Scarlett Jewellery - what quality means to us
Jewellery is a creative and competitive business, and with an abundance of gorgeous but very cheap jewellery out there to choose from, we at Scarlett have good reason why we aren't as cheap as some other jewellery makers you might find.
For almost 19 years now we've been making our designer silver jewellery in our workshop in the UK. We may have moved location a few times, but the ethics are the same. They key facts you need to know about Scarlett Jewellery and our designs are:
- We don't make jewellery from plated base metals such as brass to keep the costs down. All our silver is solid silver, all our gold is solid gold
- We use UK suppliers for all our chains which are all made from high quality sterling silver or solid 9ct gold
- We assemble, engrave, set diamonds and hand finish our jewellery in our workshop
- We don't buy in mass produced designs - our creations are our own, our designs original and you won't find our products made elsewhere
This is why when you'll find on all our products either full dimensions, weight or both to help you make an informed choice on which piece to choose.
Why measurements and weight help you choose
The dimensions of all our bracelet charms, Mojo beads, earrings and pendants are measured in millimeters - we've found this to be the best way to envisage smaller and detailed pieces using nice easy numbers to help you visualise how large, small or wide each piece is.
The lengths of our bracelets and necklace chains are measured in inches to keep things easy - most bracelets are measured this way from end to end including clasps or t-bars.
Our bangles are measured in millimeters across the inside diameter or using a UK bangle sizer. There are so many sizing charts out there, and so many ways you can apparently measure a bangle, a straight across the middle approach has always worked the best!
Weight of Silver & Gold Charms
We list the approximate weight of all our silver and gold charms - our charms vary wildly in size, weight, complexity and detail which is reflected in the price of each one, and the weight helps clarify the finished price especially in the case of solid gold charms. As gold prices fluctuate daily, prices can change drastically very quickly. An extra gram in weight could mean the cost of gold bullion in a single charm can increase by £20-£60 alone if the gold price rises quickly, as happened following the BREXIT vote.
As we only use solid gold for our charms we're conscious that we want to offer the best prices we can, so we offer a fixed price that's updated only when the market changes suddenly.
Where Scarlett sits in the 'quality pyramid'
In jewellery there's a range of levels of quality you can expect depending on the price you're prepared to pay, and this simple pyramid infographic might help to explain where Scarlett sits in terms of quality and pricing.
Top End Luxury Jewellery
Expect to pay: £10,000-£5,000,000+
Made from: 24ct gold, platinum, covered in huge diamonds and rare gemstones
Worn by: The rich & ultra glamorous, Royalty and A-List Celebs
Life span of jewellery: Lifetime & beyond - the sort of jewellery that becomes an heirloom or auctioneers dream!
Pros: Investment jewellery made to last with high quality label behind it
Cons: Mega expensive and out of the reach of most of us
Price per wear: £££££££££
High End Designer Jewellery
Expect to pay: £3,000 - £10,000
Made from: 18ct gold, platinum, with large diamonds and gemstones
Worn by: Wealthy & quality conscious people with money to invest, or of course a luxurious wedding or engagement ring
Life span of jewellery: Lifetime & Beyond, could be an heirloom, or just something to show off (and why not?!)
Pros: Investment pieces made to last
Cons: Out of many people's price range
Price Per Wear: £££££
Mid Range Designer Jewellery
Expect to pay: £200 - £3,000
Made from: High quality heavyweight silver, or solid gold with some diamonds
Worn by: Quality and style conscious people with a reasonable budget looking for something that will be worn a lot and last a long time
Pros: Well presented, high quality materials, made to last, usually good design
Cons: Can be a high price if you're just looking for everyday work jewellery
Price Per Wear: ££
Low-Mid Range Designer Jewellery
Expect to pay: £35 - £200
Made from: Usually solid sterling silver with elements in solid gold
Worn by: Quality and price conscious people looking for something they can wear and enjoy over a long period of time, or for a high quality jewellery gift.
Life span of jewellery: Many gold and rose gold items in this price bracket are likely to be gold plated silver unless they are very light in weight, and could last around 12-18 months with moderate wear before plating wears off. Any solid gold pieces in this price bracket should last years.
Pros: Well made and affordable - expect to get a lot of wear. Once worn out you should even be able to scrap the elements and get some money back!
Cons: More expensive and sometimes less trend led than high street jewellery
Price Per Wear: £
Low Budget Cheap Jewellery
Expect to pay: £10 - £35
Made from: Usually plated base metals, occasionally with elements of lightweight silver. Jewellery that looks like yellow & rose gold likely to be either plated brass, rhodium or steel. Jewellery will be light in weight and plating will wear off quite quickly.
Worn by: People looking for an unsentimental, quick fashion fix or easy budget gift. Throwaway jewellery usually mass produced by high street stores, or found on wholesale websites such as DH Gate and Alibaba.
Life span of jewellery: 1-6 months - don't be surprised to find it rusted in the bathroom or make your ears go that funny shade of green.
Pros: Get it easy, get it cheap, be fashionable without spending much
Cons: Not likely to last long, non-recyclable and will end up in landfill, could make your skin go green, likely to rust with heavy wear.
Price Per Wear: ££££
Where does Scarlett fit in terms of quality & design?
We definitely sit in the Mid Range Designer Jewellery section - we aren't cheap and throwaway, but we're not high end either. Our focus is on quality and integrity. It's not uncommon for us to meet customers at shows proudly wearing a bangle or ring they have had for ten years or more, or a pair of earrings they've yet to take off after years of wear. We often hear how it's their favourite piece and often commented on for it's original design.
How do you work out a price per wear?
When we looked at price per wear it's hard to measure on a ring that costs tens of thousands, but safe to assume it's not likely to be worn a whole lot and likely to be kept locked in a safe. However, it's much easier to measure when you look at budget jewellery compared to slightly higher quality solid silver or gold - both of which you can find online and on the high street.
For example. a cheap throwaway bangle made of plated brass might only cost £10, but if you only get to wear it five times before it loses it's colour, turns your skin green or goes rusty then you're looking at a price per wear of £2.
Compare that to an £80 solid silver bangle - if you wear it three times a week, every week, for three or more years you get a price per wear of only £0.17 - in other words it's often worth the extra investment in something of a higher quality if you really love the design and want it to last.
Remember - this guide is just that, a guide. There are always exceptions to any rule - you could find a perfect pair of studs for a fiver that last years, or you could spend a bomb on something that breaks in 6 months. At Scarlett we feel it's important to express our commitment to quality, and what we stand for.