I don’t mean people who just make jewelry. They could be self taught artists or graduates of art and design schools. But where are things like appraisal of stones and precious metals, and watch repair learned? Is this still an old fashioned trade passed down person to person?
Looks like they go to school. Jump down to appraisals and gemology.
The two previous posts told you about gemologists. Watch repair is a dying art. Not much need these days–batteries in quartz watches don’t take much learning.
Old mechanical watches–you went to school to learn to fix them.
Precious metals–what I do for a living. You learn on the job. I’ve done it since 1971 or so. I learn a little more every day. Coin dealers are the old time pros in this field. Lots of newcomers the last three years, with precious metals so high. They’re generally incompetent.
Thanks guys. I’m not looking for a career change, I just got curious about this.
When a mommy jeweler and a daddy jeweler really love each other…
…you get one HELL of an engagement ring.
The community college I’m going to to learn electronics/medical equipment repair also teaches watch repair. I haven’t looked into it too closely myself. Occasionally I’ll walk by the department and peek in the window, looking at the guys in their gowns poking at watches with tiny little instruments.
I used to live up the block from the Bulova School of Watchmaking on 62nd St in Woodside, New York. More than once I asked if I could take a quiet look as the students did their work. It was fascinating to behold. A lost art, surely. The beautiful Art Deco Bulova Corporate Center is now used by other companies. Did a shoot in there once years ago for…hmmmm Delta? USAir? Someone had a call center in there. Lovely, just lovely details. Nobody did architectural detailing like the Art Deco crowd.
I’m sure the OP knows where costume jewelry comes from.
Well, when a mommy jeweler and a daddy jeweler get together . . .
Is that where the mommy and daddy jewelers dress up in special outfits before they…
Regarding gem appraisals – after gemology training a person would expect to work behind a retail jewelry counter for several years to learn the demands of the market. Much of the value of gem stones comes from their popularity rather than their rarity.
This, and the precious metals part is what had me curious.** samclem **addressed the metals, and I kind of expected the answer, it’s a lifetime of learning. I imagine gem stones are the same, and even more difficult to deal with because of the enormous variety. I’ve been to gem dealers in Brazil that looked like a shopping mall candy store, except the glass jars were filled with gemstones instead of jelly beans. There’s a continuum of colors of gems across the spectrum, and simply determining the type of stone must be a challenge in some cases. The popularity thing is interesting also. We all know the diamond market is highly controlled, but just the attraction of the stones for jewelry, especially one type of jewelry, would seem to inflate prices even in a totally open market. Emeralds are rarer than diamonds, especially flawless emeralds, but they never match the price. Then on top of that there are artifical and treated versions of stones. It must be an interesting business, but one fraught with fraud as well. I imagine sales are highly dependent on personal contacts and reputations.