Human Resources

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet on Hiring Jewelry Designers

Shreya Matta

Shreya Matta

May 27, 2022

Transforming your creative vision into a piece of wearable art is one of the most rewarding careers in the art world. Designing jewelry can be both exciting and satisfying. So, what Is meant by Jewelry Design? What is the role of Jewelry Designers?

Both women and men wear different types of jewelry to accent their appearance or as some form of personal symbolism. For eg., Wedding rings are meant to symbolize undying love with a circle that has no beginning or end. Necklaces, rings, earrings, and bracelets have always been popular, earlier more with women and now both men and women. Thanks to the increasing popularity and acceptance of body piercing, a need exists for people to create studs and small hoops for people to wear on the nose, tongue, eyebrow, or any other visible places on the body.

What Do Jewelry Designers Do?

Designing Jewelry - Jewelry Making Process

Jewelry designers create the concept for a new piece of jewelry and then use a variety of techniques to produce it. They may draw their design on paper or use a computer-aided design (CAD) program to create it. A precious metal is a common material used to make jewelry.

To create the final product, jewelry designers must work with metalsmith to cast the stone, followed by cutting it into several segments and creating different pieces of jewelry.

Creating jewelry made of metal requires the jewelry designer to partner with a metalsmith. This person solders the metal chains to bind and strengthen them. A metalsmith waits until the open flame is hot enough to make the jewelry malleable. This allows him or her to form links and string a chain together.

Hence, jewelry metal casting is another process that jewelry designers may use. It involves mixing gold and silver with nickel, zinc, and copper to harden these materials so they remain durable when made into a piece of jewelry.

Jewel Cutting and Setting Skills

Thus, jewel cutting and jewel setting are two important skills for individuals looking to become jewelry designers. Cutting involves removing the broken or unattractive pieces of the jewelry in their original format, such as cutting away pieces of stone that eventually become part of a diamond ring.

After cutting the raw materials, jewelry designers rub the rock against a harder surface to polish it and smooth out the rough edges. When a jewelry maker sets a piece of jewelry, he or she places it into a metal cast. This may involve using a machine with prong or claw settings to get the placement just right.

These days, jewelry designers who offer custom work are becoming increasingly popular in society. People are willing to pay more for jewelry made especially for them that has more symbolism than something that has been produced to appeal to the masses. Personalization is a trend that is eye-catching, along with a good fashion and artistic sense. The experts in this field possess manual dexterity, the ability to visualize the completed product, CAD training and skills, steady hands, and clear vision. There is little room for error when creating jewelry potentially worth thousands of dollars.

Jewelry Designer’s Education & Training Requirements

Although a post-secondary degree isn’t an absolute necessity in this career field, it does give entry-level workers an advantage when seeking employment or their first clients. Many community and technical colleges also offer certificate programs in specialty areas of jewellery design. Some people choose to either pursue a traditional liberal arts education and major at a jewelry design school or prefer to complete a program at a technical college.

Education Options and Important Jewelry Design Skills

Computer Aided Jewellery Design - CAD - Fast! - YouTube

Regardless of the specific degree or certificate program they complete, jewelry design students need to learn certain skills. These include Fundamentals of Cast Shaping, Jewellery Sculpture, Metalwork, Soldering, Gemology, Fashion History, Costume Jewelry, Computer-Aided Design, and other software programs, Drawing, Retail Management, etc.

As with all creative trades, it is important for students to build a professional portfolio of their best work. Prospective employers and clients want to see the artistic expression and jewelry-making ability of anyone they are considering hiring. The portfolio should demonstrate progressive improvement in design skills. It can include sketches and renderings as well as photographs of finished products. Taking the time to develop both virtual and physical portfolios gives students more material to present to hiring managers when it comes time to search for a job.

Earn Practical Experience

This field offers several unique ways to gain experience before looking for the first full-time position. One of them is to enter Jewellery Design Competitions, such as those sponsored by the American Jewelry Design New Talent Competition. While winning one of these contests can open many doors for students, just participating in one gives them the opportunity to make valuable industry connections.

The most common way to gain industry experience is to complete an Internship. Those who attend liberal art or technical college may need to complete an internship requirement to earn their degree or certificate. Thus, practicing interview tips and making sure that the portfolio comes across in an organized, professional manner.

