Heritage Crafts

Jewellery making

The making of precious and non-precious studio jewellery, including non-metals, but excluding pure gold (see goldsmithing). See also silversmithing and diamond cutting.

This craft uses minerals extracted from the earth – please read our ethical sourcing statement.
Currently viable
Craft category
Historic area of significance
London and Birmingham. Also, Edinburgh and Sheffield
Area practiced currently


Jewellery is a personal ornament, such as a necklace, ring, or bracelet, made from gemstones, precious metals or other materials. Although during earlier times jewellery was created for practical uses such as wealth, storage and pinning clothes together, in recent times it has been used almost exclusively for decoration. The first pieces of jewellery were made from natural materials, such as bone, animal teeth, shell, wood, and carved stone.


  • Metalwork: soldering; forging; etching; repose; raising; enamelling; hammering; stone setting; plating; engraving.
  • Non-metal processes can include techniques taken from textiles; plastics; paper etc


  • Gem setting (also classified as a sub-craft of goldsmithing – see entry for further details).
  • Jewellery polishing and finishing (also classified as a sub-craft of goldsmithing – see entry for further details).

Issues affecting the viability

  • There are fewer colleges offering jewellery at degree level, although there are many more independent colleges springing up.
  • There are issues for our trades, e.g. stonecutters; engravers; polishers and platers finding young apprentices.
  • There are also issues, particularly for London-based jewellers, finding affordable workspace.

Support organisations

Craftspeople currently known

Jewellery has a very healthy amount of craftspeople, including those who have specifically trained in the area and craftspeople who, although trained in other areas, find jewellery to be a viable way to make a living over their original craft.

National Lottery Heritage Fund
Swire Charitable Trust
The Royal Mint
Pilgrim Trust
Maxwell/Hanrahan Foundation
William Grant Foundation

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