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What Does a Jeweler Do?

Updated: Aug 28, 2023

what does a jeweler do

A jeweler is a person who creates personal adornment items using metals, gemstones and other materials. They may also be involved in selling, buying, repairing, cleaning and appraising pieces of jewelry. The history of jewellery making starts many millennia ago.

Archeological findings have proven that Africans were making jewelry 75,000 years ago. Throughout centuries, bracelets, rings and necklaces have been not only used as personal adornment but also as currency and amulets.

Duties and tools

For the most part of their job, jewelers deal with creating and designing pieces of jewelry. That's why, to become a top-class jeweler, one must have a rich imagination and highly developed artistic skill. The practitioners of this trade might also repair, clean, and restore jewelry items.

Some are licensed to appraise jewelry using special evaluation techniques and research. You can call upon a jeweler if you need to cut an extra piece, mend clasps, reduce sizes or fix stones on your jewelry.

Most jewelry craftsmen work at a workbench using similar tools to their ancient predecessors. However, the number of modern technologies making their way into the craft is rapidly increasing. For example, many artists switched from traditional cutting tools to lasers that cut gems quickly and precisely. Laser is also used to engrave complicated designs into gold, silver, and other precious metals.

Computer-aided design technology replaces manual design, allowing to create a model of jewelry piece on a computer. This is much more convenient for the artist because they can see how the piece will turn out before they waste resources on a potentially flawed design.

Where do jewelers work?

Many jewelers are self-employed and work from the comfort of their home. Others work in jewelry stores, repair shops or jewelry factories. The job in a jewelry store involves a lot of interaction with customers. The jeweler helps them choose the right adornment piece or takes orders for custom pieces.

Those who work in repair shops spend much time alone and are fully immersed in the repairing process which requires much concentration and precision. Most of the time, they are not supervised or are supervised to a small extent.

They have a flexible schedule, being able to choose their working hours. Those who work in retail stores have set schedules and may have to work on weekends and during holidays when the flow of customers is high.

According to estimations, about half of all jewelers are self-employed. They decide on their work hours and often have a workshop or studio in their homes. Self-employed jewelers sell their items at fairs or trade shows. More and more of them start to sell their crafts online. Some independent jewelers take a step further and open their own jewelry store.

While not all resist the competition in the field, some manage to build a solid reputation and become successful entrepreneurs. To become a jeweler, one must have an education degree related to this field and join an apprenticeship where they learn the practical aspects of jewelry making.

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