[orchid] Certified bench jeweler

Hello, I agree with many of the sentiments voiced in this forum over
the past few days. I personally feel part of the solution is the
Jewelers of America Certification program. I took and passed both
the Senior and Master Bench Jeweler levels. This certification is
what can seperate us from the hack down the street. Last week I had
a customer come in that had their new $4,000 wedding set butchered by
the guy that sold it to them. He came to me to fix it because he
heard of my certification after he found out his self proclaimed
"master jeweler" was anything but a master. Merely being in the
business 20 years doesn’t make you a master. I could live in a
garage for 20 years and it doesn’t make me a mechanic, much less a
master. People understand certification for mechanics, computer
techs, etc… If more jewelers became certified more customers would
demand it. Just stop and think how mobile our society has become.
People are constantly on the move. When people realize that their
last jeweler was certified and were pleased with his/her work, who do
they look for in the new town? We will never get to the point where
we as an industry can demand every jeweler be certified. However,
some day the public may demand it.

As far as the expense of the program, check with JA about
scolarships. Stuller has been offering them almost every year. You
might also check out your state jewelers association for
scholarships. I was able to get scholarships both times I took the
testing. After getting my master certification it was publicized in
the local newspaper. Talk about great for business! I had two
customers within the first two weeks that came from out of town
because they heard about my certification. Both of them more than
paid for the cost of certification. Believe me, it pays for itself!

James S. Cantrell
Certified Master Bench Jeweler