While nobody knows for sure the exact date that people began Metalsmithing, it’s been Referenced that men were working with Brass and Iron as early as the BC period.
Based on Archeologist’s Findings, many Metalsmithing methods developed sometime in the Iron Age, or between the years 1200 and 555 BC. These Professionals Discovered various Statues, Constructed of such Precious Metals as Bronze, which they say were the early beginnings of Metalsmithing and Jewelry Artistry.
While there are Machines that Manufacture many Jewelry Pieces today, there is nothing like the Lovely Craftsmanship when Metalsmiths or Jewelers craft their own Accessories. Artists, who Specialize in Jewelry Making, often do not use pre-made materials for their works. Many of them even use those ancient methods, found in the early ages, to create their works of art.
There are many Extraordinary Schools in the US that offer Training for Aspiring Jewelers or Metalsmiths, and following are some of the best.
The best Schools in California for Jewelers and Metalsmiths are:
California Institute of Jewelry Training
Located in Carmichael, the California Institute of Jewelry Training offers several terrific courses, approved by the Canadian Gemological Association, for individuals who want to become jewelers. Prospective students can find full descriptions of the courses offered by the institute online at – www.jewelrytraining.com/. They can also request information by calling the institute at – 800-731-1122 or by writing to – 5805 Windmill Way, Carmichael, California, 95608. The courses presently offered by the institute include the following.
1. Certificate in Jewelry Repair - This is a 12-week course that teaches students what they need to become fine jewelers. Some of the things that people will learn in this course are as follows – soldering, shaping, re-tipping, re-pronging, shank redevelopment, fabrication, setting and resetting stones, and restoration. The costs of this course, as of 2011, are $6,675 and $550 for materials.
2. Diploma in Jewelry Arts - This is an 18-week course with emphasis on the following areas – design, wax carving, model making, casting, molding, injection and finishing cast pieces. Also, included in this course are – design and rendering, pave settings, strip settings, bead settings, illusion tops, and setting shaped stones. Tuition costs for this course, as of 2011, are $10,150 and $650 for materials.
3. Diploma in Advanced Jewelry Arts - This is a 24-week course that focuses on using everything that students learned in the previous two courses. The costs of this course, as of 2011, are $13,525 and $650 for materials.
4. Certificate in Advanced Metal and Media Techniques - This is a 6-week course that provides students with two specialty workshops of their choice. The prices for this course, as of 2011, are $3,900 with supplies included.
Jewelry Arts and Design College
Located in Los Angeles, the Jewelry Arts and Design College offers several exceptional jewelry programs, approved by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education. Some of the terrific programs offered by the college include Wax Techniques/Casting and Mold Making, Graduate Gemologist, Jewelry Design, Graduate Jeweler, and Metal Arts. Prospective students can call the college’s information desk at – 213-738-7700 or write to them at the 2975 block of Wilshire Blvd., Suite 650 in the city of Los Angeles, California, 90010. They can also find the programs online at – jadcollege.com.
The Graduate Jeweler program is a 20 week-long program in which students learn everything they need to know to become jewelers. For students to complete the program and earn their diplomas, they will need to complete various courses within the following areas of study – Saw and Torch Techniques, Calculating and Testing Metals, Melting/Rolling/Shaping and Forming Precious Metals, Making Bezels, Making and Repairing Hinges and Clasps, Fabrication Techniques, Modifying Mountings, Sizing, Repairing Chains, Assembling and Soldering Mountings, Treating Gem Stones, Installing Half and Full Shanks, Re-Tipping and Re-Pronging, Replacing Earring Posts, Resetting Stones, Electro-Plating, Gold/Silver and Platinum, Working Properties, Physical Characteristics, Mining and Refining Precious Metals, Calculating Costs of Gold and Other Precious Metals, and Testing the Quality of Gold/Silver and Alloy.
People, who want to attend the Jewelry Arts and Design College, must provide the college with a completed application and enrollment form, and they must meet with an admissions officer to discuss their educational goals. They will also need to attend a tour of the school and meet with a financial aid officer if necessary. Applicants must also possess a high-school diploma or equivalent, and they must submit a short essay describing their career goals. They will also need to attend an orientation, and they may submit a portfolio, if they choose. The tuition fees, as of 2011, of the Graduate Jeweler program includes the following – a $25 application fee, a $200 registration fee, $890 for books and materials, and $13,200 for courses and instruction.
Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts
Located in San Francisco, the Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts offers remarkable programs in both Jewelry Technician and Graduate Jeweler, approved by the Jewelers of America. People, who would like to study within the academy, can contact their main office at – 415-391-4179 or write to them at – 760 Market Street, Suite 900, San Francisco, California, 94102. They can also read about the application requirements online at – www.revereacademy.com.
Those students, who choose to pursue the Graduate Jeweler diploma, will need to complete several program-related courses including the following – Fabrication IV/Hinges and Forging, Fabrication V/Cylinder Clasp and Basket, Fabrication VI/Individual Projects, Gemology I/Diamonds, Gemology II/Gem Identification, Jewelry Design, Metalsmithing, Mold Making, Rendering, Setting V/Channel, Wax Modeling, Casting, Fabrication I/Beginning, Fabrication II/Carving and Chains, Fabrication III/Construction, Polishing and Finishing, Repair I/Basic, Repair II/Intermediate, Setting I/Basic, Setting II/Prongs, Setting III/Bead and Pave, Setting IV/Comprehensive, and Trade Practices.
For students to enroll within the Graduate Jeweler program, they must fill out and submit the school’s application, along with a $50 registration fee. They must also fully pay for each class they wish to attend before the academy will reserve a spot for them. Students may use their own tools for their classes, purchase them from the school, or rent them for $100, which is refundable after they turn them back in to the academy. Students must also purchase a materials kit from the school, which includes precious materials necessary for training. While the price for this kit may vary, students should allow about $400 for the materials. The tuition fee may vary, as well; however, the cost per class ranges from $399 to $1,200 (as of 2011).
The best Schools in Florida for Jewelers are:
American School of Jewelry
The American School of Jewelry, located in Sunrise, offers several outstanding jewelry programs, approved by the Jewelers of America. Some of the terrific programs offered by the school include Certified Bench Jeweler, Certified Jewelry Designer, and Certified Master Jeweler. Prospective jewelers can phone the school at – 954-741-4555 or write to the following address – 2240 North University Drive, Sunrise, Florida, 33322. They can also read about all of the school’s programs online at – www.jewelryschool.net.
The Certified Master Jeweler program is an intensive 1,650 hour program that trains students within all of the areas necessary to become a master jeweler. For students to complete the program and earn their diploma, they need to take many jeweler-related courses with studies in the following areas – Introduction to Precious Metals, Melting and Preparing Metals, Hands-On Projects, Wedding Bands, Chain-Making, Bracelet-Making, Ring Sizing, Diamond Rings, Basic Stone Setting, Advanced Stone Setting, Lost Wax and Casting, Bezel Design for Cabochon Stones, Pendants, Plates and Name Plates, and Wire Bracelets.
They will also need to take courses with studies in the following areas – Filigree Design, Basket Settings, Custom Rings, Rings with Prongs, Lockets, Monograms, ID Bracelets, Filigree Brooch, Hollow Dome Earrings, Link Bracelets, Coin Frames, Free-Form Rings with Multiple Settings, Two-Tone Rings, Tiffany Setting with Peg, Scaling Down Objects, Mixing Metals with Alloys, Tools, Polishing, Cleaning, Plating, Finishing, Platinum, Stone Setting Projects, Custom-Making Jewelry from Blueprints, Jewelry Repair Projects, Practical Gemology, and Interactive Sales Training.
Students, who wish to attend the American School of Jewelry, must complete and submit both an application and enrollment form and pay any necessary tuition fees. The tuition fees vary depending upon the program that students choose to complete; however, following are the fees for their three jewelry programs, as of 2011 – $5,400 for the Certified Bench Jeweler program, $14,900 for the Certified Jewelry Designer program, and $43,500 for the Certified Master Jeweler program. Financial aid is available for those people who need it.