A jewelry design internship gives students the chance to develop their skills by observing seasoned professionals as well as completing hands-on tasks such as soldering. Most companies offering internships provide the tools necessary to design and create jewellery, although students should also be prepared to purchase their own. Some of the specific skills a prospective jewelry designer could learn during an internship include designing new jewelry pieces using CAD, repairing jewellery, calculating pricing, and custom jewelry design.

Volunteer work to build your resume is not as prevalent in this field. But students can find it if they are persistent. One possibility is to work with a program that teaches people in poor countries and communities to make jewelry and other accessories so they can become self-supporting. Students don’t necessarily have to travel abroad to do this since they can offer their design services here at home.

Continuing Education

Some professional organizations within the jewelry industry offer specialty certifications and continuing education for those involved with jewellery design. The Gemological Institute of America and the Manufacturing Jewelers and Suppliers of America are two such examples. Jewelry designers who became a member of a trade organization have access to self-paced classes in topics such as Retail Management, Diamond and Precious Stone Grading, Marketing, Business Management, Base Pricing, Market Analysis, Production Costs, etc.

If you are aspiring a professional degree, you can enroll into Luxury Management Programs that are offered.

Membership in a professional organization gives people the chance to learn new skills and stay on top of industry trends through articles, conventions, and connections with other members. Some schools also offer a Master of Fine Arts in Jewelry Design. Examples of coursework at this level include:

  • Art Criticism
  • Technical Research
  • Advanced Studio Practice
  • Visual Communication
  • Retail Psychology

Students who earn a postgraduate degree complete an additional internship as well as write a thesis paper on a topic or problem in jewelry design and how they solved it.

Where Do Jewelry Designers Work?

Jewelry designers can be self-employed or work in a jewellery store, repair shop, or manufacturing plant. They spend much of their time at a workbench surrounded by the physical tools they need to get the job done. These may include torches, lasers, and various chemicals.

Most jewelry designers also have a computer at their workstation installed with CAD software as well as other programs used in creating preliminary designs of new jewelry pieces. Depending on the size and value of the jewellery, some designers create a prototype before taking it to production. Approximately 75% of people in this field work full-time and 40% are self-employed.

Because of the increasing trend in personalization, many jewelry designers have found success with online sales. They may also sell jewellery they have created by hand at local craft and design shows, or sell it to stores. The career requires flexibility to work non-traditional hours to make sales when most people are not at work. A higher level of security is necessary with jewellery than with other items sold at shows and in stores due to the high dollar value of some of the pieces.

Jewelry Designers Salary 

As per May 2018 statistics, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a median annual salary of $39,440 for all people employed under the general classification of jewelers and precious stone and metal workers. A median wage means that half of the people with a job in this category earn more and half earn less.

The lowest 10% averaged $23,530 at that time while those in the 90th percentile earned $67,250. Jewelry designers and manufacturers who worked in stores selling clothing and accessories earned the highest salaries while those who worked in personal and household goods repair and maintenance earned the lowest.

Rates can vary due to many factors, including expertise and experience, location, and market conditions.

  • An experienced jewelry designer may command higher fees but also work faster, have more-specialized areas of expertise, and deliver higher-quality work.
  • A contractor who is still in the process of building a client base may price their jewelry designer services more competitively.

Job Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a decrease of 11% for jewelers and precious stone and metal workers from now until 2022. However, those with advanced or specialty training and the ability to offer custom design services to clients can still expect to do well in this career. One reason for the anticipated decrease in demand for jewelry workers is that many companies choose to hire labor from overseas to reduce production costs.

Even so, people are still willing to pay more to get the design they want in a timely manner. Customers today are lucky to have so many choices available when looking to purchase jewelry. The sea of options out there is staggering. However, choosing the perfect jewelry designer can often feel like an overwhelming decision.

Why Jewelry Designer is Important?

The jewelry industry is filled with designers who work in fine materials and position their lines as the collectibles of tomorrow. You want to find a designer that reflects your personal style, that uses the quality and style of diamonds or other precious stones which you prefer, and you certainly don’t want to compromise in any way. Additionally, having jewelry custom-made means that you can set the budget.

