​How Much is Silver Jewelry Worth?

How Much Is Silver Jewelry Worth?

What’s much is silver jewelry worth? How to get the best deal? How much do jewelers make?

Silver, as well as gold, platinum, and other precious metals have been a store of wealth as well as an investment for thousands of years! At the time of writing this (January 2022) silver spot price is $0.74/g or $23.03/oz. 925 silver is 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals.


How Much Do Jewelers Make?

So how is the price of your iced out Miami Cuban chain or hip hop ring calculated? Let’s take for example, a chain or pendant that’s 100 grams for simplicity. At today’s market, the silver needed to make this chain would be 92.5% of $74 or $68.4. Most mining companies that supply factories with raw silver take about 5%, so we are now at $72. Now a simple chain can take anywhere from 2-5 hours to make, while a pendant or ring with many stones takes about 6-8 hours to handset. Labor, especially when factories treat their employees fairly, can range from as low as $6-8/hr in Thailand to as much as $40-50/hr in Italy. We will take an average of 4 hours at $25/hr. Our piece now costs around $172 out the factory door. We now must add shipping as well as 10-25% US customs duties for importing silver chains from Italy (or whatever country).

So a 100-gram chain hypothetically costs a jeweler making the item themselves at their own factory $200. Many jewelers don’t make the items themselves and instead buy from wholesalers located in USA. These items sometimes change hands 2-3 times before they get the items which drives up the price even more, as much as 2x in some cases. The last step is that any business needs to run (pay rent, employees, electricity etc.) and needs to turn a profit.


The Harlembling Difference

We at Harlembling make the items ourselves so that the 100-gram chain actually costs us $200 and not $400. We in turn would sell such a chain for around $225 (or if a pendant or fancy chain that’s more labor intensive, for more). By sourcing the items direct, we can afford to keep the prices low while still employing only the most expert jewelers.

Now when it comes to moissanite jewelry that is perhaps the biggest markup in the jewelry business. As of the time of writing (January 2022) GRA certified moissanite stones are sold on the wholesale market for around $20-25/ct when purchased in parcels of 100,000 or more carats at a time. That’s right, for us to lock in these prices, we have to spend $2.5 million on stones at a time. This is the reason why at Harlembling we can offer such low prices on moissanite jewelry. While we sell 100s of moissanite items EACH day, a small jeweler in a mall kiosk can only afford to buy 1000 carats each month because he sells 1-2 items a day…so he pays more…and you pay more when you buy from him :( Moissanite as well as silver, is driven by supply and demand. As more people discover moissanite jewelry the price might go up!

So why does a Tiffany 10 gram chain cost $1000 or a David Yurman 15 gram ring cost $2000? Is it better silver? The answer is no…silver is silver no matter what company you get it from. These companies have HUGE markups due to their brand names. Their marketing costs are in the millions of dolalrs. At Harlembling we let word of mouth, and our unbeatable do the marketing for us. While I like certain brand name jewelry myself, it's not the most sound decision as an investment.

Use This Knowledge as Leverage!

In summary, whenever buying silver jewelry (or gold) check the spot price of metal and calculate the cost of the precious metal. As a rule, jewelers pay about 3-5x the cost of silver metal for the pieces, with the lower range being for plain items and higher range for iced out pieces. For moissanite add $20-30ct. Add labor and manufacturing costs and try to get as close to cost as possible! With this knowledge, you have the power to know how much the jeweler paid for the item and use the knowledge as leverage! Remember always try to buy jewelry by going as close to the “source” as possible…if you buy from a large wholesale company such as Harlembling your cost will be much lower than buying from a mom and pops jeweler or an Instagram dropshipper.