Miami Jewelry School
Approved by the Commission for Independent Education, Miami Jewelry School offers splendid diploma programs in Stone Setting, Jewelry Technician and Wax Modeling/Casting. Prospective Jewelers can call Miami Jewelry School at – 305-668-0998 or write to them at the following address – 4949 Southwest 74th Court, Miami, Florida, 33155. They can also find out how to enroll within one of these programs by visiting – www.miamijewelryschool.com.
If students choose to earn their diploma in the Jewelry Technician program, they will need to complete all of the following jewelry-related courses – Introduction to the Workshop, Tools for the Bench Jeweler, Filing, Measuring and Scribing, Sawing, Drilling, Clamping, Forming and Bending, Melting, Wire and Sheet Fabrication, Cold Connections and Riveting, Soldering, Sanding/Polishing and Cleaning, Metal Identification and Classification, Trade Pricing Guide, Plating, and Decorative Finishes.
All tuition fees include textbooks, materials and instruction. Students need to contact the school’s admissions office at – 305-668-0998 for their current tuition fees. For people to apply to the Miami Jewelry School, they can download an application from their website and submit it to them with a photocopy of their photo ID and a $100 non-refundable registration fee.
Stewart’s International School for Jewelers
Stewart’s International School for Jewelers, located in Jupiter and approved by the Commission for Independent Education, offers terrific programs in Jewelry Repair, Advanced Diamond Setting, and Design and Casting. Those persons, who would like to learn additional information pertaining to the school or its programs, can contact them at – 561-746-7586 or write to them at – 651 West Indiantown Road, Jupiter, Florida, 33458. They can also read about the school and its programs online at – www.stewartsintlschool.com.
Students, who choose to pursue a diploma in the Jewelry Repair Program, will need to complete the following class work – Precious Metal Terminology/Testing and Identification, Bezel Fabrication, Cleaning Methods, Hollow Rope Chain, Torch Systems and Flame Adjustments, Serpentine Chain, Soldering Techniques, Soldering Heads and Shanks, Hollow Jewelry, Ring Sizing-Platinum/Gold and Silver, Tools/Findings and Supplies, Diamond Setting/Ruby, Diamond Setting/Cubic Zirconia, Diamond Setting/Pin Point, Polishing/Buffing and Lapping, Diamond Removing and Tightening, Prong Work, Re-Tipping, Karat Gold Beads, Sawing/Drilling and Filing, Hardening and Annealing, Sweat Soldering, Wire and Tube Drawing, Surface Texture, and Electroplating.
Students, who want to study within Stewart, must be 18 and must have a high-school diploma or equivalent. They must also submit to a personal or telephone interview with an admissions officer of the school. Those students, who wish to enroll in the Advanced Diamond Setting program, must either have experience in the field, or they must complete the Jewelry Repair Program first. All prospective students must complete and submit an admissions application and pay their tuition fees before they can begin their programs. The tuition fees, which include instruction and materials, are $695 for the Design and Casting program, $995 for the Advanced Diamond Setting program, and $995 for the Jewelry Repair program.
The best Schools in Indiana for Metalsmith workers are:
Conner Jewelers School
Located in New Albany and accredited with the Better Business Bureau, Conner Jewelers School offers outstanding programs in Standard Jewelry Servicing, Advanced Jewelry Servicing, Advanced Stone Setting, Wax Modeling and Casting, and Jeweler’s of America Bench Certification. If people would like to learn additional information regarding any of these programs, they can call the school at – 812-944-3490 or write to them at – 129 East Spring Street, New Albany, Indiana, 47150. They can also find the full details of the programs online at – www.jewelersschool.com.
Those students, who choose to earn their certificate in Advanced Jewelry Servicing, will need to complete courses in the following areas – Setting Oval Stones, Platinum Working, Setting Bar Type Plates, Setting Clusters, Prong Rebuilding, Setting Tiffany Rings, Gold Plating, Setting Bezel Settings, Hands-On Spot Welding Vs. Laser Welding, Using and Maintaining Gravers, Setting Cabochon Stones, and Trade Tips.
Students, who wish to attend Conner Jewelers School, will need to complete and submit an application and pay the necessary tuition as follows – $1,095 for the Standard Jewelry Servicing program, $1,095 for the Advanced Jewelry Servicing program, $1.095 for the Advance Stone Setting program, $1,095 for the Wax Modeling and Casting program, and $6,950 to $12,900 (depending on length of program) for the bench jeweler program.
