Jewelry designers plan and create jewelry, silverware and other decorative products.
Jewelry designers work with precious metals, diamonds, beads, and gemstones in order to create wearable pieces of art. A jewelry designer may create one-of-a-kind pieces for high-end jewelers or an entire line for a mass-market fashion designer. They may also sell their jewelry themselves. Designers can create jewelry entirely by hand or they can begin the design process by using computer-aided design software.
They could work in a creative studio, from home, in a workshop or in a factory. As with many artists, jewelry designers are often freelance workers and must continually seek assignments or customers in a competitive market. They could become self-employed and sell your designs to manufacturers. Or, they could make up the designs and sell them yourself through galleries, in shops and online.
Skills and Knowledge You Need to Be a Jewelry Designer
- the ability to work well with your hands
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- customer service skills
- the ability to come up with new ways of doing things
- analytical thinking skills
- the ability to use your initiative
- ambition and a desire to succeed
- physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity, and grace
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Day-To-Day Tasks to Be a Good Jewelry Designer
- discussing a design (brief) with a client
- producing designs by hand or using CAD software
- making up models of jewelry for mass production
- sourcing gemstones, precious metals, and other jewelry parts
- using equipment like jewelry saws and soldering irons
- cutting, polishing and setting gemstones or other materials
- using different metals in your jewelry making like silver, gold or palladium
- using materials like polymer clays, resins, wood or glass
- marketing and selling your work, if it is self-employed
You can be a jewelry designer through a university course, a college course, an apprenticeship and specialist courses run by a professional body. Jewelry design is very competitive and not all vacancies are advertised. You may find it useful to make contacts within the industry to help find work. You could do this by going to trade fairs and exhibitions.
How to Become a Jewelry Designer
It often feels like jewelry design is one of the forgotten niches of the design industry. Fashion design is more glamorous and graphic design is more prevalent. But, everybody loves jewelry. So, if you have the creative flair and talent to design pieces that excite & delight, the field of jewelry design may be for you.
You can do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in jewelry design, jewelry and metal design, 3D design crafts, and art and design.
Step 1: Complete Training
Even though formal education is not necessary in order to work in this field, liberal arts colleges, fashion institutes, and universities offer jewelry design degree programs to those who don’t plan to freelance immediately. Employers may prefer to hire graduates of trade programs as well because they require less on-the-job training. Shorter-term jewelry sales diplomas and certificate programs are also available.
During these training programs, students learn the fundamentals of casting shapes and analyzing stones through courses in sculpture, metalwork, and soldering. The art of jewelry design is developed through courses in jewelry sculpture, costume jewelry, gemology, and fashion history. Although a student may elect a studio or design specialization, taking elective classes in both may offer more effective career preparation.
- Build your portfolio: This collection of work demonstrates jewelry design ability and artistic expression to potential employers. You can continue to add pieces, sketches, and renderings to your portfolio, even after you have left school.
- Become proficient in computer-aided design (CAD): Knowledge of CAD software is a valuable skill in jewelry design.
Step 2: Learn the Business Side of the Field
In addition to the creative and technical aspects of jewelry making, prospective jewelry designers should also become familiar with industry standards and business practices, such as diamond and precious stone grading, base pricing, market analysis, and production costs. Students who plan to become freelance jewelry designers may want to take advantage of educational and professional jewelry associations. Through organizations, prospective jewelers have access to classes in CAD/CAM for jewelers, stone grading, as well as online articles and classes in retail marketing practices and business management.
Step 3: Gain Recognition
Jewelry designers can enter competitions as a means of gaining industry exposure and determining popular designs that might increase sales. Jewelry design competitions are typically held annually and are judged by leading designers. The professional competitions offer participants an opportunity to cultivate valuable industry connections and increase potential sales.
You can do short courses in specific types of jewelry making at college, or through a private course provider like a jewelry studio or workshop. Courses vary in content so it is worth checking carefully to make sure they cover what you need.
