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What do Jewelers do?

By Erin Oxendine
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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Jewelers are professional artisans who deal with all aspects of jewelry from designing beautiful pieces to taking care of customers. Some have their own businesses while others often work for large retail stores. These individuals are skilled in design, and may even create their own line for high-profile clients, such as celebrities.

One of the main responsibilities a jeweler has is to sell and market jewelry. Most stores sell custom-designed rings, bracelets and earrings handcrafted by the owner. Jewelers will also carry products from other popular lines for customers to purchase. Many use advertising and catalog sales as well.

Another task a jeweler performs is repair, which consists of not only repairing jewelry but also fixing watches and other trinkets for the customer. Often a customer may bring in an expensive antique ring or brooch for repair. He or she may have to replace stones in rings, perform size adjustments and clean the ring using chemicals or sonic cleaning machines. He or she has to be able to quote the customer a price for the services and have the repair ready when promised.

The art of design is crucial for jewelers to be successful. Most specialize in unique, one-of-a-kind designs in order to give the customer a special piece. Sometimes a customer may have a particular idea in mind, such as custom-designed wedding bands. The jeweler will need to sketch the design and make sure the customer approves it before starting work on it. There are software programs available to electronically create pictures of the design.

Most jewelers offer appraisal services to clients for a minimal fee. Customers may ask for an appraisal for an insurance company, for division of property or for an estate settlement. Most jewelers are usually certified jewelry appraisers who have received training to evaluate diamonds and gems. The appraisal process includes a physical examination of the items, a written inspection and monetary value report.

In order to be a jeweler, professionals typically have training in jewelry design and are certified gemologist appraisers. Most have also taken classes in business and marketing. Other skills that are helpful for this trade also include customer service skills and quality control. Individuals should also be able to work with the public and resolve customer disputes.

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Discussion Comments
By SteamLouis — On Nov 22, 2012

Jewelry-making is a much harder job than people realize. The work is very tedious and detailed. It requires a stable hand and a good eye. My uncle was a jeweler for over forty years. He eventually retired because his eyesight had gotten too bad. He couldn't make out the details anymore.

By fify — On Nov 22, 2012

Some of the most unique jewelry items hand-crafted by jewelers are found abroad. I travel a lot and I love looking at jewelry stores in other countries to see the different styles.

The problem that I have abroad however is that even though the jewelry items are very valuable and a lot of work goes into it, it's all about business. People abroad buy and sell jewelry as a form of investment. But when you buy, you buy it at a higher price and when you sell, you sell at a much lower price. You might even get a different rate for the same piece of jewelry from two different shops on the same street.

That's why when I buy jewelry abroad, I always feel like the jewelers might be ripping me off. In the US, hand-crafted jewelry is harder to find and more expensive but at least the prices are more stable. Also, jewelers in the US can concentrate on their art, they don't necessarily have to be involved in the business part of it.

By ddljohn — On Nov 21, 2012

How long does it take for a jeweler to make a ring?

By gravois — On Jun 27, 2011

I get that sense that most of the jewelery available at places like Kays Jewelers or thew Shane Co is essentially mass produced. The original may have been made by a jeweler but every subsequent piece is just a quick copy, the same as how all Ritz crackers look and taste the same, Does anyone know if this is the case? Also is it possible to get custom made stuff through jewelers retail or will I need to go to some kind of specialty store?

By nextcorrea — On Jun 26, 2011

The artistry of jewelery sometimes gets lost beneath the incredible prices, but from a purely aesthetic perspective jewelery making is an incredible artistic endeavor.

I worked with a jeweler briefly in my youth. I did little more than keep the shop clean and run errands but he made custom Jewelry for some of the most prestigious clients in out town. You have to think about all the normal aesthetic considerations, color, shape, form, size, pattern etc. But there are lots of others that you would never expect.

Most jewlery sparkles and the best jewelers will use the sweep or the pattern of the sparkles to achieve an effect.

Weight is also a concern. People don't want to wear heavy rings so how do you make a stunning piece that is low in weight.

He would also have to consider the cultural perceptions of the stones he used. People have all kinds of strange ideas about gem stone related to their connotations as birthstones and the violent way that many of them are mined. Before he began a piece he would have to think about the way that people would react to his stone arrangement.

By cafe41 — On Jun 26, 2011

@Oasis11 - Good for you. I wanted to add that the markup for jewelry is really high. It is a good idea to look at several different fine jewelers before settling for a piece of jewelry. The other day, I was looking to buy a gold watch and I was really surprised at the price differences in different stores.

One store offered me a discount on the price and even told me that they had interest free financing. She even said that I could sell her an older watch because they also bought fine watches as well. I think that if you could develop a good relationship with a jeweler it might be worth it because they will always try to save you a little money because they want you to come back.

By oasis11 — On Jun 26, 2011

What I love about fine jewelers is that they can make a work of art with some pieces of jewelry that you are not wearing anymore. They can melt the gold and create earrings or a pretty pendant.

I remember when I was looking for a design for my wedding ring; the jeweler designed the most beautiful ring that really exceeded my expectations. It was a princess cut engagement ring with two small diamonds on each side.

He then added a top and bottom layer of diamonds that was slightly curved at the bottom and top. It looked like a beautiful flower. I love my ring and felt that we made a great choice in designing my ring.

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