Jewelers design, make, and repair rings, necklaces, earrings, and other jewelry.
Jewelers usually specialize in one or more type of jewelry. They may specialize in a type of jewelry such as rings or they may specialize by material such as gold or silver.
Jewelers shape metal using hand tools or lathes. Sometimes they use wax to make models and use the models to cast and shape pieces. They solder pieces together. They mount gems or stones on some pieces. On other pieces they may engrave a design.
Repair work may include sizing rings, resetting stones, straightening twisted silver, and replacing broken clasps.
Most jewelers use a variety of common and specialized hand tools to do their work. These include hammers, pliers, drills, and hand engravers. Some jewelers use computers to design and create custom pieces according to their customers’ wishes.
In jewelry manufacturing, jewelers will usually do one operation in the process of completing a piece. For example, some jewelers shape pieces on which others do finish work such as polishing or engraving.
Many jewelers now use lasers to cut stones, engrave designs, or do other precise work. Some firms use computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD and CAM) in the production process.
Jewelers may specialize one of several areas:
Precious metal workers work primarily on gold, silver, and other metals.
Gemologists analyze and certify gemstones. They use microscopes and grading instruments to examine stones and finished pieces of jewelry. They write reports based on their findings.
Jewelers who are knowledgeable about the quality and value of gems appraise jewelry. To make appraisals, they examine jewelry and gems to determine if they are genuine and to appraise their value.
Bench jewelers usually work for jewelry retailers making repairs and cleaning jewelry.
Jewelers who own or manage stores or shops also have managerial duties. They hire, train, and supervise employees. In addition, they order and sell merchandise.