Popular Schools for Being a Jewelry Designer
- Penn Foster High SchoolUniversity of Oregon
- University of Michigan
- Ferris State University
- University of North Texas
- University of Washington
- Rochester Institute of Technology
- Savannah College of Art and Design
How to Become a Jewelry Designer without Any Experience
It might seem impossible to become a jeweler designer without years of training and amazing art skills, but this is far from the truth. In order to begin, all you need is a unique idea that other brands haven’t discovered, basic business and marketing knowledge, and a small amount of startup capital.
Believe it or not, these are the only three components you need to start a jewelry business. While drawing skills and production experience/knowledge can be helpful, they absolutely aren’t a necessity. And you definitely don’t need to learn any complex 3d CAD software to make your first jewelry piece.
You may still need some basic knowledge of business and marketing. You will also need to have strong communication skills because essentially you are the CEO of your company; you need to organize production, get your collection in stores, and develop PR and a social media following.
If you have some ideas in mind or even some basic drawings, reach out to an all-in-one custom jewelry studio for an inquiry. In addition to a cost estimate for your collection, you’ll get to see detailed 3d models of your jewelry before production starts.
The best part is, the studio will take care of the whole process; your 3d design, sourcing, and production need from start to finish. That means you won’t have to spend precious time going from company to company and navigating the production process to see your jewelry collection made.
Famous Jewelry Designers
Many of the famous jewelry designers had humble beginnings but made their name creating styles that captured and enraptured the passions of men of women who love magnificent, high-quality jewelry. There is a list below which is the world’s best jewelry designers whose styles have transcended the decades and maintain a strong presence accessorizing women and men around the world with their unique designs of earrings, watches, necklaces, bracelets, and rings.
It is an Italian luxury brand famous for jewelry, watches, fragrance, and hotels. The foundations of the Bvlgari brand were laid in the late 1870s by the Greek shop Sotirio Boulgaris with a small shop they opened. Sotirio Boulgaris, the founder of Bvlgari, who lived with his family in Corfu, decided to make his own way in 1880 and moved to Rome. In 1880, Sotirio Boulgaris changed the family name to a Romanian name, Bulgari. The company’s trademark name, BVLGARI, is written in the Latin alphabet.
After a short-term partnership initiative experience, he opened his own shop in 1884 under the name “Sotorio”. Here, products ranging from silver belts, buckles, bracelets, buttons, tableware, and antiques were on sale. Towards the late 1800s, this entrepreneurial businessman In Moritz, San Remo, Naples, Bellagio and Sorrento, sales points have reached strong power.
BVLGARI B.Zero 1 18kt Pink and White Gold 4 Band Ring- Size 53 (U.S 6 1/2)
BVLGARI 18K Pink Gold and Mother of Pearl/Carnelian Ring- Size: 53 (U.S 6 1/2)
Tiffany & Co.
Tiffany & Co. (known colloquially as Tiffany or Tiffany’s) is an American luxury jewelry and specialty retailer headquartered in New York City. It was founded by Charles Lewis Tiffany in New York in 1837. The store was originally called Tiffany, Young & Ellis, but changed its name to Tiffany & Company in the early 1850s when it expanded to locations in Paris and London.
It sells jewelry, sterling silver, china, crystal, stationery, fragrances, water bottles, watches, personal accessories, and leather goods. The company became famous in the early 20th century under the artistic direction of his son Louis Comfort Tiffany. The company operates retail outlets in the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Japan, Europe, and the United Arab Emirates.
The company truly became a design icon during the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods of the early 20th century, when they began selling their famous diamond and platinum solitaire engagement rings. Tiffany is also famous for the lock and key motif, which is featured on bracelets, pendants, earrings, and pins.
Many celebrities and fashion icons have purchased iconic Tiffany jewelry, including Jacqueline Kennedy, Greta Garbo and Elizabeth Taylor. One of the most famous Tiffany jewelry designs was the iconic “Bird on a Rock” – a brooch in which a diamond and gold bird perches on an enormous 128.54-carat yellow diamond.
