Master Goldsmiths: What They Are & Why You Should Care
If we can’t fix it, it can’t be fixed
One of the problems with the jewelry industry is the system of efficiency. Most jewelry shops have a distinguished sizer, polisher and setter. They’re an important cog in the system, but few people know everything about the product.
Someone who knows the entire process is hard to find. A reason for this is because most are not taught how to do other things—they never had the opportunity to try. This means we’re losing a whole generation of renaissance people who understand the complex processes of jewelry making from start to finish.
This matters when it comes to having an efficient process. For example, Jeffrey Buetow, owner, founder, gemologist and Master Goldsmith, is an expert at all processes of the jewelry making craft. This means he can do 60 jobs in the amount of time it would take other shops to do eight. As a result, customers pay less for a product or repair—because his skill level means we don’t charge more for labor or third party help.
What Is a Master Goldsmith?
A Master Goldsmith is not a title achieved by taking a course or receiving a certification. Rather, it means a person is able to solve anything that comes to them.
When Jeffrey was younger and being mentored by another Master Goldsmith, he asked, “When will I know it all?”
He replied, “That’s easy, when you can fix your or anyones else’s mistakes. That’s when you know you’re a jeweler.”
Master Goldsmiths are rare these days. One or two out of 1,000 goldsmiths will know how to solve a difficult problem, because few are taught how.
The Impact: Precision, Fabrication, Efficiency & Low Cost
As technology improves, fewer people have the full range of skills when it comes to jewelry repair and fabrication. Since the computer makes things so precise now, fabrication is a bit of a lost art. Part of being a Master Goldsmith is repairing other peoples mistakes.
To people in the industry, the title is earned when you can accomplish all tasks: hand fabrication, casting, setting, sizing, engraving—encompassing all aspects of the manufacture and fabricating of jewelry.
This matters not only in terms of quality of the finished product and longevity of the piece, but also in terms of efficiency. What separates us from other jewelry shops is that we’ve done it enough and are efficient enough that we can charge much lower prices than other people because we can do things at a speed and precision most jewelry shops can’t.
Being a master goldsmith means having the years of experience and confidence that says: if we can’t fix it, it can’t be fixed.