Recommended software for jewelers?

Among the avenues being considered to help fund the Ganoksin site are
stores for various things, world tools, Orchid member storefronts,
books, donated jewelry, high tech equipment and software.

Without debating the merits of different computer platforms I am
asking that you think about what software you think should be
available in a Ganoksin ‘Software for Jewelers and Goldsmiths’ shop.

What software do you find indispensible? What’s accounting programs
should be in such a shop? What drawing programs? Inventory? What CAD
and CNC programs are the easiest to learn and most efffective, etc.
What is the best software for jewelers?

We are looking for quality software here, if Ganoksin recommends it
by selling it in an on line shop then it had better be the best, most
useful etc.

thanks in advance for commenting on this thread.


Charles Lewton-Brain
Box 1624, Ste M, Calgary, Alberta, T2P 2L7, Canada

Charles … great idea and certainly one that I would utilize. I’d
recommend Intuit’s Quick Books accounting program. I use it in my
store, a corporation with 4-5 employees, and my wife uses it for her
one woman camera repair shop. Easy to use once installed and set up.
Down side - some accounting knowledge required for the initial set up.
If the purchaser doesn’t have that knowledge then help will be
required. Even with that it is the simplest that I’ve found. peace, Phin

Hi, Charles!

A high-level, professional CAD package called Microstation/J is
available from a company called Bentley Systems. I believe they (actually, one of their
distributors) will send you the software without charge with a
temporary license if you are interested in purchasing it. This is a
powerfull program which can be used for 2D drafting and for complete
3D modeling. It’s used by government and business for a wide range
of design projects. Top notch. -Dan Weinstein

in reference to Intuit’s Quick Books accounting program., While this
program is quick and easy to learn it does have a major security
flaw. I have found that the Quick Books 2000 (current release) will
run straight to the Internet taking who knows what financial
with it. While Intuit can disable this feature they Have
refused to do so for me with out my paying an additional $40 tech
Service fee. In my opinion this is one piece of software which
should be avoided. Peachtree offers several completive products which
have more features and a lower price. This is the way I have gone,
right after buying and installing QuickBooks I bought the peachtree
product and feel that it is much more secure with my data.

Wayne M Schenk

Hello Charles - Good subject - it has come up before with very little
input - at least with the software for recordkeeping. Quicken Home and
Business has been very good for my needs. I received a refund from
Quickbooks after the 30 day trial. Quickbooks was too complex - as an
independent jeweler - no employees. I met with an accountant to set
things up with Quickbooks - and neither he nor I nor the Quickbooks
help line could find a way to track consignment accounts.
(Unfortunately, I do still have some consignment accounts.) The
simpler, Quicken Home and Business has been quite manageable. The
invoicing for shops is very clear cut - once one takes the time to set
up the product categories. It seems that the invoicing method can be
adapted for consignment accounts - at least it is possible to know the
ongoing, outstanding dollar amount - as payments are tracked.
However, I am still using my previous excel system (creating a
separate record for each consignment account) - for tracking the item
numbers sold. Double set of books - but works fine. The beauty of
Quicken Home & Business are the quick reports - giving different
analyses - and I take them in to my SBDC (Small Business Development
Center) counselor to make decisions along the way.

Quickbooks seemed good for buying and selling - tracking that type of
inventory. I had hoped to use Quickbooks to track raw materials used
in the making of the jewelry. I did not get that far with Quickbooks

  • potential seemed to be there. A lot of my pieces are one of a kind.
    For tax purposes - in the US - we have to track raw materials as they
    are used - not as they are purchased - pretty complicated. Has anyone
    found a way to track raw materials use or to track consignment
    accounts with Quickbooks or any other software?

Also, I took a workshop a few years back with Thomas Mann - “Design
for Survival”. He created a software program for pricing. I have
still not put it to the test - but did purchase a copy. Anyone have
experience with that one? Thanks ahead - Cynthia

p.s. Now I’d rather spend my computer time plowing through Orchid info

  • than doing the books! Thank you to all the contributors who take
    their time to communicate great and especially a big
    "Mahalo!" (thank you) to Hanuman, Dr. Aspler - for his vision in
    creating Orchid and his tremendous time and commitment. Many thanks!
    Let us know where we can help to make it (or keep it) a manageable
    task. This is a great place- very unique.

