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What Is the Jewelry Industry?

By Felicia Dye
Updated Jan 31, 2024
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A highly fragmented sector of most developed economies, the jewelry industry is the sector that involves the making, distribution, and repair of jewelry, such as watches, rings, and necklaces. It offers a wide range of career opportunities. This industry closely coincides with the fashion industry and is subject to similar changes in preferences, such as materials and styles.

The jewelry industry is sometimes divided based on the products that are handled. For example, there are precious metals and precious stones. There is also fashion jewelry and bridal jewelry. It is possible for a single business to deal with more than one category of products.

In some cases, it is necessary for businesses to deal with more than one type of product. A bridal ring manufacturer, for example, generally needs precious metals such as gold, silver, and platinum to make the band and setting. Then he will need one or more precious stones, often diamonds, to put into the setting. When the industry is assessed on a statistical basis, however, it is common for categories to be considered. It should be remembered that a significant portion of a jewelry market may involve costume items, which are products that are made to be affordable lookalikes of items made from expensive materials.

Most nations have a jewelry industry to some degree. What tends to vary is how fragmented that industry is. In less developed countries, there may be a limited amount of commercial jewelry activity, which may limit the career opportunities that a person has.

Overall, there are a wide range of careers available in the jewelry industry. Those interested in working directly in a retail capacity may become members of the sales team in a jewelry store, or they may become wholesalers, supplying various businesses. Individuals more interested in the creative aspect of this industry may want to become designers or watchmakers. Gemologists and appraisers are also needed to supply provide expert information and to offer guidance that may influence decisions made by merchants and consumers. One of the benefits of seeking a career in the jewelry industry is that it is often possible to achieve a high level of success without a degree.

The jewelry industry also coincides with the fashion industry. As with apparel, jewelry, which is usually considered an accessory, is also subject to trends and fads. The colors, designs, and materials that are desired tend to change on a fairly regular basis. This puts pressure on those in the industry to provide consumers with updated options to satisfy their current tastes.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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