Tiffany & Co Tiffany & Co. Platinum Diamond and Aquamarine Ring
Founded in 1893, Mikimoto introduced the first cultural pearls in the world to women. Pearl, which has never lost its beauty in any period, has always been the classic and elegance of the jewelry world. With the pearl vaccine found by Kokichi Mikimoto in 1912, perfect pearls were created and the brand became the pearl leader. Producing the highest quality pearls, Mikimoto has become the indispensable jewelry of the Marilyn Monroe, Princess of Monaco and the Grace Royal family.
The world of pearls owes a lot to Kokichi Mikimoto, who created the pearls of culture. He has not only created the pearl of culture but also played a very important role in the industry with the techniques he found in its development.
The first Mikimoto store opened in 1899 in Tokyo, and it later expanded to London, Paris, New York, Bombay, and other major cities, and was the first Japanese jewelry house to gain international fame. Mikimoto jewelry is known for its exquisite pearls and simple, elegant designs, though they make more elaborate pearl jewelry as well. Mikimoto was the official jeweler for the Miss USA pageant from 2003-2008 and for the Miss Universe pageant from 2002-2007.
“My dream is to adorn the neck of all women around the world with pearls.”
Mikimoto Grade A Akoya Cultured Pearl Stud Earrings Akoya Pearl 7-7.5 mm
Mikimoto Pearls in Motion in 18kt Yellow gold with Golden South Sea Pearl 11mm with Diamonds 0.2ct 19″ Chain – PPL350GYDK1
Mikimoto Twist Akoya Pearls & Diamond Earrings in 18K White Gold 7mm – MEA10016ADXW
Dior is a European fashion company led by French businessman Bernard Arnault, who heads Europe’s largest luxury goods group, LVMH. It is a French luxury goods company named after its founding designer that began designing jewelry in the 1950s.
Founded in 1948 by its designer Christian Dior, the company designs and sells ready-made garments, leather goods, fashion accessories, shoes, jewelry, watches, perfumes, makeup, and skincare products, under the well-known haute-couture (under the Christian Dior Couture section). The Christian Dior label uses the Dior Homme section for men and the Dior label in children’s clothing, while largely preserving women’s offers. The products are sold in the portfolio and online store of retail stores worldwide.
Dior jewelry is designed to complement their other luxury goods, particularly the women’s fashion lines, and the style is typically bold and glamorous. Dior jewelry is known for putting a feminine spin on traditionally masculine designs. Dior is also famous for its collections of rose-themed gemstone jewelry, designed after Christian Dior’s favorite flower.
Dior Women’s 18K White Gold Multi-Gemstone Cocktail Ring
Since 1895, Swarovski’s mastery of the founder Daniel Swarovski’s crystal cut has been identified with the company. His infinite passion for innovation-design and design has brought the world’s leading brand of jewelry and accessories. Today, the family continues the tradition of adding extraordinary to women’s daily styles all over the world.
In 1891, Daniel Swarovski’s vision was to create a diamond for everyone. The electric machine that he invented, offering the most precise cut ever, was the beginning of a new era in crystal. From the American jazz halls, reflecting the excitement of the 1920s, to Paris’s couture fashion houses, their dresses were decorated with beads and Swarovksi crystals.
Inspired by its collaborations and long experience in the field of creativity, Swarovski opened its first boutique in the 1980s. Thus, the magical experience of the world with a brand new jewelry and crystal figurine brand began. With the introduction of the first annual special production Christmas ornament, a new tradition was born for collectors worldwide.
SWAROVSKI Crystal Pearl Iconic Swan Necklace
Swarovski 5364318 Angelic Set Square
Chanel is a French luxury fashion house that was founded in 1909 by legendary designer Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel. Chanel is a fashion house founded in Paris by 1909-1910 by French fashion designer Gabrielle Bonheur Coco Chanel. Over the years, Chanel has become a world-renowned luxury brand that specializes in haute couture, perfumes, watches, garments, bags, and cosmetics.
Beginning with Coco’s designs, Chanel jewelry has always embodied a marriage of feminine and masculine styles, designed to complement both their luxury and ready-to-wear women’s clothing collections. Some of the most iconic Chanel designs include long-strand necklaces of black and white pearls, gemstone brooches, and sculptural diamond jewelry. Chanel jewelry designs have been worn by many actresses, including Marilyn Monroe, Catherine Deneuve, Kiera Knightly, and Zhang Ziyi.
