Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Ganoksin usage question


I had not looked at G.O.D. for a while and responded to one of the inquires. It was not clear how to send the response. I am not sure it went through. Can you tell me why it was so vague about how to post something?

I am sort of disappointed that there are not more jewelers participating. It may be that it is not as welcoming and direct and easy as before. There does not seem to be a lot of dialogue…… and participation. It would be helpful to know more……I hate to see resources for jewelers disappear. There is so much out there on the net that does not have anything to do with knowledge about metalsmithing. Thanks. Marilynn Nicholson.


Hi @taosjewelryschool / Marilynn,

Are you asking about posting to Ganoksin Orchid specifically? Back in September 2016, Ganoksin switched over to a new software system. It used to be run via email discussion list software and now it’s run by forum/community software so it behaves differently now.

The most straightforward way is to login and participate is via the forum. However, you can still interact via email ( but there’s some nuance to it.

Here’s how it works in terms of interacting via email:

  1. To post a brand new subject of discussion via email, simply send an brand new email to The subject of the email becomes the subject of the topic.

  2. If you want to reply to an existing thread via email, you have to be subscribed to receive every
    message as an individual email and then reply to one of those individual emails. I see that you are subscribed to the Weekly Summary email instead. Let me know if you want me to change this for you.

Hope this helps! We are happy to help even further! You can reply here or email us at


Seems like orchid digest was a lot busier when I started , maybe 15 years ago (could be 20, who knows?) . Social media sure altered the landscape , and one is left to wonder
"where did all the people go ? ". "Facebook " , comes the reply from on -high ?
Ugh, just kill me now :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: :wink::smiling_imp:

A year or so ago I tried looking for other jewelry and/or metalworking forums . I didn’t look hard, but I didn’t find much . Youtube ?.. well, okay , for my needs, making videos looks like about the most effective way to get correct information out there , to try and clear the waters some. It just seems like things are more scattered around than they used to be (in the age of dinosaurs) .

‘Sheltechosaurus’ , that’s me :sunglasses: I’ve quit Facebook twice, and don’t really like being there . Forums are where it’s at, baby, in Dino World . Instagram ???..
I suppose it wouldn’t kill me to go look and see what that’s like , some day soon-ish, when I can get these 143,000,000 year-old bones motivated .



Dar I’m not sure I understand why you would consider not continuing your participation. I went back and did a search of your past on the forum and found from just the shear numbers you have been a valuable resource. And when I look at the number of comments/references to you it is clear you are a contributor worth having.

Yes the information arena has become diversified and huge. And often difficult to find relevant, trusted, and worthwhile sources. Having said that, and in spite of some of the spats that break out here, the overall rating IMHO is 11 on a scale of 10. Thank you for your past contributions.
Regards RLW AN amateur and hobbiest.


I said I had looked for other forums (I’m in the middle of a post on a non-jewelry, metalworking forum , asking blacksmiths about blanking dies at this very moment), not that I was considering leaving here :cowboy_hat_face: . Orchid is the dog’s swingers if you ask me ! I just miss the way it was when there were more people posting :nerd_face: I will keep on keepin’ on here , as I’ve mostly escaped the music-related forums that were sucking my life away . I don’t usually have time to write about work anyway, but without the time-suck forums in the way , I can put more effort into it , and THIS is the place to put it all . I’ve been putting it (my mission, now that I’ve chosen to accept it ) off for years and years , but I may not have many years left (you never know !) so it is happening .

Funny , though, I used to have this fantasy about "the book " , and things are filed on my computer as “the book” , but there will never be a book . There will be Orchid posts, youtube videos , and somewhere else, if someone let’s me know of a good place to park this kind of information permanently .

I appreciate your support ; thanks !

Dar :sunglasses:


Dar, Ted here, as you know im into dies in a big way.
Re you rreference to blacksmiths dies? which forum?
You do I think have my email address , can you post me the link? to that forum?
Im interested in any one making and using dies as you will havegathered.
Look forward to your reply.


@sheltech1 This is a really interesting point, one that I pondered quite a bit when I took over Ganoksin. The reality is, there really isn’t much out there, at least not much that is specifically focused on bench jewelers and the manufacture of jewelry.

There was a Facebook group for metalsmiths that grew popular, but that sort of died out for some reason (it was like metalsmiths coffee house, or something like that). It was replaced in the last year or so with a Bench Jewelers group on FB that I think is going pretty well. There is also JHJ which is run by Aleah Arundale out of Chicago, although that is not focused on benchies, it is focused on the retail jeweler. The bench jewelers group has fewer members than this, but it is about as active from a post volume perspective (I suspect primarily because users are already logged on to FB using that platform).

Some people say there are are fewer bench jewelers in circulation and that the industry is contracting, I don’t believe that to be the case. I do think it is changing, and Orchid/Ganoksin will continue to change with it.

In any event, I evaluated all of these alternatives when I took over and I thought long and hard about whether re-working this property (Ganoksin/Orchid) was worth it. Financially, I knew it would take a long time for this to make sense (if ever), but more importantly I was concerned about spending time on something that wasn’t going to add value to the community. I was inspired by longtime friends like @JimGrahlDesign, who has decades and decades of knowledge and I was frustrated that the only platform for keeping that knowledge alive, and the oldest, needed a new lease on life to be really useful for the next generation.

