HOW TO BE­COME A JEW­ELLER

CityPress - - Careers -

Jewellers and gold­smiths fab­ri­cate and re­pair rings, brooches, pen­dants and bracelets, among other things. They use fine pre­ci­sion tools to cut, saw, file and pol­ish jew­ellery.

The jew­ellery man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try can be di­vided into two types of pro­duc­tion:

Craft­work: in­di­vid­ual ar­ti­cles that are hand­made by skilled crafts­men; and

Mass pro­duc­tion: moulds and ma­chines are used to pro­duce a large num­ber of ar­ti­cles as quickly as pos­si­ble.

Jewellers who work in jew­ellery stores and re­pair shops pro­vide a va­ri­ety of ser­vices to their cus­tomers. Much of their time is spent re­pair­ing jew­ellery and watches, and do­ing hand en­grav­ing.

Typ­i­cal re­pair jobs in­clude en­larg­ing or re­duc­ing rings, re­set­ting stones and re­plac­ing bro­ken clasps and mount­ings.

Some jewellers also de­sign jew­ellery that will later be made ei­ther by hand or by ma­chines.

Jewellers and gold­smiths shape the metal with hand tools or cast it in moulds to their own de­signs or those cre­ated by de­sign­ers. They sol­der to­gether in­di­vid­ual parts to form the fin­ished piece. They may cast de­signs in pre­cious metal and mount di­a­monds or other stones on the piece.

Jewellers and gold­smiths use pli­ers, files, saws, ham­mers, torches, sol­der­ing irons and a va­ri­ety of other hand tools.

Jewellers and gold­smiths work in­doors at man­u­fac­tur­ing con­cerns, re­tail jewellers, gold­smiths and at re­pair shops. The en­vi­ron­ment is usu­ally pleas­ant, hy­gienic and welle­quipped.

Sat­is­fy­ing as­pects

Be­ing cre­ative; Do­ing pre­cise de­tailed work; Pleas­ant work­ing con­di­tions; and Work­ing with the pub­lic.

De­mand­ing as­pects

The pos­si­bil­ity of eye strain re­sult­ing from a lot of de­tailed work;

The con­cen­tra­tion re­quired when work­ing with tiny ob­jects; Work­ing on one’s own; and Sit­ting for long pe­ri­ods of time, as well as phys­i­cal and men­tal strain.

Re­quire­ments

A gold­smith and jew­eller should be/have: At least 16 years old; Artis­tic abil­ity; A pa­tient, ac­cu­rate and neat worker; Per­se­ver­ance and con­cen­tra­tion; Care­ful and re­li­able; Me­chan­i­cal, tech­ni­cal and prac­ti­cal ap­ti­tude; En­joy pre­cise, de­tailed work; Ex­cel­lent eye­sight; Good man­ual dex­ter­ity; and Good eye-hand co­or­di­na­tion.

School sub­jects

There are no com­pul­sory sub­jects, but rec­om­mended sub­jects are visual arts, math­e­mat­ics and English.

For a de­gree course, a Na­tional Se­nior Cer­tifi­cate meet­ing de­gree re­quire­ments is re­quired.

Sim­i­larly, for a diploma course, a Na­tional Se­nior Cer­tifi­cate meet­ing diploma re­quire­ments is re­quired. For a learn­er­ship, a Grade 9 cer­tifi­cate is re­quired. Each in­sti­tu­tion will have its own min­i­mum en­try re­quire­ments.

Train­ing

Diploma: The Dur­ban, Cen­tral, Tsh­wane and Cape Penin­sula uni­ver­si­ties of tech­nol­ogy of­fer a course in jew­ellery man­u­fac­ture and de­sign, as does the Univer­sity of Jo­han­nes­burg.

This in­cludes prac­ti­cal train­ing, as well as train­ing in gem­mol­ogy (train­ing in the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, clas­si­fi­ca­tion and dis­crim­i­na­tion of gems).

Cer­tifi­cate: Cape Town’s Fur­ther Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing col­lege of­fers the jew­ellery man­u­fac­ture course. There are four recog­nised learn­er­ships:

Pre­cious metal work­ing and mount­ing – five years (in­clud­ing di­a­mond mount­ing) Di­a­mond and jewel set­ting – five years En­grav­ing – four years Mount­ing and pre­cious metal work­ing – three years Fi­nal ex­am­i­na­tion: a com­pul­sory trade test set by the depart­ment of labour to qual­ify as an ar­ti­san.

Short part-time cour­ses in jew­ellery de­sign and man­u­fac­ture are of­fered by pri­vately run op­er­a­tions.

Em­ploy­ers

Jew­ellery man­u­fac­tur­ers Re­tail gold­smiths and jewellers Jew­ellery, clock and watch re­pair shops Self-em­ploy­ment – skilled and en­tre­pre­neur­ial gold­smiths and jewellers can start their own busi­nesses

Con­tact

The Jew­ellery Coun­cil of SA on 011 484 5528.

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