Chanel’s logo is arguably the most recognized logo in the world. The striking, opposite-facing and interlocking C’s is a striking and bold design, created by the brand’s namesake and founder, Coco Chanel, in 1925. The story behind the logo’s inspiration is somewhat mysterious.
CHANEL Gold Filigree 3 ‘CC’ Necklace (Pre-Owned)
It is a French luxury fashion and perfume house. Hubert de Givenchy knew he wanted to make women beautiful from the ripe age of 17. He was born in France, home of the infamous fashion capital Paris, and at 25 he opened his first boutique stocked full of clothing and high-end fashion jewelry. His creations were so popular that high-end fashion boutiques from all over the world carried his creations.
He was known for using beautiful rhinestones, polished glass, various plated metals, and faux pearls to make his pieces stand out. Givenchy also signed his pieces with a stamp and a logo on the clasps of the metal pieces, showing that it was one of his genuine creations. It’s this signature and the classic designs that he used that make his pieces so collectible.
Even though he retired in 1995, his label is still sold today in finer department stores and is known for its superb quality in both costume jewelry and pieces made of finer materials.
Givenchy Crystal and Stone Medium Drop Earrings pink
Givenchy Pave and Stone Linear Drop Earrings Peach
The Société Cartier was founded by French jewelry designer Louis-François Cartier in 1847. Over the next century, the Cartier design house grew to become one of the world’s most prominent jewelers, with locations across the globe, with headquarters in Paris. Cartier is famous for its classic designs featuring expensive gemstones and precious metals. In 1914, Cartier produced its first iconic Panthère brooch, designed in the shape of a panther and covered in pave diamonds and gems. The Panthère became the symbol most associated with the design house, and new Panthère pieces are produced every year.
The company, which sold jewelry in the years it was founded, thought that watches were more valuable than jewelry and started designing and selling watches. The main ideology of the company, which has managed to carry its brand to this day, has been to design special watches that its customers will not find anywhere. Cartier, which continues to design and manufacture for many years in this direction, has become a hobby for him even though he could not make serious sales at first.
Cartier gained its popularity with its first waterproof watch in 1932 and still continues its sales in many countries of the world. Cartier jewelry is often commissioned by the world’s royalty for coronations and state occasions, and purchasers have included Wallis Simpson, King Edward VII of England, the Maharaja of Patiala, and Princess Grace of Monaco.
CARTIER Panthere De 18K White Gold Diamond, Emerald and Onyx Panther Bracelet
Harry Winston opened the Harry Winston Diamond Corporation in 1932 in New York City. After his death in 1978 in New York City at the age of 82, the company continued, eventually becoming the Dominion Diamond Corporation, though the jewelry house itself is still known as Harry Winston. Harry Winston opens its first salon in Japan, in Tokyo, in 1988. Then, they introduce their first collection of timepieces, entering the world of fine watchmaking, in 1989.
Diamonds are the centerpiece of Harry Winston jewelry, though their pieces use other gemstones, as well. Winston’s designs are highly sculptural and often considered fine art pieces. In addition to their custom designs, Harry Winston buys and sells famous estate and vintage gemstone jewelry.
The Harry Winston Gallery opens at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., housing the famed Hope Diamond, in 1997. The most famous piece ever bought by Harry Winston is the Hope Diamond, which was purchased in 1949 from the estate of Evalyn Walsh McLean, who had purchased it from Cartier. Winston owned the Hope Diamond for ten years before giving it to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, where it is still displayed.
Harry Winston Platinum Diamond, Emerald and Pearl Dangle Pendant Chain Necklace
It is a Swiss luxury jewelry brand founded by Georges Piaget in 1874. Since 1874, Piaget has been crafting luxury watches and luxury jewelry treasures by blending a jeweler’s refinement with its watchmaking sophistication. The brand first became famous for its luxury watch designs, particularly those featuring beautiful enameling and set with gemstones. Filled with emotion, Piaget’s high-end jewelry is a source of joy for all those who wear it.
