Jewellers fabricate and repair various jewelry articles. They create models from wax or metal, ready for the lost wax casting process. They may undertake the casting process (place wax model in casting ring, create moulds, pour molten metal into mould, or operate centrifugal casting machine to cast article.) Jewellers also cut, saw, file, and solder pieces of jewelry together, using a soldering torch, carving tools and handtools and polish the article.
The duties of a jeweller include, but are not limited to:
- Helping customers to make the right choice for them.
- Researching and evaluating pieces and materials.
- Valuing pieces and materials.
- Designing new pieces and building molds.
- Restoring old or broken pieces.
- Making new pieces.
- Cleaning and polishing jewellery.
- Keeping informed about changes in the industry.
The following job titles also refer to jeweller:
jewelry design consultant
jewellery design consultant
jewellery design artist
filigree jewelery worker
jewelry design artist
Working conditions vary with the type of employment. Retail stores are usually quiet, clean, and attractive. Jewellers involved in selling must have good business sense and must be able to get along well with other people. Factories, repair shops, and studios are usually well lit and pleasant, but they may be noisy because of the machinery.
All jewellers should have some artistic ability. They must have good hand-eye coordination, as well as skill at working with their hands. Patience and attention to detail are essential.
Jewellers in factories often work thirty-five to forty hours per week. Those working in retail stores and repair shops generally work forty to forty-eight hours per week, including some evenings and weekends. Extra hours are required during holiday seasons when stores stay open longer. Both manufacturing and retail workers sometimes experience slow seasons when there may be layoffs. Some jewellers belong to labor unions.
Most jewellers are high school graduates. Training requirements vary with the type of work. Some people receive informal on-the-job training in a factory or retail jewelry shop. The training period may be three to four years, depending on what skills are being learned. Most people learn their skills in technical school programs, which last from six months to two years. Technical school courses include the use and care of jewellers’ tools and stone setting. Employers usually want technical school graduates to have three years of additional training on the job.
There are also college art programs that run for four years and lead to a bachelor’s degree in fine arts. Some colleges also offer home-study courses. For those interested in becoming a jeweller, high school or college courses in physics, chemistry, art, mechanical drawing, and business management are helpful.
ISCO skill level
ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:
- the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
- the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
- the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.
Jeweller is a Skill level 2 occupation.
Jeweller career path
These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to jeweller.
Long term prospects
These occupations require some skills and knowledge of jeweller. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of jeweller with a significant experience and/or extensive training.
Essential knowledge and skills
This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of jeweller.
- Jewellery processes: Materials and processes involved in creating jewellery items like earrings, necklaces, rings, brackets, etc.
Essential skills and competences
These skills are necessary for the role of jeweller.
- Use jewellery equipment: Handle, modify, or repair jewellery-making equipment such as jigs, fixtures, and hand tools such as scrapers, cutters, gougers, and shapers.
- Repair jewellery: Make jewellery repairs, such as enlarging or reducing ring sizes, soldering pieces of jewellery back together, and replacing broken or worn-out clasps and mountings.
- Adjust jewellery: Reshape jewellery mountings.
- Create jewellery: Create pieces of jewellery using precious materials such as silver and gold.
- Assemble jewellery parts: Assemble and thread different jewellery parts together such as pearls, locks, wire, and chains by soldering, clamping, welding or lacing the materials.
- Ensure conformance to jewel design specifications: Examine finished jewellery products to ensure that they meet quality standards and design specifications. Use magnifying glasses, polariscopes or other optical instruments.
- Record jewel processing time: Record the amount of time it took to process an item of jewellery.
- Build jewellery models: Construct preliminary jewel models using wax, plaster or clay. Create sample castings in moulds.
- Record jewel weight: Record the weight of finished jewellery pieces.
- Develop jewellery designs: Develop new jewellery designs and products, and modify existing designs.
- Mount stones in jewels: Mount gemstones in pieces of jewellery closely following design specifications. Place, set and mount gemstones and metal parts.
- Clean jewellery pieces: Clean and polish metal items and pieces of jewellery; handle mechanical jewellery-making tools such as polishing wheels.
Optional knowledge and skills
This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of jeweller. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Precious metals: Types of rare metal that occur naturally and have a high economic value.
- Electroplating metal materials: The various processes various materials used for electroplating may produce, such as copper plating, silver plating, nickle plating, gold plating, embossed gold plating, degreasing, and others.