But how do you choose the rare talents with staying power, who create pieces you will want to wear for years to come when you are bombarded by new designers every day on Instagram?.

How do you select which aesthetic best suits yours when ads pop up on your computer and while surfing the fine jewelry websites, you become so overwhelmed that you are on sensory overload and need to log off and bake cookies? Even the most accomplished jewelry designers sometimes experience creativity fatigue or loss of inspiration. This is true for most artists in any creative industry.

One must work out how to rekindle or fire up one’s creative juices. Much like any artistic process, finding inspiration and coming up with new design ideas is a personal process, but there are also many things one can do to help that process along.

How do you write jewelry designers’ job posts?

The job post is one’s chance to describe their project scope, budget, and talent needs. Although one doesn’t need a full job description as they would when hiring an employee, aim to provide enough detail for a contractor to know if they’re the right fit for the project.

Job Post Title

Create a simple title that describes exactly what you’re looking for. The idea is to target the keywords that your ideal candidate is likely to type into a job search bar to find your project. Here are some sample jewelry designer job post titles:

  • In need of a jewelry CAD designer
  • Jewelry expert needed for growing fashion brand
  • Need jewellery designer to redesign existing jewelry into new pieces

Project Description

An effective jewelry designer job post should include:

Scope of work: From new design concepts to redesigning existing jewelry, list all the deliverables you’ll need.

Project length: Your job post should indicate whether this is a smaller or larger project.

Background: If you prefer experience with certain metals, stones, or pieces, mention this here.

Budget: Set a budget and note your preference for hourly rates vs. fixed-price contracts.

Jewelry Designers Job Responsibilities

Here are some examples of jewelry designer job responsibilities:

  • Discuss the client’s range of options and develop original ideas
  • Sketch new design concepts using CAD software
  • Incorporate a variety of gemstones for bracelet and earring sets
  • Jewelry designer job requirements and qualifications

Be sure to include any requirements and qualifications you’re looking for in a jewelry designer. Here are some examples:

  • Proficiency with CAD software
  • Thorough understanding of the characteristics of various precious metals, such as gold and silver
  • Experience designing jewellery sets that include bracelets, earrings, and rings

We’ve listed some tried and true tips for doing so below while following the guideline.

Research the Jewelry Designers

Just like any important purchasing decision, you should do your research. Look below the surface of any jewelry designer you’re considering. You should look at their reviews on the web, if they’re available, to get an idea of their online reputation and level of service offered. Find out how long the company has been in business and if local residents would recommend it.

Research designers to find out what their specialty is. For example, not all stores that carry a wide variety of fine designer jewelry are also experienced in creating custom pieces. Some designers focus on diamond rings and bridal jewelry, others might work only in gold, or maybe they specialize in vintage pieces. You will want to make sure that the designer’s strengths are in line with the styles and techniques that interest you.

Check the Jewelry Designer’s Credentials

Reputable jewelry dealers and designers will have professional certifications to verify their skills and expertise. You should be able to see from the website if they are verified by national diamond institutes, design guilds, or as fine jewelry vendors.

One tool that you can use is the free directory of certified, knowledgeable fine jewelers provided by Jewelers of America, one of the longest-standing associations in the country. You can search for designers in Delaware or look one up by name. The companies registered with JA take ongoing education courses regularly and follow a strict professional code of ethics.

Consider it a Long-Term Relationship

Fine jewelry is an investment for your family and for generations to come. As you search for the right designer, you should look past the initial purchase. Think about long-term maintenance and repair needs. Trustworthy designers will always stand by their products.

The designer you choose should offer an extensive guarantee for both the precious stones and workmanship. All valuable pieces should be properly maintained over the years. Plus, custom-made jewelry will require custom repairs if it’s damaged at some point. Therefore, you will want to select a designer that will be around for a long time and will be able to assist you with cleaning, maintenance, repairs, and future purchases.

Pick a Jewelry Designer in Person

This isn’t a decision that you want to make online. Anyone can make an attractive website, but not everyone can craft a beautiful piece of jewelry that will last a lifetime. It’s impossible to assess the quality of the workmanship and materials used from a picture published on the web. You won’t be able to inspect a diamond for inclusions or flaws. This is why shopping for fine jewelry online is risky. Be sure to watch out for the other main diamond-buying mistakes.

