A friend of mine who is a big guy likes telling me that in American restaurants, “quantity is quality.”

And in jewelry — and many other things, like consumer products — PRICE is quality.

Why is this?

Most people you sell to cannot judge the true qualities of a piece of jewelry. They don’t know how to test to see if it’s really gold. They don’t have the skills to identify the gems. Was it heat-treated or irradiated? The average person will never know.

So, they rely on other things to judge the value. Like whether or not they trust you. The quality of the display materials. Your confidence as you describe the piece.

And, dear reader, the price.

That’s right.

People associate quality with price.

Here’s an example from the toaster world:

Consumer Reports did an article on toasters a few years ago. The best toaster was not the best-selling toaster. But it was the lowest-priced toaster.

The best toaster made great toast, and was a small utilitarian-looking toaster that cost about $20.

The best-selling toaster was stylish, gleaming and didn’t make very good toast. It cost over $200.

Why did people buy the more expensive toaster that didn’t do what they were buying it for?

Because psychologically they believed it was better because it cost more.

Do you know how many jewelry makers write to me and tell me that AFTER raising their prices, they started selling MORE?

I am never surprised by this.

Because people view the jewelry as worth more when it costs more.

So charge more.