- Electroplating processes: The various metalworking processes using electric current to form metal coating on an electrode and on the workpiece, such as pulse electroplating, pulse electrodeposition, brush electroplating, and others.
- Engraving technologies: The characteristics of various materials and methods used to engrave something on a surface.
- Cultured pearls: The process of creating pearls by inserting a piece of tissue in the centre of the oyster to help create pearls under controlled conditions, instead of the accidentally occurring natural pearls.
- Minerals prices: Prices of metals and minerals and associated production costs.
- Imitation jewellery: The materials and processes used to create imitation jewellery, and how to manipulate the materials.
- Jewellery product categories: Categories in which various types of jewellery can be found such as diamond fashion jewellery or diamond bridal jewellery.
- Coining: The process of shaping metal parts with a high relief or very fine features, such as coins, medals, badges or buttons, by pressing the surface of the metal between two dies.
Optional skills and competences
These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of jeweller. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Pass on trade techniques: Pass on knowledge and skills, explain and demonstrate the application of equipment and materials and answer questions about trade techniques for the manufacturing of products.
- Engrave patterns: Engrave and print designs and patterns onto a variety of surfaces.
- Advise customers on jewellery and watches: Provide customers with detailed advice on watches and pieces of jewellery available in the store. Explain about different brands and models and their characteristics and features. Recommend and provide personal advice on pieces of jewellery, according to the customer’s needs and preferences.
- Apply restoration techniques: Select and apply appropriate restoration techniques in order to achieve the required restoration goals. This encompasses preventive measures, remedial measures, restoration processes and management processes.
- Trade in jewellery: Buy and sell jewellery, or serve as an intermediate between potential buyers and sellers.
- Handle jewellery and watches insurance claims: Provide assistance to customers whose watches or jewelleries have been stolen or damaged. Communicate with insurance companies in order to quickly replace or refund items.
- Evaluate restoration procedures: Evaluate the outcome of conservation and restoration procedures. Evaluate the degree of risk, success of treatment or activity and communicate the results.
- Cast jewellery metal: Heat and melt jewellery materials; pour in moulds to cast jewellery models. Use jewellery-making material such as spanners, pliers or presses.
- Heat jewellery metals: Heat, melt and shape metals for jewellery making.
- Perform enamelling: Apply enamel paint on surface using brushes.
- Perform wire wrapping: Wrap metal, steel or similar wires around jewellery and connect them to each other using mechanical techniques to create a decorative shape.
- Select gems for jewellery: Select and purchase gems to use in jewellery pieces and designs.
- Select metals for jewellery: Select and purchase precious metals and alloys to use in jewellery pieces
- Estimate restoration costs: Estimate the cost implications of restoring and replacing products or parts.
- Conduct jewellery market research: Conduct market research in order to identify which types of jewellery items are popular at a specific time: earrings, rings, neckwear, wrist wear, etc.
- Appraise gemstones: Assess and analyse cut and polished gemstones, determine if they are natural or synthetic and verify their worth. Look at the gem’s colour, clarity, and cutting properties in order to grade their value.
- Perform damascening: Perform the art of inserting contrasting materials, such as different types of metal, into one another in order to create detailed patterns.
- Estimate cost of jewellery and watches’ maintenance: Estimate the total cost for the maintenance of watches or pieces of jewellery.
- Design objects to be crafted: Sketch, draw or design sketches and drawings from memory, live models, manufactured products or reference materials in the process of crafting and sculpting.
- Select restoration activities: Determine restoration needs and requirements and plan the activities. Consider the desired results, the level of intervention required, evaluation of alternatives, constraints on actions, stakeholder demands, possible risks and future options.
- Maintain jewels and watches: Use cleaning equipment to properly care for jewellery and watches, as per customer request. This might involve cleaning and polishing watches and pieces of jewellery.
- Estimate value of used jewellery and watches: Assess used metal (gold, silver) and gems (diamonds, emeralds) based on age and current market rates.
- Sell clocks: Sell clocks, watches, or related accessories according to the customer’s preferences.
ISCO group and title
7313 – Jewellery and precious-metal workers
- Jeweller – ESCO
- Jeweler Job Description – StateUniversity.com
- Jeweler Job Description – Betterteam
- Featured image: Photo by Maksim Goncharenok from Pexels