Jewellers are not just craftsmen they are artists too. People are often amazed at how these artificers of metal, are able to manipulate gold and gemstones into the beautiful finished creations, that are adored for generations. But have you ever wondered how long you would have to train to be an exceptional jeweller to create these amazing pieces ?
A basic jewellers apprenticeship takes about 4 years, and not only has on the job training, but a considerable amount of time at tafe as well. In this time they are taught a variety of skills, ranging from hand making jewellery to producing wax pieces and masters for mass production.
The completion of a Jewellers apprenticeship really only marks the start of their journey. For at least the next 3-4 years, jewellers will learn to hone their basic skills they have learnt so far and apply them in a range of new fields. At the end of this time, if they have worked hard and diligently, most can expect to reach a good standard.
The next stage after that, often involves the jewellers moving around to different workshops and learning from a range of other jewellers. In our industry, you can’t learn all there is to know from a book. The best way to grow is through experience and learning by watching others. A jeweller can easily spend the next 7 years learning the finer aspects of the trade, which could involve working with platinum, cluster settings and fine tuning their tools to achieve a better finished piece.
The last category i put only a handful of jewellers into is the exceptional category. While some jewellers can achieve this after a further 10 years, some can work a lifetime and never obtain it. In some European countries like Germany, you can actually go back to college and graduate as a Master Jeweller. This requires many years of study and assessment, and is not a term that is given out lightly.
The next time you look at an amazing piece of jewellery that has been expertly hand crafted, it is worthwhile remembering that the ring did not just take 12 or 16 hours to complete. It represents someone who has spent more than a decade of relentless pursuit of excellence to ensure you have a symbol of your love that will last a lifetime.