Cynthia QuickBooks will not easily track the components used in
making a piece. This is called an assembly of items and QuickBooks is
not able to do this easily. However there is hope. PeachTree complete
will track assemblies and it costs less. PeachTree has a predefined
set of accounting numbers set up for the jewelry industry where
QuickBooks does not. As for tracking consignment sales I am not sure ,
however it would seem that by writhing the consignment up as a quote
then using the built in functions to convert to a sales order or a
sales invoice it may be possible. I am still learning this powerful
accounting program and am not familiar with all of its functions. I
would like to point out that QuickBooks is a bookkeeping program
where PeachTree is an accounting program. There are many differences,
tracking assemblies and the additional security PeachTree offers are
two of the reasons I changed accounting software. WayneM

I have used and highly recommend Peachtree accounting software, great
for accounting and inventory with maximum flexibility. For web
publishing I use and highly recommend Allaire’s Cold Fusion or Home
site software. For digital image work I would recommend Ulesd
PhotoImpact, has just come out with ver. 5. In my opinion one of the
best values in software, for this purpose. Ernie Phelps

Here is another vote for Peachtree accounting. It is recommended by
my accountant who is also the accountant for a large precious metals
liquidater. Peachtree allows for open invoices and orders booked but
not paid or delivered etc. very versatile. Frank Goss

Hey - thank you all for the responses coming in! I’m looking into
Peachtree complete! It was one of the choices when I was exploring
the Quickbooks option (a few years back) - sorry I didn’t chose it at
the time. Anyhow, I’m in for the long haul - so, will give it a try.

The Quicken Home and Business is really simple for a low tech
beginning. And the professional looking invoices get a great response
to payment - in my limited experience. I only started with it last
year. So far, the only glitch was the automatic tax feature on the
invoicing. The quicken tax logic did not work for our local tax
situation - but I wanted to be sure the applicable tax would appear on
the invoices. I solved the problem by creating a new account solely
for the invoicing of shops - so that it did not automatically affect
my check register for the business. Really appreciate the input. 'Tis
the season to upgrade the numbers part of the job. :slight_smile: Cynthia

Dear Cynthia: Peachtree complete will handle your consignment needs,
for me the easiest way would be to use inventory, which will allow you
to set up separate warehouse locations. It will also allow multi level
pricing. If you have specific questions I have used the program for
about 15 years, if you would care to you may contact me off list.
Ernie Phelps @Ernie_Phelps

  Has anyone found a way to track raw materials use or to track
consignment accounts with Quickbooks or any other software? 

Just an idea. I use Quickbooks a lot (I am also–in addition to being
a jeweler–a small biz consultant helping startups, mostly). I do not
use it for consignment accounts myself, but here’s a suggestion:

Enter as separate “Inventory Items” all the finished pieces you sell.

When you consign any of them to a shop, cut an Invoice to the shop
(you can set up a customized one called “Consignment Invoice” or

As pieces are sold & you are paid, you can Receive Payment against
that invoice, and in the “memo” area indicate which piece the payment
is for. This keeps track of the dollar value of the items on
consignment to that shop.

An “Inventory Item” in QB can be a particular finished piece ; it can
be sold in multiples, or singly (as in the case of one-of-a-kind)–in
both cases you can assign the price that goes with the item when you
enter it into inventory.

That is the short way to do it, but doesn’t handle the Cost of Goods
Sold issue for U.S. businesses.

“Items” as used by Quickbooks is sometimes hard for new users to
understand, but it is a very useful tool–you can add an Inventory
Item each time you complete a piece, either adding an Item, or adding
to the count of similar items with the same price.

In addition to having an Inventory Item that is a finished piece–in
which case you can show all the parts that went into it–you can have
other inventory items that are “parts.” This allows you to use the
"parts" inventory items when you are purchasing raw materials,
findings, stones, etc., and you can ue the “finished goods” item when
you are invoicing. This works best if you use the Purchase Order
function in Quickbooks–this allows you to track what is ordered and
check off items received, which puts them into inventory. You thus
put materials into inventory when you receive parts from your

When you complete the piece you enter it into inventory (and there is
a provision for entering all the inventory parts used in its creation
within the inventory item); when you put the finished piece on an
Invoice, it takes the parts used in its creation out of inventory and
puts their value into Cost of Goods Sold. If all the items on the
invoice are not actually paid for, but some are returned, you can cut
a Credit against the customer (shop), which puts the stuff back into

This is, I am sure, also possible in the other accounting programs
that have an Inventory function. For ones that do not (or if you
don’t want to do all this), you can just use the short way
above–Invoice for when you deliver work to a shop on consignment, and
receive payments against the invoice when they are sold & you are
paid. Then you’ll have to deal with the inventory part in some other

The learning curve is kind o steep in the beginning, and it takes time
out of your busy day to set it up and figure it out and make it where
the Items List doesn’t seem a mess (I suggest using numbers to
identify ea. piece or part). Once you understand it, though, it can
save you some time (so long as you keep up with entries and stay
consistent and disciplined about it–where people usually run into
trouble is in keeping it up on a daily basis–this is key, in my

I hope this makes some sense and is helpful to someone,

Colene Abramson
Wayland, MA