Jewelers and Precious Stone and Metal Workers

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Also known as:
Diamond Grader, Diamond Polisher, Diamond Setter, Facetor, Gem Cutter, Gemologist, Goldsmith, Jewelry Repairer, Jewelsmith, Lapidarist

Video transcript

Jewelers and silversmiths combine artistry with patient, careful, exacting labor. Whether creating beautiful settings for tiny stones, or candlesticks, and goblets, attention to detail is the hallmark of the art and science of this profession.

One jeweler in three is self-employed. For those who make their own goods, skills include design, casting the metal, cutting and setting the stone, and polishing. People employed in jewelery manufacturing plants might learn just one of these steps, or a store owner might purchase settings and leave the casting to someone else.

While this is an ancient craft, modern methods are changing the requirements. Computer-assisted design, or C.A.D., now enhances productivity and quality. Some work sites are more comfortable that others, but even with a modernized work space, a jeweler or silversmith spends long hours sitting and working with tiny objects. Excellent eyesight and agile hands are needed for this job.

Those who work in stores also should be able to understand customers' needs and emotions when purchasing jewelry. Because the materials are often very valuable, people in this profession have to be comfortable with security measures, such as barred windows or even armed guards.

While traditional apprenticeships are sometimes available on-the-job, many vocational, technical, and art and design school offer programs to teach the various aspects of jewelry-making and repairing The Gemological Institute of America offers correspondence courses. Even for manufacturing jobs that provide training, an educated worker is more likely to advance.


Design, fabricate, adjust, repair, or appraise jewelry, gold, silver, other precious metals, or gems.

Daily tasks

Design and fabricate molds, models, and machine accessories, and modify hand tools used to cast metal and jewelry pieces.

Research and analyze reference materials, and consult with interested parties in order to develop new products or modify existing designs.

Create new jewelry designs and modify existing designs, using computers as necessary.

Mark, engrave, or emboss designs on metal pieces such as castings, wire, or jewelry, following specifications.

Cut designs in molds or other materials to be used as models in the fabrication of metal and jewelry products.

Lay out designs on metal stock, and cut along markings to fabricate pieces used to cast metal molds.

Pour molten metal alloys or other materials into molds in order to cast models of jewelry.

Grade stones based on their color, perfection, and quality of cut.

Plate articles such as jewelry pieces and watch dials, using silver, gold, nickel, or other metals.

Write or modify design specifications such as the metal contents and weights of items.

Buy and sell jewelry, or serve as agents between buyers and sellers.

Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Production and Processing Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Design Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Mechanical Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Sales and Marketing Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Time Management Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Operations Analysis Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.