Question

I’ve been interested in the jewelry trade all my life but never pursued it seriously until now. The possibilities of working with gold, silver, and gems to create jewelry fascinate me. But as a profession, this is a new area for me. I want to learn how to work in the field not just for enjoyment but to make a living. I’m starving for information on getting started in the jewelry trade. How do I learn to work with gold, silver, and gemstones? Where do I start?

 Ricky

Answer

There are so many ways to enter the jewelry trade. I began by making shell necklaces for the tourist trade in Hawaii. Many years later, after a period of disability, I got back to work by custom gem cutting. The paths are almost as diverse as the people who follow them. Some jewelers run retail stores, websites, or television shows. Others supply products or services to the retailers. Some specialize in repair work.

Learning About Gems and Metalsmithing

The International Gem Society (IGS) has abundant resources for learning about gemology and metalsmithing. I’d advise you to learn as much as you can about gemstones. If you’re going to…