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Fur Types

Below you will find broad retail price ranges for different types of fur garments (in U.S. dollars) based on the North American retail market. Garments can probably be found for less than the minimum or more than the maximum, for a variety of reasons. Fur garment prices vary due to geographical location, retailer, quality of manufacturing, pelt quality and whether or not they carry designer labels. Fur prices are set by supply and demand at international pelt auctions. Therefore, fur garment prices also vary according to season, depending on levels established by worldwide competition.
 
Mink
The most popular of all furs sold worldwide, mink accounts for the overwhelming majority of U.S. retail fur sales. It is sold at a wide variety of price points. Like automobiles, the bulk fall into the lower price range. To the educated eye, there is a vast difference between the long mink costing $2,999 and the one costing $29,999. The best way to choose is extensive comparison shopping using the touch test, looking for silky “guard hairs” (the longer ones on top) and even-textured “underfur” (the thicker lower layer of the mink).
 
Mink Price Ranges:
   - Commercial: $2,499 - $5,999
   - Moderate:  $6,000 - $9,999
   - Upper End: $10,000 - $50,000
 
Fox

Fox is traditionally the second-most popular fur garment sold in North America, though in the early ‘90s, its long-haired, ostentatious fur look became unfashionable and prices dropped. By the middle of the decade, however, the frequency of using fox as a trim on other types of garments sent prices soaring. Now that luxury is back in fashion, so is fox. Prices are strong. Still, fox garment prices can vary almost as much as those of mink.
 
The majority of fox sold in North America is farmed in Scandinavia. It comes in several different colors that are used either in their natural tone or dyed. Brightly hued short fox chubby jackets average $3,000 to $15,000 or more for top designers. Natural fox pelts from North America, including wild red or gray fox, cost much less. Therefore, ankle-length wild fox coats, though not widely available, can be found at retail starting at about $1,999.
 
Beaver/Sheared Beaver

Over the past decade, brightly colored, patterned sheared beaver coats have become extremely fashionable, now found in top designer collections as well as for the mass market. A natural, long-haired beaver coat retails in the range of $2,000 to $5,000, while a sheared and dyed one usually starts at $4,000 and can cost up to $7,000 or even more for some designer coats.
 
Sheared beaver coats are much more expensive than untreated, long-haired beaver coats not just because of this fashion trend, but for the following reasons:
   - shearing the top of the pelts exposes the underfur, which means that it must be in perfect condition and requires that only top-quality beaver pelts be used for this process.
   - dyeing pelts is a treatment that adds value and price; the more elaborate the graphic design set into the coat, the more workmanship is required to tediously cut, piece and sew together like a puzzle, the differently colored pelts.
 
Sable

Russian sable is still the most prized and expensive fur in the world for its legendary silky quality, rarity and light weight. A little sable jacket starts at about $16,000 and a top quality silvery coat can run upward of $150,000.
 
Persian/Karakul/Swakara Lamb

Today’s curly Persian, Karakul and Swakara lamb coats (the name depends on its origin in Asia or Africa) are a far cry from the ubiquitous, heavy black jackets of the 1950s. Better technology allows furriers to treat the pelts so they are lightweight and even reversible to their own sueded leather side. This adds value, fashion and price. A Persian or Karakul lamb coat retail from about $5,000 to $12,000.
 
Mongolian/Tibetan Lamb
The flashiest of furs, Mongolian/Tibetan lamb is the only long-haired fur that is also curly. It has regained prominence with the return of the chubby style, which originated with fox. It is also one of the least expensive furs at about $500 to $3,000.
 
Broadtail Lamb

Sleek, lightweight, shiny and flat as fabric but with a slight wave, Russian broadtail lamb lends itself to chic but expensive outerwear plus couture pant or skirt suits or evening wear – even dresses. Prices start around $12,000 and to up to $25,000 or more. Combined with a Russian sable collar and cuffs, and the price goes up from there.
 
