A jewellery designer seems like such a cool thing to do. They have quite a history as jewellery has always been popular regardless of the century. Jewellery designers were originally called goldsmiths even in Ancient Greece. Many designers are simply carrying on family tradition and in many countries, this is certainly the case. They grew up around gold and silver and precious gems and learnt how to make jewellery from their family, often from a young age.
A modern day example of this is the Paloma Picasso, daughter of the famous painter, who designs jewellery for Tiffany buy gold in dubai. Her pieces have a dynamic look and most certainly she has learnt a lot about design from her father.
In today’s world a jewellery designer needs to know about gemology as well as metalsmithing. Sometimes designs are created in a model wax especially for jewellers or sometimes in silver so the designer can create a mould. If the design is successful, this can then be produced in many numbers and can include silver, platinum or gold, for example.
There are jewellery designers who work for individuals. You can work with a designer to have your engagement ring made, for example. There will be an initial consultation where you get to know the designer and he or she gets to understand you a little better. You can explain what you would like and the designer will sketch some preliminary designs (or even use a computer design program) to see what you think. You can go from there until you both agree on the perfect engagement ring for you. Then you will know that your ring is unique and no-one else has one the same as yours.
The designer also has to know exactly how the work involved is done. Otherwise he could design things that are impossible to make. This is why designers usually make the jewellery as well as just design them. That means they have to have knowledge of many things, including mounting which is the actual frame for the piece involved and this often means forming as well as drilling so that the gem will fit exactly. The final piece will need to be polished. Sometimes other processes are involved such as electro-plating which means layering a precious metal like gold onto a base metal. Sometimes jewellery is engraved or metal is welded together – today this can be done by laser. Enamel jewellery is also an intricate process.
It is only through knowing and doing all the work involved that the jewellery designer can work on his or her own designs. Even today, goldsmiths in many countries mean going to a special school as well as becoming an apprentice and this process can take around three years.
More and more consumers demand that the diamonds they are about to purchase have to be either free from bloodshed or human rights abuses such as child labour, workers’ exploitation or any other violence surrounding the mining sites, mostly in African Countries. Most of the mines are all well out of sight of human rights observers. The expression ‘conflict free’ is one closely linked with the jewellery industry worldwide to describe anything that is construed into a positive sales argument well knowing that the truth is somehow different. The jewellery industry has prepared very well in advance to combat probing questions by consumers. Sales assistants mention the ‘Kimberley Process’ as the argument that there is nothing to worry about and that their diamonds are all ‘clean’. The Kimberley Process was set up in 2003 by over 70 countries to give retail jewellers some ammunition against the constant bad press that diamond mining had fueled civil wars in many African states and that it had become unethical to buy them. Fact is that the idea behind it is very honorable. But countries that didn’t sign up to the agreement, like Zimbabwe were still able to supply the world market with diamonds, which are mined in areas heavily controlled by the army and where workers live in utter poverty with their rights totally disregarded.
But of course these ethical issues that have created so much negativity are not the only reasons why the industry has had such a bad reputation over the years. Environmental devastation has now become a more dominant issue since some civil wars have ended and the financing of these civil unrests has become no longer necessary. Even though diamond mining does not require the toxic chemicals used in the gold mining industry, the effects on the landscape has been quite devastating. Suitable farmland has been destroyed, whole towns had to be relocated, rivers were diverted and wildlife destroyed. These are only some of the adverse effects, some with irreparable consequences