Choosing a jewellery designer is a personal decision. You will want to be able to discuss your preferences and vision in person. Meeting with the designer means that you can get to know their values, style, and work process. Then, once you’ve designed the perfect piece of jewelry together, you can seal the deal with a handshake and a smile.

When you trust a certified dealer or designer, you are able to shop in person and more accurately assess the quality of the jewellery. This is also an opportunity to get expert advice and guidance with your buying decision. Because customer satisfaction is essential to their business, they work hard to ensure they are happy with the purchase. Answering questions, respecting your budget, and providing reliable service should be standard procedures.

Choose Janvier Jewelers for elegant jewelry design

There’s no need to compromise when choosing a fine jewellery designer. Janvier Jewelers has been an independent, family-owned jewelry dealer and designer since 1975. We take pride in providing the highest quality of service to the Newark, Delaware community. All of our associates have an average of 25 years of experience working with valuable jewellery. Janvier Jewelers is certified by the Gemological Institute of America in Diamond Grading and our associates are verified as Fine Jewelry Consultants and qualified to detect synthetic diamonds, identify, and color stone grading.

There are various websites along with sample profiles, where one can find the apt jewellery designer as per one’s industry as follows:

This website provides the best free-lancing jewelry designers across the world. Clients have rated these jewelry designers as 4.9/5.


This website provides the best freelancers as jewellery designers in Bangalore.






7 Ways to Find Design Ideas and Inspiration for Jewelry Designers

1. Inspire from Nature

Jewellery Design: Taking Inspiration from Nature - Hamstech

Many great designers in many different industries have taken their inspiration from nature; from landscape paintings to textiles to jewellery design. To receive inspiration from nature, pay special attention to the shapes, textures, and colors you see in natural settings – in plants, animals, rock formations, water, etc.

Think of nature in motion, note its contrasts, and examine it from different angles to gain new perspectives. You’ll soon start to see the fabulous way that nature can inspire creativity, just like the creative expression in the designs.

2. Inspire from Other Jewelry Designs

This does not mean copying outright another designer’s jewelry ideas, but sometimes browsing other designs can inspire your own ideas. You don’t have to limit yourself to a specific theme or concept either. On the contrary, you’ll find more inspiration by looking at pieces with different themes and concepts, or different types of metals and gemstones.

3. Stay updated with the Latest Trends or Fashion Statements

Follow the trend, however, don’t limit yourself to fashion trends in clothing and jewellery. Take a look at trends in architecture, film, music, and other industries that affect fashion trends as well. You’ll be surprised how much fashion trends in these industries influence each other and how they can spark your own design ideas.

4. Follow Jewelry Blogs

Reading jewelry blogs for what’s new in jewellery design is another effective way to find inspiration. There are many excellent writers out there who can keep you updated on the latest innovations, design ideas, trends, and fashions. Find one that suits your personal style and start perusing for inspiration! Feel free to check out the Jewelrythis blog while you’re at it.

5. Start On-ground

Sometimes, all you need to do to find your creative spark is to just start sketching. Think of it as an outward expression of a stream of consciousness. Often, the process of sketching itself inspires creativity. Other times it’s the mixing of ideas when you look back at your sketches, or simply the unleashing of ideas that have been on your mind but couldn’t fully surface, that allows your creativity to flow again.

6. Inspire from Antiques

18 Antique Jewellery Designs - Embrace The Royal Look

Look back in time. History is replete with changes, innovations, people, and events that can profoundly inspire. Whether it’s the history of fashion, jewelry, gemstones, or of the world, a look back at historical areas of interest to you, can inspire great design ideas.

7. Re-energize and Refresh

Take a break. Last, but not least, if all else fails, take a little break, do other things, re-energize, and then get back to doing what you love – designing beautiful jewelry!

Final Thoughts

Hiring the right jewelry designer is crucial for the success of your business. This cheat sheet provides valuable insights, covering aspects like skills, experience, portfolio assessment, and cultural fit. Remember to prioritize communication and collaboration to ensure a seamless working relationship. With this guide, you’re well-equipped to make informed hiring decisions in the world of jewelry design.

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