The best Schools in New York are:
Studio Jewelers Ltd. Jewelry Learning Center
Located in New York City and accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Career Schools and Colleges, Studio Jewelers Ltd. Jewelry Learning Center offers exemplary training programs for those people, who want to become jewelers. If people would like to learn the full details of the programs offered by the center, they can call their information line at – 212-686-1944, or they can write to the center’s mailing address at- 32 East 31st Street, New York City, New York, 10016. They can also find valuable information online at – www.studiojewelersltd.com.
Following are the fabulous programs offered by the Jewelry Learning Center – Comprehensive Jewelry Training, Comprehensive Jewelry Training/Short Course, Basic Jewelry Making, Jewelry Repair, Diamond Setting I, Diamond Setting II, Wax Modeling/Casting and Molds, Pearl and Bead Stringing, Jewelry Design/Rendering, and Open Workshops.
If students choose to enroll within the certificate Comprehensive Jewelry Training program, they will need to complete the following course work – Bead and Pearl Stringing, Sawing, Chasing and Repousse, Piercing, Carving Wax, Filing, Wax Wire, Sanding, Texturing, Polishing/Buffing, Soldering, Etching, Annealing, Spruing, Rolling Mill, Draw Plate, Wax Name Ring, Testing Metals, Rubber Molds, Hinge Construction, Electroplating, Bezel Setting, Fusing, Prong Setting, Enameling, Channel Setting, Investing, Pear Shape Setting, Vacuum Casting, Marquise Setting, Emerald Cut Setting, Bead Work Setting, Marriage of Metals, Gypsy Setting, Wax Injector, Baquette Setting, Pave Setting, Basic Wax Ring, Wax Ring/With Stone, Wax Earrings, Wax Sheet, and Centrifugal Casting.
If students want to attend classes at the center, they must submit an application no less than two weeks before classes begin. They must also provide their high-school and/or other transcripts to the center, as well. Depending upon the program students may choose, they may also need to meet with an admissions officer to discuss their educational goals.
Students must also pay any applicable tuition fees as follows – $8,126.62 for the Comprehensive Jewelry Training program, $4,300 for the CJT/Short Course program, $650 for the Basic Jewelry Making Program, $1,500 for the Jewelry Repair program, $1,500 for the Diamond Setting programs, $1,500 for the Wax Modeling/Casting and Molds program, $150 for the Pearl and Bead Stringing program, $450 for the Jewelry Design/Rendering program, and $100 for 20 hours of Workshop. The school does offer helpful payment plans for those students whom need financial help.
The best Schools in Ohio for learning about Jewelry Making are:
Drouhard National Jeweler’s School
Located in Mansfield, Drouhard National Jeweler’s School offers excellent programs in Jewelry Repair and Diamond Setting, Design/Casting and Production, and Advanced Diamond Setting, approved by the State Board of Career Colleges and Schools. If people would like to learn additional information pertaining to any of these programs, they can phone the school at – 419-756-5255 or write to them at the following mailing address – 2236 South Main Street, Mansfield, Ohio, 44907. They can also read about the school and its programs at www.drouhardjewelerschool.com.
Students, who choose to pursue a certificate in Jewelry Repair and Diamond Setting, will need to complete the following courses – Precious Metal Facts, Jewelry Cleaning, The Torch System, Hand Tools, Soldering, Annealing, Jewelry Supplies, Ring Assembly, Diamond Setting, Ring Sizing/Stretching and Shank Repair, Buffing and Polishing, Removing and Tightening Gemstones, Prong Repair, Pin-Point Diamond Setting, Sweat Soldering, Bezel Setting and Fabrication, Chain Repair, Changing Wire Gauge, Popular Textures, Hollow Jewelry, and Rhodium and Gold Electroplating. Tuition fees for this program, as of 2011, are $899, and these fees includes all materials.
Oregon has some great Schools for Jewelers:
American Jewelers Institute
Located in Portland and approved by the Jewelers of America, the American Jewelers Institute offers several exceptional courses for those people interested in becoming Bench Jewelers. If people would like to learn about the details of the courses offered by the institute, they can phone their information line at – 503-255-4517 or write to them at the following address – 1206 Southeast 11th Avenue, Portland, Oregon, 97214. They can also read about the courses online at – www.jewelersacademy.com.
