metal charms and pendants from time to time. THESE ALSO ARE MADE IN THE US /PLATED IN THE US . I personally do not trust the plating for wear against skin on new castings and stampings made outside of the US and I do not carry them. The only castings I carry are made in the USA .
USA MADE and FINISHED does indeed cost more. But you know the old adage, "You get what you pay for". Your customers, do, too.
If you buy low-priced, lesser quality findings and craft with them, that's what your customers get. That won't do anything for your reputation as an artist, and why put all that work into something not made with imaginative, QUALITY findings? It's like a carpenter who builds a house with shoddy components. It might look great at the sale, but give it a little time down the road, and there will be structural problems.
Our finishes are crafted by the BEST costume jewelry finishers in the US . Not only do they finish our goods, but they finish the goods used by many of the top designers here in this country as well as in Europe . Three of our finishes, gunmetal, silver ox, and pewter ox, DO contain a tad bit of nickel. Our finisher uses far less nickel in his finish than is legal industry standard. That's why I use him. I want you to have the best, and I want *your* customers to have the best.
Many plating finishes carry a 20-30 percent surcharge these days; brass has gone up 250-300 percent since I entered this business.
Meantime I have done everything to keep prices low because I know as an artist, that artists need lowest possible price.....but! the best costs a little more, it always has.
We struggle with price increases just as you do, but we won't compromise our line by offering lesser-quality goods.
Even in a tight economy you can build value in your work by letting your customers know you use the best findings on the market. Explain to them that they are made in the United States , where laws regulate metals that can be safely used in jewelry making, as well as plating finishes that are applied to them.
You deserve the best...and so do your customers, all the way down the line. ;-)