This property (Ganoksin and Orchid) is truly 100% unique. Here’s a few things to ponder…

  1. For every one person who is posting or replying there are literally HUNDREDS of people reading either Ganoksin or Orchid (active posts or the archives). So if you think about it, the vast majority of readers are anonymous from all over the world. Not to say there aren’t lurkers on a Facebook group, but a Facebook group is closed, so if you do a Google search for something related to jewelry making, you aren’t going to be able to access facebook threads – you are going to land on an Orchid thread or a Ganoksin article – sometimes both. The FB threads aren’t archived and made available to the public, and the search functionality isn’t optimized around an educational archive. The purpose of FB is not to create an archive of jewelry making knowledge for future generations, it is to facilitate social interactivity. That is not to say Orchid does not do that, of course it does. Perhaps it even did that better in the past when there were fewer options to interact socially on the web. But education is and always has been our primary objective. Our job is to educate the world’s jewelers about how to make jewelry.
  2. Anonymous viewers on both of the websites Ganoksin and Orchid oftentimes get the information they need, and move along. They need not ask a question of the community or otherwise engage, because the answer can be found. If it can’t or requires clarification, they can revive a thread. The only way those anonymous users get monetized is through the support of our advertisers (folks like @RioGrande, @StullerInc, and many many others). Those advertisers have a dual purpose, one is supporting our mission of educating the world’s jewelers and two is making sure all of those anonymous users are exposed to their brand. Obviously, folks searching for jewelry-manufacture / bench jewelry-related topics are a relevant target demographic for those companies. I believe we (meaning the entire community) are providing a service to those anonymous users that is incredibly valuable. The growth of anonymous users - we are twice as large in traffic volume today as we were when I took over - speaks to the need for this information.
  3. The contributions of Orchid members and our advertisers over the years and today (both financially and content-wise) subsidize a LOT of those anonymous users. If you think about it, we host thousands of articles and 50,000 threaded topics, and we serve up that content to 6,000+ unique users a day, 5,998 of whom pay us nothing. The two people who pay, and the folks who advertise, literally subsidize the 5,998 who do not pay each day to use the service. Many of those anonymous users are unable to pay for a variety of reasons, live in third world countries, or for many other reasons choose not to.

The fact that such a paradigm can even exist and be financially viable (I use that term loosely :slight_smile: ) is a testament to the power of the Internet, and quite frankly, the power of YOU the contributors. My job is simply to be a steward of this archive, growing it as effectively as possible.

Apologies for the rambling response (my wife has the kids so I have a rare moment of peace to write a longer reply), and many thanks for all of you who make this what it is.


Hey Ted, here yous goes

DS :sunglasses:


@ seth ->

Rambling is always good when it is so informative .
I’m sure everybody who contributes here, and lots of those people
"out there" appreciates your efforts . With me , Orchid came with
so much built-in reputation as THE hub of knowledge and experience,
that I’ve just always assumed that , and continued to , through the
change-over . There’s always the sense that it’s an important place
to place information, and that a lot of “unseen” people benefit from
what is here .

Dar :sunglasses:


Yes, I was the fortunate beneficiary of a LOT of people’s hard work :slight_smile: and I don’t take it lightly, and I am sure not going to screw it up!


Hi Seth, & all of the people fortunate enough to have access to this storehouse of knowledge.

Seth, what you have accomplished here is so appreciated. I have used Ganoksin from it’s inception, but found it getting progressively less friendly and difficult to search. I don’t have a lot of time to dig for information when the need arises. My needs are usually based on a project at hand, and something missing in my experience. Your technical gift is creating data search systems that allow rapid access to the tremendous library that Ganoksin has accumulated. This shows up at IGS as well and really opens the door to many things that have been somewhat secretive in the jewelry and gem world.
It really helps that you have genuine enthusiasm and passion for these projects, and though critical, money took a back seat in the development of these easily searchable libraries.
Yes, we are great friends, and I thank you for including me in the thinking processes along the way, but this site speaks to a great need, now showing a sense of fulfillment.
There have been great works published by jewelers and artists in metal, I have many. But what these lacked are the counterpoints and alternatives that Ganoksin embraces. There are so many ways to accomplish tasks that are endemic to creating or repairing jewelry. Over the years I have gleaned knowledge and applied steps as I could find them. On the bench, most things are measured in time and money, necessary to make a living at this trade. Since Ganoksin has been re-created, I now find myself exploring more, freeing myself from my old embedded concepts of how things can be done. I still live in a time/money world, but through your efforts and the well appreciated sharing of Ganoksin contributors, I am finding faster and more efficient ways to accomplish tasks. I feel a responsibility here, one of passing on a way that few now get to experience. That doesn’t mean I have a secret key to treasure, only that my hands and eyes have touched a bit of an era that has now (mostly) passed. There is a new era of this moment, and through your efforts and those of all who share here, I have a better sense of craftspeople and those wanting to expand their skills. Each share is a valued experience, each question and response opens a new perspective.
Great work you-all, and all my thanks,


As an old grizzled goldsmith I’ve gotten so I repeat myself and give the same advice to other younger benchies if they ask or if I’m giving an annual review. I tell them that it’s their personal responsibility to self educate themselves, nobody else’s. There’s more to learn than any one person can know in a lifetime. From bench skills and cad to gemstones and diamonds to the business of buying and selling and managing people. Their best resources are other people, books and forums like Orchid.

Surprisingly few people actively work to self educate. I find that to be a sad truth. I’m certainly no Einstein but I don’t think it takes much to be curious and to have a healthy desire to get a little better each day. Orchid has been a great way to both relax and expose myself to new ideas that often challenge my preconceptions. It’s an excellent resource and I’m grateful to the wonderful people that keep it alive and active by participating on the forum. I’m particularly grateful to Seth for investing his time and money into something excellent that could have been otherwise lost.