The following courses are the current classes available at the institute – Tool Orientation, American Jewelers Institute/Introduction, Metal Fabrication, Rubber Mold Construction, Casting, Soldering Techniques, Wax Carving and Modeling, Jewelry Repair, Problem Solving, Cautions, Prong Setting, Bezel Setting, Burnish Setting, Channel Setting, Setting Fancy Shapes, Finishing, Jewelry 101, Jewelry Design, Design Wax/Casting, and Advanced Stone Setting.
Students, who wish to enroll in all of the courses necessary for the Bench Jewelers program, will need to pay tuition fees of $8,068 (as of 2011) and a materials fee of $1,300, as well as, a $150 registration fee. They can also choose to pay for the classes individually, with tuition costs ranging from $725 to $1,865, depending upon the class they choose to enroll within. They must submit an enrollment form and their deposit before the school will reserve a position for them.
Tennessee has some great Metalsmith Schools:
New Approach School for Jewelers
The New Approach School for Jewelers, located in Franklin, has remarkable Graduate Bench Jeweler and Jewelry Technician programs, approved by the Virginia State Council for Higher Education. Those people, who would like to train within the New Approach, can call the school at – 800-529-4763 or write to them at – 107 Southeast Parkway Court, Franklin, Tennessee, 37064. They can also find the programs online at – www.newapproachschool.com.
Those people, who choose to enroll in the Graduate Bench Jeweler program, will need to take a variety of jewelry-related courses including the following areas of study – Orientation, Safety, Hazardous Materials, Stone Setting, Gemstones, Workstation Fundamentals, Basic Metallurgy, Core Skills Development, Prong Repair and Replacement, Ring Sizing, Chain Repair, Soldering and Repair Techniques, Head Replacement, Shop Set-Up, Bench Tricks and Tips, Finishing Methods, Fabrication, Plating, Platinum-Smithing Tips and Techniques, Ornamental Hand Engraving, Wax Carving, Computer-Aided Design, Advanced Stone Setting, and Platinum Fabrication.
Students, who wish to attend the school, will need to fill out and submit a brief enrollment form and pay the appropriate tuition fees. Following is a list of the various tuition fees, as of 2011, for the programs and classes offered by the school – $11,087.50 for the Graduate Bench Jeweler program, $7,321.25 for the Jewelry Technician program, $1,042.25 for the Advanced Stone Setting class, $1,042.25 for the Bench Jeweler Comprehensive class, $1,042.25 for the Ornamental Hand Engraving class, $697.25 for the Soldering Secrets class, $1,042.25 for the Stone Setting Comprehensive class, $697.25 for the Stone Setting Essentials class, and $1,042.25 for the Wax Carving class. Fees include all materials, courses, and/or instruction.
There are some great Schools in Texas:
Texas Institute of Jewelry Technology
Located in Paris and accredited with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the Texas Institute of Jewelry Technology is an extension of Paris Junior College and offers an outstanding associate of applied science degree program in Jewelry Technology. Those people in the Paris district, who would like to learn about the full details pertaining to the program, can contact the institute at – 903-785-7661, or they can write to the campus at – 2400 Clarksville Street, Paris, Texas, 75460. They can also read about the institute and its programs online at – www.parisjc.edu.
For students to earn their Jewelry Technology degree, they will need to complete the following basic core requirements – Composition and Rhetoric or Fundamentals of Public Speaking or Business and Professional Speaking, one Fine Arts or Humanities elective, one Social/Behavioral Science elective, Natural Science or Mathematics course, Psychology, and one additional general education elective.
They must also complete all of the following jewelry-related requirements – Jewelry Techniques I through IV, Casting I and II, Jewelry Repair/Fabrication I and II, Stone Setting I through IV, Applied Jewelry Practices, and Precious Metals I through IV.
