A Marketing Moral Dilemma

Any advice?

K2 Wrapped in Sterling Silver
A K2 cabochon wrapped as a pendant in sterling silver.

Labradorite
A labradorite cabochon wrapped as a pendant in sterling silver.

Yellow Feather Jasper
A yellow feather jasper cabochon wrapped as a pendant in antiqued copper.

I’m in a bit of a moral dilemma.

To increase the marketability of the semiprecious gemstones I’ve been turning into jewelry, I need to include details about the stone in each piece.

I have no problem writing up the geophysical aspects of the stone, but I’ve been advised by other jewelry makers to include metaphysical aspects, too. And that’s the problem: I don’t believe in any of the purported metaphysical benefits of rocks.

The trouble is, although the stones I’ve been wrapping are attractive pieces of jewelry in their own right (if I do say so myself), many of the people who would consider wearing stones as jewelry do so because they believe in the metaphysical properties of the stones they wear.

Although true believers know what stones they want, borderline believers might not. If I include the “fact” that moss agate, for example, aids in childbirth, I could help convince a pregnant woman to buy a piece of jewelry that includes a piece of moss agate. It certainly wouldn’t hurt her in any way, but I don’t believe it would help her, either.

The moral dilemma is that I believe that including such information is misleading a potential buyer. But what if the buyer expects such information? And if the information is widely available and easily confirmed, why shouldn’t I include it if it could help sales?

Any advice?

14 thoughts on “A Marketing Moral Dilemma

  1. Begin with “While I don’t personally believe in metaphysical properties of stones, many do. Here are some testimonials…” That way you absolve yourself of pushing what you believe to be falsehoods. Just a thought.

    • I like that wording, although I’m trying to keep it really short. Whatever I come up with has to fit on a card that I insert in the jewelry box or a tag I tie to the actual piece. I also need to be careful not to insult any of the folks who believe in that stuff. Right now, I am leaning toward including SOMETHING.

    • How about “Some believe that these items possess metaphysical properties”

      You are being truthful.

  2. If the information is widely available and easily confirmed, why should you? I would think people why buy these for the metaphysical properties already know what those are. Those who don’t could feel misled if the desired benefit is not realized or if they later find information that debunks the purported benefit. And why promote something you don’t believe in anyway?

    • I was wondering if someone would ask that question. I had that question myself.

      It’s actually safe enough to include it because you can’t prove a negative. For example, you can’t prove that moss agate DOESN’T help in childbirth. In fact, some folks might insist that it does simply because the mother or midwife wearing or carrying it believes it — like a placebo effect.

      That is the dilemma: promoting something I don’t believe in. But I really do want to sell these pieces so I can keep making new ones. I’m enjoying the hobby! These stones and the sterling silver I’m now using to wrap them ain’t cheap and I already have quite a collection.

      And is including the info “promoting” it? I could argue either way.

  3. I think Mike has the right formula.
    Here is my take on that:-

    “While I hope my jewelry is attractive as art in its own right, some cultures attribute particular stones with having specific psychologically beneficial properties. For example, some cultures believe that agates help in childbirth. I make no special claims for my stones but those interested in the alleged healing properties of such pieces might wish to consult :-
    Blogs and Brown (2015) ‘The Role of Stones in Healing Rituals among the First Nation Tribes of the American Southwest” (Oneborneveryminute Press)

    The above title is a spoof of course, but I promise you that similar books will be available and you could link to an actual title without endorsing its contents.
    In this way you market your work to both hippies and rational people without telling fibs.

  4. What I’ve done in the past is to keep the descriptions pretty generic. I wouldn’t be so specific as to say a stone helps in childbirth.
    Instead, I’ve described Agates as a stone of protection, Tiger Eye as a stone of inner strength and so forth.
    I think the best way is to say, “Agate Is believed to……..” You don’t have to say either way if it’s something you believe or not yourself.

  5. Some day I’d like to meet you. I’m not sure why, since you wouldn’t like me (nobody does, except for the occasional lonely cat), but maybe it would make me at least feel smarter. That would be enough. Some of it has to rub off, eh?

    I’m sorry that I can’t give you any advice on this metaphysical stuff, because I didn’t get past actual physics, which was hard all by itself, but.

    Maybe You can get a few hints from Reductress:

    * 6 Crystals That Will Make Your Psychic Think You Have Your Shit Together: http://reductress.com/post/6-crystals-that-will-make-your-psychic-think-you-have-your-shit-together/

    * How to Confront Your Roommate When She Hasn’t Spiritually Cleansed the Apartment In Weeks: http://reductress.com/post/how-to-confront-your-roommate-when-she-hasnt-spiritually-cleansed-the-apartment-in-weeks/

    * I Believe That This Crystal Is Deodorant, And That’s Enough: reductress.com/post/i-believe-that-this-crystal-is-deodorant-and-thats-enough/

    * How To Make Calling Yourself a Witch Your Whole Personality: http://reductress.com/post/how-to-make-calling-yourself-a-witch-your-whole-personality/

    But what do I know? Good luck.

What do you think?