In addition to designing pieces such as rings, necklaces, earrings and bracelets, a jewelry maker often does general maintenance and repairs on these types of accessories. The exact duties of jewelry makers depend mainly on where they work. For instance, a designer-entrepreneur with a small business who makes costume jewelry and sells it through an e-commerce website will have very different daily job responsibilities from a jeweler who works at a retail outlet that specializes in diamonds.
A retail-based jewelry maker may reset stones that customers bring in to create custom pieces. Retail jewelry makers may be gemologists and/or appraisers. A gemologist researches and analyzes metal and stones. A jewelery appraiser estimates the value of rings, necklaces, earrings, bracelets and other pieces; he or she may also be a gemologist.
Using professional equipment to examine and price gems and jewelry is a regular task for many retail jewelers. A retail store jewelry maker must get customer orders done on time, whether these involve making new pieces or repairing items. Precise movements with the hands and fingers are used by all types of jewelry makers.
Jewelry makers who design and create handcrafted pieces to sell to stores or to retail customers online don't usually make repairs or appraise items. They most often work with semi-precious stones or costume jewelry components alone rather than with precious gems such as diamonds. A jewelery maker who sells pieces online usually makes items to show in online photographs in catalog form, then creates a similar piece to ship to a customer who orders it.
All types of jewelry makers may use design software programs as well as spend time using cutting and polishing equipment. A jewelry maker typically spends at least several hours a day piecing items together, such as adding chain links or clasps to necklaces. Some time must be spent ordering supplies or shopping for them in person at wholesale craft or beading supply warehouses.
The jewelry supplies designers purchase are usually only bought after careful thought and study of what customers want. Jewelry makers have to create pieces that sell, so they need to take time to plan their ideas. A jewelry maker with a small business must spend a considerable amount of work time marketing products to customers. Some jewelers in retail stores are also in charge of marketing as well as staff management.