Students, who wish to attend the institute, must have either a high-school diploma or equivalent and submit all admissions documents. They must also submit their transcripts and undergo various placement tests. Students may receive credit depending upon their ACT/SAT scores. As of 2011, the tuition fees for every 21 credit hours at the institute are as follows – $1,061 (in district), $1,712 (out-of-district) and $2,657 (international). The school does offer financial aid for those students whom may need it.
Schools in Wisconsin for Jewelers are:
The Howard Academy for the Metal Arts
Located in Stoughton, the Howard Academy for the Metal Arts offers an amazing diploma program in Metal Arts, accredited by the Better Business Bureau. Aspiring metalsmiths can contact the academy at – 800-843-9603 or write to their mailing address at – 188 West Main Street, Post Office Box 472, Stoughton, Wisconsin, 53589. They can also view the program’s curriculum online at – www.howard-academy.com.
For students at Howard Academy to earn their diplomas in Metal Art, they must complete all of the following course work – Filing and Shaping, Saw Piercing, Drilling and Burr Uses, Tool Making and Treating, Soldering and Miniature Welding, Riveting and other Fastening Methods, Sizing, Setting, Finishing/Polishing and Plating, Repairs, Casting, Practical Gemology, Basic Production Techniques, Troubleshooting, Lectures and Demonstrations, Guest Lectures and Demonstrations, Observation of Working Shop, Semi-Final Project, Advanced Hand Tool Techniques, Advanced Fabrication Techniques, Design for Production, Solving Design Problems, Hand Engraving, Die Making and Use, Gold/Silver and Non-Ferrous Metalsmithing, Blacksmithing, Welding for Light Duty and Arts Applications, Mold Making/Jig and Tool Making, and Advanced Production Techniques.
Tuition fees are $1,500 per month, with this being the minimum tuition fee, and $2,400 for books and materials. The school does offer payment plans for those students whom need financial help with their education. Applicants must be 18 and have a high-school diploma or equivalent. They must also fill out and submit an admissions application, which they can find within the school’s website. Upon approval of applications, the school will speak with students about their educational goals.
What do Jewelers/Metalsmiths do?
There are many things that jewelers do from simply selling and repairing fine jewelry to designing and creating precious pieces. There are also many places that jewelers may choose to work, such as jewelry departments in large department stores, up-scale jewelry stores, museums, manufacturing companies and pawn broker shops. Some of these professionals may also choose to work freelance out of their own home or shop, offering various jewelry services, and/or selling precious jewelry of their own works or others.
Designing and creating jewelry are art forms; thus, jewelers are intricate artists. Not only do they need to be able to pay attention to tiny details, but they also need to keep themselves up-to-date of current fashion trends and what jewelry people are presently purchasing. When they know what consumers want, they make rough sketches of various pieces. While some jewelers may choose to specialize in precious jewelry, some may specialize in costume jewelry. Yet others may specialize in such areas as rings, necklaces or watches. After they have created their rough sketch of a piece, they may either make the jewelry themselves or have someone make it for them.
Many jewelers/metalsmiths prefer to spend their time selling and repairing jewelry rather than designing and creating it. They must take note of their inventory, not only to determine what they need to reorder, but also to determine what is selling and what is not. Jewelers should possess excellent customer service skills, as they spend much of their time with the public. They also need to have the skills and knowledge that is necessary to repair a broad range of jewelry including watches, rings, bracelets and necklaces.
Some other common tasks of metalsmiths include resizing, resetting and cleaning. Finally, many jewelers need to be knowledgeable in jewelry appraisal, as well. Appraisers will determine the value of jewelry by viewing it and testing it in various ways. This is an essential task for any place that buys and/or sells fine jewelry.
What Tools do Jewelers/Metalsmiths use?
While many jewelry-making supply stores sell tool kits for jewelers, these kits often contain many tools that are simply not needed or they may lack tools that are necessary. Thus, it is a smart idea to purchase tools separately. There are many tools necessary for their career, and following are the basics:
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- Saw Frame and Blades
- Bee’s Wax
- Safety Goggles
- Flux, Anti-Flux, and Brushes
- Practice Copper
- Copper Tongs
- Heat-Resistant Tweezers
- Solder of various types
- Torch and Sparker
- Firebrick or Pad
- Bench Block
- Chasing, Ball Peen, Dead Blow and Cross Peen Hammers
- Rawhide Mallet
- Bezel Pusher
- Dental Floss and Painter Tape
- Various Files
- Brass Brush and a Tooth Brush
- Polishing Cloth
- Flex Shaft
Basic Jewelry Terminology
There is a vast array of terminology that jeweler students will need to learn; however, the following terms are the most basic of them all. Some jeweler terms can sound quite confusing, and for prospective jewelers to learn their meaning, the best place to learn is one of the excellent institutions listed above.