During the 20th century, Piaget began making jewelry as well, particularly elaborate diamond and gemstone pieces. Their designs draw on the styles of Old Hollywood as well as natural forms, particularly the signature Piaget Rose collection.
In 2008, Piaget was ranked by The Luxury Group as the 6th most prestigious jewelry brand in the world. Piaget’s jewelry is often worn by celebrities for red carpets and premiers; actress Scarlett Johansson wore an iconic Piaget emerald choker to the 2015 Academy Awards.
Piaget Miss Protocole 18K White Gold Diamond & Topaz Ring
It is a British multinational jeweler based in London. It was founded by British jeweler Laurence Graff in 1960. A vertically integrated company, Graff operations comprise the design, manufacture and retail distribution of jewelry and watches.
Laurence Graff began his design career in England when he was 15 years old and apprenticed to a professional jeweler. By 1960, he had founded the Graff Diamonds company. By 1962, he had multiple stores open in London’s jeweler’s district. In addition to his elaborate diamond jewelry designs, Graff is known for buying and resetting famous diamonds.
With his passion for gemstones and his talent for business, Laurence Graff OBE has journeyed from London’s East End to a place on the world’s stage alongside kings, presidents and cultural icons write leading jewelry historian Vivienne Becker.
“I have always been fascinated by diamonds, I truly believe that working with diamonds is what I was born to do.”
Graff 18K White Gold Diamond Bracelet
Graff Platinum Diamond and Ruby Eternity Band Ring
Buccellati Holding Italia is an Italian jewelry and watches design company with stores around the world including Paris, London, New York, Tokyo, and Hong Kong. Buccellati is famous for its elaborate gemstone jewelry, featuring designs reminiscent of the Art Nouveau and Old Hollywood eras. Many of their designs feature animal and insect forms, such as gemstone peacocks and dragonflies made out of pearls. Buccellati collections are often exhibited around the world after they are created and before being auctioned off to buyers.
Buccellati 18K Yellow and White Gold Pink Tourmaline Oval Pendant Necklace
Buccellati 18K White Gold Clip-On Earrings
Van Cleef & Arpels
Van Cleef & Arpels is a French luxury jewelry, watch, and perfume company. It was founded in 1896 by Alfred Van Cleef and his father-in-law Salomon Arpels in Paris, during the Art Deco era. Their pieces often feature flowers, animals, and fairies, and have been worn by style icons such as Farah Pahlavi, the Duchess of Windsor, Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, Princess Soraya Bakhtiari, and Eva Perón. Van Cleef & Arpels has stores in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, with its products offered in standalone boutiques, boutiques within major department stores, and independent stores.
Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry is known for its stunning designs and exquisite gem work. One of their most famous designs is the “Mystery Setting,” patented in 1933, which was so delicately made that the prongs holding stones in place were nearly invisible. Each stone is faceted onto gold rails less than two-tenths of a millimeter thick. Creating a Mystery Setting can require 300 hours of work per piece or more, and only a few are produced each year.
Van Cleef & Arpels Vintage 18K Yellow Gold Balls Bypass Ring
Van Cleef & Arpels Yellow Gold Diamond and Emerald Butterfly Pendant Necklace
Van Cleef & Arpels Perlee Signature 18K Rose Gold Band Ring
Fabergé is a family of Russian jewelry designers most famous for their Fabergé eggs. The company was founded in 1842. In 1882 Peter Carl Fabergé took over his father’s very ordinary jewelry business. Together with his brother Agathon, he quickly transformed it into an international phenomenon. The success of the two brothers was changing the nature of the business. Out went the then fashionable style where diamonds prevailed. In came the design-led artist-jeweler with a penchant for color through both stones and reviving the lost art of enameling. They added objects deluxe to their repertoire, including objects de fantasies such as the Imperial Easter Eggs, now regarded as pinnacles of the goldsmiths’ art.
The Fabergé house created exquisite jewels and objects, including their series of Imperial Easter Eggs. These are designed to resemble Easter eggs and are made out of precious metals, enamel, and lavish gemstones. The Imperial Easter Eggs feature various designs such as abstract patterns, religious and historical scenes, and plants and animals.
