Daily Wire Tip Jan. 17: Pricing Jewelry by the Carat Weight

By on January 16, 2011
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip for
January 17, 2011


I am creating some black onyx jewelry for an arts and crafts festival: a kind of simple design, mostly black onyx strung on bead wire with a sterling silver clasp. I have seen some jewelry of this type on jewelry shows on TV, and they price it according to the carat weight of the beads. Is it a proper way to price, or should I sell it according to the mathematical equation which I have read in your blog? Any help appreciated. Thanks!

-Nora in Surprise, Arizona


Yet another way that is used to price jewelry and sell it, by the carat weight. This type of marketing is used by people who want to impress others with the weight of the stones used in a finished piece of jewelry, to “push” a sale. In my opinion, this is generally not a good way to sell, unless the stones (or beads) are of a precious or semi-precious nature.

Most of what is sold as black onyx today is dyed. If one were to have natural, solid black onyx, then it is a semi-precious stone. If you are lucky enough to find natural black onyx, it will likely be banded with shades of white, such as the affordable selection of black onyx cabochons and beads offered on Wire-Sculpture.

Stone beads that could be sold by the carat weight would include those that are more rare and are of good to excellent quality (meaning eye-clean, excellent color, etc). These include Apatite, Ruby, Emerald, Sapphire, Diamond, Jade (the genuine article), Aquamarine, Amethyst, etc. Depending on the demand for certain stones, Lapis, Larimar, genuine Coral and others can be added to the “sell by the carat” list. Please be careful about what you believe (and may buy) from television sales channels! To avoid possible costly mistakes, do your research first.

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

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  1. avatar

    Jane Elizabeth

    January 17, 2011 at 9:23 am

    Nora, If you have extremely rare stones in your designs make sure to verify the stones’ idenity and be ready to back that up. Wire-sculpture sells scales for the accurate weights of your gems and you can trust they identify their gemstones properly. After all you want to be able to stand behind all aspects of your product and develope a reputation you can be proud of. I believe in total disclosure about plated chain, wire and bead material as well. Good luck on your journey in wire!

  2. avatar


    January 17, 2011 at 10:38 am

    I think for a festival the math equation is best.
    As Dale and Jane said know your stones…there is a lot of dyed stuff out there. One example is howelite dyed every color and passing for that stone…Mountain “Jade” it is stone but not jade and comes in fun colors…