Is all this stuff really the same?
This question often comes up regarding fashion jewelry, in general. Is it all really the same? The answer is a resounding, “NO”.
Plating: The most important ingredient in fashion jewelry is the plating. Merchandise is often under-plated in fashion jewelry because the outer appearance does not improve much by increasing the plating, whereas the cost to produce the item does greatly increase (for some items, the plating costs more than the item underneath the plating!). We know, however, that the wearability greatly increases with increased plating thickness. Due to the recent upsurge in the price of gold, many fashion jewelers are not plating with real gold, but instead are opting for an "imitation gold" alloy, which they often label as "gold tone". We still use REAL gold, and put more gold on our jewelry than most in the industry. Our premium product, gold bonded, has 50 micro-inches of gold, or 7 times more gold than regular gold electroplate. No one else in the industry has a thicker plating thickness. We do all of our 50 micro-inch plating here in San Clemente, and do not farm it out overseas, either, where the quality for this highly technical process can be compromised. Approximately half of our customers swear by the 50 micro-inches (often referred to as 50 Mils) plating, and will sell nothing else. Silver plating: where you see a /50 on the price list, we actually plate with 100 micro-inches of silver because silver is much less costly than gold. However, we put such a good coating over our standard silver plated items, that many feel that the standard silver plating is sufficient.
Raw Materials: Diamond-cut Korean brass is far superior to the Chinese brass, which is not as smooth or fine. The polishing is also better in Korea than China. The white metal that is often used in fashion jewelry also decreases costs, but can break or bend easily, and is very heavy. We do not use white metal, or pot metal—only the finest brass base.
Stones: Most of the stones used in S&A product are high-grade Cubic Zirconia or Austrian Crystals. In many instances, we use natural stones. We rarely use acrylic or lucite--a norm in the fashion jewelry industry, but far inferior to CZ's or crystals. Our CZ stones are almost always prong-set, not glued in where they can easily fall out.
The bottom line is that our commitment to quality has kept us successful for 30 years. It is the reason why most of our sales come from repeat customers who are loyal to us largely due to their experience with our product. Your customers will be the same with you, as you sell this product. It is not perfect, but it is simply the best in the fashion jewelry industry. We will continue to work at reducing your prices. However, we will also strive to lead the industry in fashion jewelry quality.
We wish you every success in selling the S&A line. We will support you with our lifetime warranty, and will try to fulfill your needs.
Thank you much.