I was shooting the breeze with a fellow machine tool peddler and he threw out the comment that he had an inquiry from a Chassidic jeweler in Manhattan who was interested in buying a M32 Citizen to run titanium wedding bands.
This intrigued me because I had never heard of a wedding band made of such material, but he told me it was the hot new thing in jewelry.
“How much would it cost to make one?” I asked.
He said he had already priced it and figured a ring would cost $6 max for material, plus polishing costs. My capitalist bones started to vibrate.
“What do they sell for?”
“About $125 a copy in a jewelry store, maybe $80 on Amazon.com,” he said.
I checked further online and found cheap crap coming in from Asia for $25 per ring.
“This could be a great gig for a wholesale jeweler who could sell to independents. If you could make $50 a ring and sell 1,000 a month – pretty nice game to play before it gets too commoditized,” I said.
But maybe I am just whistling Dixie and jewelry should be left to the professionals.
So I’m going to throw it out to you, the machining pros, who read my stuff. Do you think a job shop could successfully infiltrate the esoteric insiders’ market to sell titanium wedding bands?
If so, how would you do it? Would you aim at the low end? Would you hire your daughter-in-law to approach jewelry mavens? Would you try to hit a home run with Costco?
Or would you stick to making something easy like a bone screw?
Question 1: Is making rings on a CNC Swiss a good idea?
Question 2: Would you buy a titanium wedding band on the Internet for $50?