1. Alloy - This is a mixture of several metals, usually added to Gold to make it more durable.
2. Antiquing - This is a finishing process that makes jewelry look aged. While jewelers antique many different materials, the most common material they use the process on is sterling silver. This process is useful, as many people treasure jewelry that appears antiquated.
3. Casting - Casting is the process of shaping metal by heating it until it becomes a liquid form, and then pouring the hot liquid into a mold (module) to cool. Jewelers use various materials in casting including alloy, aluminum, bronze, sliver and gold.
4. Electro-Plating - This is an electrochemical process that jewelers use to apply a fine, metallic finish on jewelry. This process began sometime in the early 20th century, and it can make inexpensive jewelry appear precious.
5. Fabrication - This is the art of manipulating metal through such methods as cutting, shaping and bending.
6. Gilt - This is a term that refers to jewelry that is gold-plated.
7. Loupe - This is a powerful, magnifying lens that jewelers use to examine jewelry as in this 10x Jewelers Loupe.
8. Matte - This term refers to that jewelry which has a dull finish instead of a glossy finish.
9. Mounting - The actual piece of jewelry that Diamonds and Gemstones are set into. It can be a ring, bracelet, pendant or earring and they are usually made out of Gold, Platinum or Silver.
10. Oxidation - Oxidation is a process that jewelers use to darken silver. Through various chemical reactions, the silver will take on a lovely deep brown or black with gorgeous undertones. This process can significantly add to the uniqueness of jewelry pieces.
11. Repousse - Metalsmiths use this process to hammer various designs onto the back of precious metals.
12. Rhodium - Jewelers often use rhodium to plate over various other metals, especially silver, to give the pieces a tarnish-free appearance.
13. Sand Casting - Sand casting is one of the most inexpensive ways for metalsmiths to reproduce metal items. They use this method to cast various metals such as aluminum and other alloys.
14. Shank - This is the part of rings that encircle fingers. Many refer to this as the band of the ring. It’s the section that gets cut and soldered when you get your ring sized.
15. Verdigris - Over some time, many pieces of jewelry develop a green appearance known as verdigris.
How Much do Jewelers Make?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics for the United States says that the average salary of jewelers/metalsmiths was approximately $36,600 per year as of 2009. However, depending on where these professionals may choose to work, their salaries ranged from about $19,000 to $57,200 per year.
Some industries also pay more than others, with the electronics sector paying jewelers about $60,500 and many department stores paying them about $45,000. Location is also a factor in how much money jewelers make, with Connecticut being the highest-paying at an average of $53,100. Other top-paying states for jewelers include Wisconsin at $43,000, Illinois at $45,500, Minnesota at $43,700 and Idaho at $44,000.
The bureau expects a growth of about five percent through the year 2018 in the jeweler sector, adding approximately 2,700 professionals to the field. While people may not purchase new jewelry during economic hardships, many people turn to repairing their existing jewelry, increasing the need for jewelry repair, cleaning and sizing.
What Does it Take to Become a Jeweler?
Prospective jewelers should begin their training as early as high school, taking such courses as art, mechanical drawing and mathematics. They need to have artistic skills, fashion sense, patience and excellent hand-to-eye coordination. They also need to be able to pay attention to intricate details. While some jewelers learn through on-the-job training, most employers choose to employ those professionals who have had formal training.
All of the above schools offer excellent training for jewelers/metalsmiths, and people simply need to choose one, find out their admissions requirements, fill out their application and pay any applicable fees. Students may choose to earn diplomas, certificates or degrees in the craft, and they may also choose to specialize.
If they plan on working within jewelry design, they will want to be sure to complete a computer-aided design course, or CAD.
Good luck in the field! You’re gonna LOVE it! :)