The jewelry industry is a multi-faceted industry with an ancient pedigree. The oldest known jewelry was made by Neanderthals, who strung eagle claws together with sinew to create symbolic decorations they could wear. Ancient Greek, Roman, and Asian cultures used tools and metals to create jewelry. Today jewelers use many similar types of tools to create the jewelry that is sold in stores, online, and at art fairs.
When you join the jewelry industry, you join an industry that spans from metal, gemstone, and diamond mines to jewelry specialty retailers and online stores. In between are the people who refine the metals; polish (cut) the gemstones; manufacture jewelry in expansive manufacturing plants, smaller specialty plants; and boutique artisan shops; and sell the jewelry everywhere from Costco to the neighborhood jewelry store. People in the jewelry industry are diamond cutters, refiners, casters, fabricators, stone setters, bench jewelers, jewelry designers, CAD specialists, wax carvers, model makers, salespeople, and retail operators. They may work in large teams or alone, for someone else or as an entrepreneur.
The jewelry industry has many organizations for support and networking, and people who want to find a group to belong to—whether it's a manufacturing group, a retailing group, a group for discussing bench techniques, a group for sharing marketing ideas, a group for women in the industry—there's a group that will welcome you. Is it ongoing education and information you want? The industry has trade shows and trade events across the country throughout the year, filled with stimulating sessions designed to help jewelry professionals continue to progress.
When you decide to make jewelry making your profession, you join a large family filled with resources. The jewelry industry is a fascinating place filled with interesting people who make things, precious things, for a living.
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