Jewelry is one business that stands the test of time. Though slower in down economic markets, people will always buy jewelry. Jewelers sell jewelry and might create their own pieces to sell. They also might specialize in repair and work for themselves or in a retail setting. Gemologists specialize in analyzing the quality and characteristics of gemstones through tools, research, their training and a grading system. Often gemologists conduct appraisals and assign grading and value to stones.
Take a job in the jewelry department of a retail department or jewelry store. Learn about different metals and gemstones through on-the-job training. You also will learn selling techniques, customer service, professional cleaning, repair, engraving, pricing and merchandising.
Complete a bachelor's or master's degree in fine arts, specializing in jewelry design if you plan to design and make your own line of jewelry. You will develop a style and begin to create your own pieces.
Obtain certification through the Gemological Institute of America's diploma programs. GIA credentials are available in several areas and are widely respected in
the jewelry industry. Complete a series of classes at one of GIA's campuses, in a lab or online. As a certified gemologist, you will use tools to analyze and grade the quality of gemstones.
Market your jewelry designs and build up a clientele. Sell you pieces through consignment at other jewelry stores and set up a booth at arts and crafts festivals. Wear your own pieces and hand out business cards and brochures that feature your creations.
Make connections with importers and wholesale sellers of stones, metals, jewelry making tools and equipment. Attend trade shows and meet brokers who can buy and sell stones to you at wholesale. Join professional associations to network with other jewelers and gemologists to obtain connections and share information.
Open and operate your own jewelry shop. Rent space to sell your own designs and other pieces. Create an accompanying website so you can also sell jewelry online. Place your work on websites that allow direct sales and auctions. Offer to do repair work and custom designs to broaden your customer base.