Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Should goldsmiths unionize/organize


#1
 In this trade I would support any serious attempt to organize a
guild-like certifying body - whose duties to members include
skills training and other defined benefits re working conditions
etc. 

Marty,

You have said more than a mouthful here. I am wondering about the
Bench Certification that is offered (AGS program?) It costs a bunch
to be certified, and previous threads reveal some mixed results as
to whether it has been of great benefit to those who have undertaken
the process. Mostly, it seemed like a good marketing tool for a
retailer who can say that they offer “certified jewelers”, instead
of the monkeys who work for the competition. It might be a starting
point, though, if jewelers who were certified could demand certain
minimum salary levels, etc. Perhaps certification costs could be
picked up by the state unemployment services, or offered by the
employer as an incentive, like offering GIA training to sales staff.

Melissa Veres, engraver and goldsmith


#2
I am wondering about the Bench Certification that is offered (AGS
program?) It costs a bunch to be certified, and previous threads
reveal some mixed results as to whether it has been of great
benefit to those who have undertaken the process. Mostly, it seemed
like a good marketing tool for a retailer who can say that they
offer "certified jewelers", instead of the monkeys who work for the
competition. It might be a starting point, though, if jewelers who
were certified could demand certain minimum salary levels, etc.
Perhaps certification costs could be picked up by the state
unemployment services, or offered by the employer as an incentive,
like offering GIA training to sales staff.

to all - thank you to those that participated in offering opinions
to my question. I was gratefull for all the points that were brought
up because it is a question i was not able to resolve after many
years of contemplation on the subject. I found myself very admiring
of the way things were done in england during my visit 1990. I am
still concerned about the fact that anyone with more money than sense
can open a jewelry store and hang a certificate from a one week class
on the wall to give the appearance of greatness, but that is a
propensity none of us can accomodate or compensate the buying public
for. In truth jewelry is a luxury item and as a society at this time
we are more concerned with our regulations protecting life and limb
as with city and federal inspectors for building codes, and to this i
submit as a more pressing concern. but it is my sincere hope to
continue to look into, thru discussion, with those who share a sense
of responsibility for our noble endeavor and craft artfully executed.
I chose to respond to this particular post because i felt a sense of
peace after reading it and realized that i personally felt this is
where our industry should be, regardless of the vehicle by which we
all arrive at a place where we can offer consistent karat clad
confidence in the product which mirrors the philosophical
representation of what a goldsmith offers. back to reality, now
diamonds (until you overheat one) are forever & pure gold (unless
its under karated) like pure love never tarnishes bla, bla ,bla
etc… just trying to keep it light, here but seriously it would
be nice if we had means in place to certify the trade and put a few
teeth into its maintenance - thanks to all- goo


#3

Hi Gustavo,

The Jewelers of America (JA) organization recognized the need for a
’Standard’ for describing the skill level of bench jewelers a few
years ago.

As a result, they established titles for several levels of skill
(sorry I don’t know all the titles). Each of the levels is attained
by completing a specified test. The test involves a written portion
where the test taker demonstrates his knowledge of the jewelry
industry & a practical, hands on portion where he must complete a
procedure normally expected of someone with that level of skill.

All the tests are timed & performed under supervision. Successful
completion results in the awarding of a certificate by the Jewelers
of America stating that the recipient has reached a given level of
expertise. The highest certificate is (if I’m not mistaken),
Certified Master Bench Jeweler.

Next to getting certified, the biggest problem is educating the
public & even some of the folks in the industry about the existence,
implication & meaning of the various levels of certification.

When completing many of the basic classes at schools like New
Approach & Revere Academy, the successful student is awarded the 1st
level of certification.

Dave