Dear James Looney,
I am a gemologist with limited bench metalworking
experience-hoping to acquire knowledge and improve my abilities
working with precious metals/lapidary techniques
As a bench jeweler/ designer/artist/repairman I fully understand the
need for the gemologist to understand more about the technical and
artistic side of jewelry, i.e. the metalwork and stonesetting.
I am fortunate to work with a gemologist who understands to a
greater degree than most the technical aspects of jewelry. This
understanding causes him to rely more on my judgment and less on his
when it comes to a custom designed piece or perhaps modification to
an item brought in by a customer. He is able to do simple work such
as stretching a ring band a size larger and buff it. He is able to
open an close a jump ring properly, etc. Then, when it comes to the
gems, I depend on him for estimates of price and such. We both
understand the nature of the business well enough from both sides to
have a very complimentary relationship. Egos do not get in the way
in this situation.
I have worked for others, mostly jewelry store owners and sometimes
gemologist who want "what they want when they want it" with little
regard for the technical and artistic aspects of the work. That is
difficult and the happy middle ground is not often reached.
I commend you for wanting more knowledge in the metals end of the
business..after all, the metals is what makes a gemstone into
jewelry. I wish you the best in this effort.
I believe Ganoksin will be of benefit. Not only are technical aspects
raised (some rather unique to a limited number of artists, :). but
tough business questions are covered by a divergent set of opinions
as well as small details of specific process, whether gemological or
I am a bench jeweler with a fairly good background in gemology (GIA)
and creative activity. With over 30 years experience, I can
certainly say I have gained much in "my" end of the business because
of the gemological knowledge all contribute to the final product.
Some jewelers as some gemologists simply do not grow and continue to
be as they were years ago. For me, the current relationship with a
highly qualified gemologist who has a step beyond the basic
understanding of metal work is a blessing for both of us.