How to Become a Jewelry & Precious Stone Worker

If you’re interested in jewelry and precious stones, becoming a jewelry and precious stone worker might be an appropriate career path for you. Becoming a jewelry or precious stone worker usually doesn’t require anything more than a high school diploma. The trade is extremely skilled, however, which means that many people will need to dedicate quite a lot time to learning the industry. There are many aspects to jewelry and precious stones, which can sometimes include designing jewelry, manufacturing jewelry and even simply selling the jewelry.

A jewelry and precious stone worker could concentrate on cutting stones, or they could concentrate on the procurement aspect of sourcing these stones and selling them. A jewelry and precious stone worker could also appraise gemstones as well as jewelry, adjust old pieces of jewelry or repair jewelry that is broken.

What Does a Jewelry & Precious Stone Worker Do?
$35,170
High School or GED
None
Long-term
39,200
-5%
(2,000)
Find Related CareersSOURCE: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

A jewelry and precious stone worker could grade gemstones such as diamonds or create jewelry from metals and metal alloys. Jewelers may also set gems in metal for jewelry and create jewelry from scratch. Cast pieces could be made for jewelry, or jewelry could be carved. Wire-wrapped jewelry can be created with metal wire, and some jewelry can be soldered together. Stones themselves can be cut, shaped or polished for use in jewelry or for sale as uncut stones. In addition to this, jewelry that has already been made can be repaired or shaped.

One common thing that jewelers and precious stone workers might do is resize rings by either making them larger or smaller. Another common practice is the resetting of stones that are loose or have fallen out entirely. Sometimes customers will want entirely new gems inserted into existing jewelry, such as upgrading a wedding ring.

How Do You Become a Jewelry & Precious Stone Worker?

Becoming a jewelry and precious stone worker usually begins with having a passion for jewelry or stones. This field does not demand any formal education, which means entering into the industry usually means that you will need to be trained on the job for years. Unlike many other trades, the apprenticeship in this process can take a significant amount of time due to the complexity of the trade and the variation within it.

If you wish to focus on a specific aspect of jewelry, such as cutting stones, you may be able to complete your training more quickly than if you want a generalized and comprehensive set of skills. Many workers will specialize as gemologists, jewelry appraisers or bench jewelers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. All of these fields are relatively equal in demand and will afford many opportunities for professional growth and development.

How Does a Jewelry & Precious Stone Worker Advance?

Many jewelry or precious stone workers will become self-employed or open up their own jewelry shops. They may also become the manager of a jewelry store or the supervisor of other jewelers and precious stone workers. Otherwise, advancement is usually based on seniority and it depends on the field. Bench jewelers, for instance, usually work in large department stores fixing jewelry as it comes in. In this case, the jeweler will usually receive increases in pay based on how long they are with the department. Eventually, they could potentially become a supervisor of the department.

Jewelry appraisers, on the other hand, may begin working independently and become self-employed. Gemologists could potentially get hired by a large jewelry store or jewelry chain, in which case they would be subject to much the same advancement opportunities as bench jewelers. According to O*Net Online, the top industry for those in this business is self-employment, due to the unique specialization of the skills involved.

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