Lynx

The wildly furry looking lynx, which comes in a variety of types of garments, was a darling in the 1980s. In fact, during the heydays of the fur industry, a Russian lynx belly coat was the pinnacle of a fur purchase selling at retail for $250,000. In the ‘90s, those prices have came down tremendously, but that special fluffy snow-white coat with black spots is still rare and precious. Lynx are indigenous to North America and Russia, the “belly” of the pelt is usually whiter, has longer fur and is more expensive compared to the “back,” which is usually flatter and has more brown shadings. A Russian belly coat today costs about $50,000, compared to a coat of Russian lynx using the whole pelt costing about $25,000. An American lynx coat sells for $6,500 to about $17,500, with an all-belly coat costing more than one using the back of the pelt or the entire pelt.
 
Shearling

Shearling is a fur using the pelt (including leather) from sheep. It doesn’t weigh a lot, like it once did. Better tanning methods have made fine quality shearling much more lightweight and fashionable. Shearling furs come in a wide range of qualities and styles, starting at about $250 for a very commercial version to $10,000 for a designer original.
 
Ponyskin
A misnomer that comes from 1960s fashion trends, today what designers call ponyskin is usually calfskin. It’s extremely trendy again, used as a flat, shiny fur for skirts, suit jackets and outerwear. It is not a very inherently expensive pelt, but prices depend on who is selling it, the designer, color (the natural black and white pattern is less expensive than any dyed colors) and the amount of material used. For outerwear, prices range from about $2,999 to $7,500.
Chinchilla

Expensive and fragile, chinchilla is prestigious, difficult to manufacture and rarer than sable with prices that don’t peak quite as high (ranging from $30,000 for a jacket to about $100,000). No fur needs more care, but no fur is softer than chinchilla.
 
Raccoon

A long-haired fur with signature gray and black shadings, raccoon coats retail between $2,000 and $6,000.
 
 Ermine

Once the fur of European royalty, Russian summer ermine (golden color) and winter ermine (white, sometimes with the tell-tale black tail tips) are rare and expensive, costing between $30,000 and $60,000.

 
 Fisher
An unusual wild North American fur, fisher is a low-key prestige fur, long-haired, dark and silvery. It costs between $12,000 and $25,000.
 
Otter

A mid-length wild fur with extremely shiny coat, otter is usually reserved for men’s garments and costs between $4,000 and $8,000.
 
Stone/Baum Marten
North American wild furs, baum marten offers a soft, gold look somewhere between golden sable and gold-dyed mink. Stone marten is also creamy beige but boasts a dark brown stripe, which has a blue tone in top qualities. Prices range from $7,500 to $15,000.
 
Coyote

A rough-and-tumble long-haired wild fur usually used for men’s jackets, coyote is creamy in color and not very expensive, at about $2,400 to $5,000.
 
Nutria

Nutria is a wild fur from North or South America, usually Argentina. It is sheared and dyed most popularly for use as a liner to a raincoat or fine fabric coat such as cashmere. An inexpensive fur, its price usually depends on the fabric it’s paired with, raging in price from $1,995 to $6,000.
 
Opossum

Usually originating in Australia or New Zealand, opossum is typically wooly and coarse and used for a raincoat liner or a man’s coat, costing from $1,695 to $4,000.
 
Muskrat

Muskrat is a North American wild fur that can be appreciated both in its natural beauty (it has distinctive shadings, including brown, gold, beige and gray) or dyed in deep jewel tones for sporty jackets. Depending on the processing and manufacturing, a muskrat can cost from $1,295 to $4,000.
 
Russian Squirrel

Russian squirrel garments are rarely seen in North America, but their gray-blue pelts are usually dyed and used as an Italian-designer favorite for their soft, supple and lightweight qualities. They are somewhat fragile and not exceedingly warm. The cost is generally $5,000 to $15,000 because they’re designer imports.
 
Fitch

Fitch could be mistaken for a mink except for its distinctive and dramatic markings. This fur, from Scandinavia or Russia, is a study in contrast with its brown/black guard hairs and stripe set against white underfur. A garment costs between $4,000 and $7,000.