September 18, 2009

What Does A Jeweler Actually Do?

Posted in diamonds, gemologist, jeweler, jewelry, jewelry repair, rose diamonds, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , at 3:03 pm by rosediamonds

Melting Gold for Casting

Melting Gold for Casting

Jewelers are usually hidden from public view (I touched on why in the previous entry).  What are they doing back there?

When a job comes in, the jeweler first does a visual check of the piece.  Though I’ve been in shops where the jeweler will calmly finish his lunch as priority number one.

There are some stones (emeralds, opals, etc) that don’t take kindly to soaking in jewelry cleaner.  Next, they check the prongs on the stones.  Many times the person who takes in the repair misses this step.  It’s not uncommon for caked on lotion to be the only thing that’s holding a stone in place.  eww.

After the initial visual exam,  the jeweler cleans the piece.  (While it’s soaking, the jeweler grumbles at the salesperson who “missed stuff”)  If parts need to be ordered, the jeweler does this now.

When gold or silver is heated without cleaning, the oils and dirt on the surface turn black and cling fiercely to the surface of the jewelry/gem.  Soaking times depend on how dirty a jewelry piece is.  A piece that soaked for 24 hours may be physically worked on for  ten minutes.  The cleaning is that important.

Jewelers then set stones, rebuild prongs, size rings, repair clasps etc.  This is when they delve into their bench with the thousand little drawers.  Unknown to the public, jewelers easily maintain tens of thousands of dollars of gold parts and pieces.  It depends on the jeweler how organized these are.

Last is the final polish/clean/steam and the repair tag scramble (I don’t know how they get misplaced in such a small area, but it happens) .  Jewelry is then lovingly wrapped and set aside for pick-up.

I have found that jewelers place a special fondness on the items they touch and create.  There have been a couple custom design jobs I wanted to keep for myself once we were finished.  They are sentimental to us and it’s fun seeing them being worn and enjoyed around town.

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