Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Buying Jewellery during a Recession Corazon Latino


This is an article by the jewerly designer Catherine D’Arcy on how to buy Jewellery during a Recession

Times are tough at the moment with global food and fuel prices rising, the credit crisis and a housing slump facing a large proportion of the Western world. Despite this, birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions warranting gifts still come around, and every now again, particularly with the economic climate so depressing, everyone needs a treat. So what should you spend your hard earned cash on when there isn’t so much to spare?

My suggestion would be silver jewellery. Although the price of silver has doubled in the past 2 years, it is still reasonable priced when you compare it to the other popular precious metals; gold & platinum. Silver is extremely hard wearing, and if cared for properly will last you for decades, let alone years. It will not significantly lose value, and as supplies of silver become scarcer, it may even increase in value. Not only that. Silver is beautiful, timeless and very classy indeed.

When times are tough, you need to buy well, more than but less. The key to buying well is to invest in products or services that offer good value for money rather than just the offer the cheapest options available. There is a fundamental difference between “cheap” and “good value”. Cheap is simply low priced, and in most cases, the old adage is true, you do get what you pay for. There may be some exceptions, but in most case cheap means lower quality. There is no magic to this, put simply, to deliver very low prices, the supplier either has to be working on very low margins (which is unlikely) or, they have taken the cost out of the product by reducing quality in some way. In the case of jewellery, you can take out weight (making the piece more flimsy), you can take out silver (reducing it from sterling silver to a lower percentage of pure silver in the alloy and making up the difference with cheaper metals), or you can pay lower prices for lower quality workmanship (which is likely to mean less well made pieces and more breakages). In the end, you the customer will pay for any of these “savings” that have been passed on in a lower retail ticket.

Value on the other hand is a combination of price; quality and any number of factors personal to the buyer (like exclusivity, brand name, usefulness, durability, perfect match to a particular outfit and many more). If you invest in “good value” silver jewellery compared to “cheap” silver jewellery, in the end, you will have got the better bargain.

Personally, I would define “good value” as jewellery that is handmade to the highest quality, using the best materials and craftsmanship. Jewellery that is versatile and works with several outfits, that is not likely to go out of fashion and can be worn for years. Finally, jewellery that I won’t see on every 5th woman I pass on the street. By considering these criteria when shopping around you know that anything you buy, either as a gift or as a special treat for yourself, will look good, stand out from the crowd and last for years. Now THAT, in my opinion is good value, and a far better use of your hard earned money.

Bio: Catherine D’Arcy is the founder of online silver jewellery retailer Corazon Latino.

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