Which is the best training available?

Hello! My names Joanne and I am posting because I’m am in need of
some info!

I=92m currently studding in a collage to be a goldsmith, my course if
for two years after which I would like to continue to study in the
jewelry industry, I have heard of many ways that I could do this,
including going to university, and doing a course that the
Gemological Institute of America (GIA) offers. I would like to know
which is the better root for me to follow, if I want to be a
goldsmith in the future. And what qualifications are actually needed
to be a goldsmith? I have been told so many things concerning this
subject that I am confused hopefully the more experienced people on
this forum may be able to tell me! Thank you for your time!

Hello Joanne,

Please allow me to introduce myself and New Approach School for
Jewelers to you. I also have attended a metals program at a
university, graduating with knowledge that I am glad to have
obtained. Afterwards I furthered my education at GIA and received a
Graduate Gemologist diploma. I later committed to becoming a bench
jeweler as a career and attended the first Graduate Bench Jeweler
program held here at New Approach School. If I could have done it
all over I would have attended New Approach School first and
afterwards attended the university to all or some degree.

My main reasoning is this: there is very little time devoted to skill
development in any college or university program that I have been
made aware of. The concern of these programs (as you no doubt have
noticed) is to develop artists. In my own program there was just
enough instruction on sawing, filing, soldering, and casting to get
some designs created. It was incredibly frustrating to me that I
couldn’t realize my ideas enough to successfully communicate them.
Those few students who took to the materials and processes with
innate abilities had less problems. Years later after training at
New Approach and having worked several years at a retail store’s
bench I feel as though I could tackle just about any project. I
would strongly suggest you consider this type path. I in no way
discredit the “higher” academics that enriched my life just as
finishing the program at your college would for you. If working as a
bench jeweler or designer who creates their own jewelry is your goal,
put the college courses on hold and do an intensive program like the
Graduate Bench Jeweler program here at New Approach.

We are not the only program like this available but you might notice
some distinct advantages at NASJ. Blaine Lewis is the founder and
director. He has both love for teaching and for jewelry making that
has been his career for over 20 years. His skills in stone setting
are widely recognized as some of the most advanced and he will share
with you tricks for fabricating (be it sterling or platinum) that
make it so much easier. Each process and technique from the simple
posture of sawing to difficult platinum soldering he teaches is
under constant evaluation for improvement. Blaine uses several
cameras that make everything he does perfectly clear to the observing
student. He believes in using technology to solve learning
difficulties as well as improving the abilities of advanced career

I was happy working in an AGS jewelry store with an impeccable
reputation and exposure to fantastic gemstones but when Blaine
invited me to come help him instruct and manage the school I jumped
at the opportunity to work with a master and support this kind of
exceptional training.

Please feel free to discuss with me any questions you may have. We
welcome students to come visit the school by appointment or at the
very least check us out on the web at

Comments about the school on Ganoksin can be found at


Henry Rowe
(800) 529-4763

Once again my hat comes off for Blaine Lewis, and Henry (im sorry
Henry i dont know your last name) at New Approach Jewelry School in
Virginia. last month i sent three students to his setting 1 class.
two of them had no jewelry experience and one has worked for me for 9
years as a bench jeweler. i had a discussion with each one of them
about the class when they got back. each one showed me their work
and told me how much they enjoyed his class and his teaching methods.
i decided to send these three students after i took Blaines advanced
setting class in april. Blaine is a great teacher and i highly
recommend taking one of his classes it is well worth the trip and

thank you, Blaine,

Matthew Gross