The original Fabergé eggs were made by Fabergé and his company between 1885 and 1917. Over the course of the 20th century, the name Fabergé was licensed to a number of companies for marketing egg-themed jewelry and decor. In 2013, Fabergé was acquired by Gemfields, a world-leading supplier of ethically-sourced colored gemstones. The brand continues its tradition of designing elaborate gemstone jewelry featuring miniature Fabergé eggs. Current collections are available at Faberge boutiques in New York, London, and other exclusive international retailers.
Nowadays, more than a brand, it is a very famous style. Almost every brand produces and creates jewelry inspired by Faberge.
MYD Jewelry Enamel Hollow Flower Easter Egg Faberge Egg Pendant Necklace
A passion. A source of inspiration. A fascinating universe of collaborations. H.Stern draws on the arts in order to create its surprising jewelry collections, expressing music, dance, fashion, and architecture with gold and precious stones.
The H. Stern luxury jewelry brand was founded in Brazil in 1945 by Hans Stern, a German immigrant who was later succeeded by his son Roberto Stern. Stern originally specialized in gemstones but expanded into design-focused jewelry. In 1964, Time Magazine called Hans, “The king of diamonds and colored gems, capable of unveiling the personality hidden in every precious stone.”
H. Stern jewelry collections are known for their unique inspiration, and many are created in homage to a single person or cultural event. Inspirations include Anna Bella Geiger, Diane von Fürstenberg, and Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland film. H. Stern designs are often worn by celebrities and style icons, including Rihanna, Eva Longoria, Angelina Jolie, Sharon Stone, Cate Blanchett, and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
H. Stern 18K White Gold Pebble Ring
David Yurman is an American jewelry company founded in 1980 by David and Sybil Yurman in New York City. Their designs are known for being sculptural and architectural, meant both for everyday wear and for more formal evening wear.
The most famous design is the Cable motif, made of wrapped silver, platinum, or gold wire, either left plain or decorated with gemstones. The cable is incorporated into every David Yurman collection in the form of bracelets, cuffs, necklaces, watched, and other pieces. David Yurman’s designs have been worn by many modern celebrities, including Tina Fey, Jennifer Garner, Jessica Lange, and Bellamy Young.
In 2001, The David and Sybil Yurman Humanitarian and Arts Foundation was established. David Yurman Angel Awards are presented to individuals who give the gift of time and funding to charity and the arts. Recipients include Steven Spielberg, Elton John, and Leonard Slatkin.
David Yurman Petite Wheaton Garnet & Diamonds Bracelet B11194DSSAGADI
David Yurman 18mm STARBURST RING STERLING SILVER AMETHYST NEW ORIGINAL BOX SIZE 7
David Yurman 30 x 27mm STERLING SILVER LARGE CRYSTAL CHARM NECKLACE NEW BOX 34N
Hermès International S.A., or simply is a French high fashion luxury goods manufacturer established in 1837. It specializes in leather, lifestyle accessories, home furnishings, perfumery, jewelry, watches and ready-to-wear. Its logo, since the 1950s, is of a Duc carriage with horse. Over the next hundred years, the Hermès company became a worldwide luxury retailer selling upscale luxury goods such as scarves, bags, and fragrances.
They began designing and selling jewelry in the 1950s. the collection of Hermès goods expanded in 1990 to include over 30,000 pieces. New materials used in the collection included porcelain and crystal. Known for luxury goods, by 2008, Hermès had 14 product divisions that encompassed leather, scarves, ties, men’s and women’s wear, perfume, watches, stationery, footwear, gloves, enamelware, decorative arts, tableware, and jewelry.
Hermès jewelry pieces span the spectrum of design, from modern leather and enamel bracelets to gold and diamond bracelets that cost over $100,000 each. Hermès designs have been worn by cultural icons including Grace Kelly and Jane Birkin. The brand is known for rejecting mass production, instead of choosing to have their goods handmade at mid-size specialty workshops located in France.
Hermes Cream Enamel Clic H Bracelet PM (Pre-Owned)