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Thread: Fine Vs High jewellery

  1. #11
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    I have always regarded the companies that I made work for in the past as high end jewellers, companies such as Asprey, Garrard, Cartier and Kutchinsky.

    James
    James Miller FIPG.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis View Post
    Strangely design content has not been mentioned in this context, almost as if it does not exist. Dennis.
    But as everything that is made is designed surely the name of the designer shouldn't technically have any influence over price (although we know that branding causes expectations to change as well as perception of quality). It goes without saying that a beautifully designed piece should have a higher price than a badly designed piece if materials and construction are like for like but design becomes almost irrelevant if the materials and finish are poor quality.

    If you had a 2ct natural untreated certified yellow diamond set in 18ct gold and the claw setting gaped or the piece was finished badly, it wouldn't fulfil my definition of fine jewellery however fine the materials and design but if it was placed and priced in a jewellers or on a website under the section fine jewellery, how many people other than jewellers would notice when they made a purchase? This is why I resent the way the term fine is misused, even if it is just a 'marketing tool' because to me it is mis-selling or misrepresentation and that affects other jewellery listed and sold on the same sites or in stores.

    I'm all for jewellery at different price points for different consumers but I am also pro honest sales and I quite often feel like I am banging my head against a brick wall looking for an honest multi-channel reseller. Am I alone in this feeling or does everyone else just end up opening their own shop and displaying at the goldsmiths fair and suchlike?

    I remember another thread where someone (I think it wa shineylauren) commented that a potential customer said she must have mispriced her silver jewellery because other 'silver' jewellery on the same site was cheaper and I wondered then how widespread such uneven comparisons were. Having spent the best part of a year researching the matter it seems to me that Artisans and craftsman (craftswomen? craftspeople?) seem to have a very uneven playing field to sell their products against factory, mass produced goods masquerading as handmade because they are 'hand finished' on sites that were initially set up for the smaller creator/maker/craftsperson and have not been curated as well as they perhaps should have been?

    Maybe I spend too much time with pedantic people.

    I would say that most high jewellery is created as a collaboration between several master craftsman so in that sense I can see where design may play a larger part. In many of those cases the houses such jewellery emerges from tend to have a particular design aesthetic that makes the piece instantly recognisable as a De Grisogono or an Avakian or Borghassian for example.

  3. #13
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    High end work as James points out is the very best materials & workmanship, fine is good quality materials but not necessarily made all that we'll such as a lot of high St stuff...which also sell not so fine stuff followed by junk.
    Just do your things best you can & let customers gush over them if they want to....forget everything else.

  4. #14
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    Here is a piece of what I regard as high end jewellery, I made this 18ct. gold brooch set with diamonds, 20 years ago for Kutchinsky, not my stone setting though.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	200 Gerald's bow brooch.jpg 
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    James
    Last edited by Goldsmith; 19-05-2017 at 11:02 AM.

  5. #15
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    Hi Chris. You're right I should just make things to the best of my ability and chill a bit about the rest. Thanks for being the voice of reason!

    James, every piece of your work that I have seen posted on these boards has always fallen (in my opinion) in the fine jewellery bracket at the very least and some of the more extravagant pieces like this gold and diamond bow brooch are definitely towards the 'high' jewellery end of the market. You are definitely the correct result of the old school apprenticeship to master craftsman scheme. I'm just gutted that I missed that opportunity as I didn't even know such systems existed until I was in my late thirties!

    It's quite bizarre really because when I look at that bow I can't help but realise that it is the type of jewellery that my great grandmother used to wear regularly of an evening and yet nowadays it's the type of jewellery that would only come out of it's box for special occasions and is kept in a safe. That makes me quite sad. I hope that the owner gets real pleasure out of wearing it.

    Maybe that's what I should be concentrating on, when designing rather than getting bogged down in the technicalities and worries about target market etc..

    Thank you everyone who has responded to this thread. I really appreciate your help, feedback (and sanity!).
    Ceri.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldsmith View Post
    Here is a piece of what I regard as high end jewellery, I made this 18ct. gold brooch set with diamonds, 20 years ago for Kutchinsky, not my stone setting though.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	200 Gerald's bow brooch.jpg 
Views:	38 
Size:	77.7 KB 
ID:	10188

    James
    Nice to see "old school" pave for a change...just did these this morning and they required zero skill in comparison.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemsetterchris View Post
    Nice to see "old school" pave for a change...just did these this morning and they required zero skill in comparison.
    Forgot the yellow diamond link, all in 18ct so decent materials...though certainly not high end work since anyone could do these with minimal skill...it's a time/money save with these CAD pip claws..probably take as long to do one traditionally with bead raising & cutting up..though personally I prefer that old style work as it's more hard wearing, handwork look if abit rough in comparison.
    Just happy to have got all the t-shirts.

  8. #18
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    "Maybe that's what I should be concentrating on, when designing rather than getting bogged down in the technicalities and worries about target market etc.."

    Spot on!

  9. #19
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    One major point of doing your best is to also know when to stop faffing with something..you could easily waste a couple of hours for no noticeable reason.

    I did this myself as an apprentice.
    You need to be realistic & get on with the next project once you have finished & not look back.

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