For most people, a question like “What is beauty?” is purely theoretical and based on their individual tastes. For jewelers, this question is literally their livelihood. Working with fantastic gems has a lot of things going for it, but the degree of difficulty in professional jewelry design, particularly at higher levels, is astonishing.
Photo via A Womens Club
To design jewelry of any kind, you need advanced skills, a very strong knowledge base, good materials, and a very thorough practical understanding of your craft. In this case, “practical understanding” involves being able to work with very valuable materials and to make as few mistakes as possible.
You also need the mind of an artist, combined with the commercial skills of the jeweler’s trade and knowledge of the consumer market. It’s extremely rewarding work, allowing a great deal of freedom of creative design, but it is definitely not easy.
Pearls are true gems, but they are unlike any other type of gem. Pearls are a very different type of material, unlike stones, diamonds, or other gems. Working with pearls may involve making things like pearl necklaces, pearl earrings, or very complex hybrid designs in which pearls are actually set into clothing or other hard goods.
Pearls are typically set in the following ways:
- Strings are threaded through the pearl
- Pearls are set in clasps on pieces of jewelry
- Pearls may be inlaid into pieces of jewelry like gold or other materials
If you’ve seen the interesting new hybrid combinations of diamonds, gold and pearl necklaces and pearl earrings, you can see the very advanced skill levels and creativity involved.
Additionally, the use of colored pearls has drastically expanded the jeweler’s range of design choices, providing a huge spectrum of colour combinations. Pearl jewelry has also benefited from the arrival of Tahitian and freshwater pearls on the market, providing many more colorful choices for design purposes.
Take the time to explore the many different types of pearl jewelry on the market, and see in particular the latest modern hybrid pieces. You’ll be astonished what is possible in pearl jewelry design these days.