How ancient humans wore nassarius shells

Today's Jewelers Practice Ancient Craft

Most jewelers still use tools and techniques that are hundreds — even thousands! — of years old. Massive jewelry factories around the world use machines to melt and pour metal, but many independent jewelers still heat metal over a flame and pour it into a mold, just as the earliest jewelers did. Jewelers cut metal with hand saws, chisel metal with hammers and engraving tools, hand-carve waxes, bond metal using a hand torch, and file and polish by hand to achieve bright, shiny finishes.

To these ancient techniques they have thoughtfully incorporated modern technologies, such as CAD/CAM, to create and prototype designs using computers. They use laser welders to achieve extremely small joins and repairs, microscopes to ensure the tiniest details, and small casting machines to control the safety and quality of melting metal.

Walk into any jeweler's workshop and you will see ancient and modern tools used together, side by side.

Jewelry is More Than Fashion

Yes, jewelry has long been made and worn as a symbol of wealth and power. But for just as long it has been worn to commemorate special places, remember loved ones, express religious or spiritual beliefs, and celebrate rites of passage. In these modern times of mass production, it's easy to forget that jewelry can represent so much more than a wardrobe choice. 

Aztec jewelers had their own god — Quetzalcoatl — to protect them
Hratch Babikian at his bench

Our goal

To share with you the community of jewelry designers and makers who create jewelery as an art form, using technical skills honed over many years, fueled by a desire to make beautiful, meaningful objects of expression.
A Jeweler forming a bracelet at Gumuchian

Our philosophy


Art and Craft are Essential to the Preservation of Culture

Ring Models by Green Lake Jewelry Works, Seattle

Artistic Vision


These designs, from Green Lake Jewelry Works, demonstrate the jeweler's dedication to creating beautiful things from conception through completion.

Craftsmanship


Master jewelers, like Etienne Perret, dedicate their lives to perfecting the details of their work. Jewelers are modern alchemists.
Etienne Perret at his bench
Gigi Ferranti rose gold and diamond choker

Exquisite Quality


Most jewelers produce jewelery piece by piece, attending to every detail. From design integrity to finished item, the jeweler's quality shines through.

And Then There Are the Stories

Beautiful objects are almost always attached to stories. 

Who made it. Why they made it. Where it was found. What was happening when it was found. Why it was purchased. Who purchased it. The importance of a gift, a moment, a memory.

 Unlike jeans or a pair of shoes, thoughtfully made and bought jewelry always has a story. And hopefully, it helps you tell your own stories. And that is why we love jewelry. 

Necklace with gold granulation and gemstones

Explore

These pages are filled with exquisite work by jewelers, their stories, and where to find them. 

Are you a studio designer or jeweler? Come join us!
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MJSA EDUCATION FOUNDATION

8 Hayward St.
Attleboro, MA 02703

About This Initiative

Introducing consumers to the exciting world of master jewelers and designers.

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An Initiative of the MJSA Education Foundation

The trade alliance dedicated to professional excellence in jewelry making and design.

JCK Industry Fund

Funded in part by a JCK Industry Fund Grant

©2018. MJSA Education Foundation. All Rights Reserved.