A jeweler is one who makes, repairs and (usually) sells jewelry. In many times and places this is likely to overlap with related trades such as goldsmithing or silversmithing, buying and selling of precious metals and trading in gemstones. Modern and early-modern jewelers may also attempt other delicate work such as watch or clock repairs in the absence of a dedicated professional. Of course, in some cultures, jewelry may be made by a potter or bone or stone carver instead, depending on the materials of choice and besides outright precious materials, a jeweller is also likely to be required to work with decorative inlays and materials such as enamel and may well require (access to) the skills of a miniature painter in some cases. Until relatively recently, glass was also a perfectly acceptable material with which to make jewelry (rather than a cheap substitute as in modern times).
Given the capital requirements of this business, a jeweler is likely to be fairly well off and, especially in pre-modern settings, may have limited interests in banking, money lending and the issue of letters of credit. Given the value of his stock, he is also likely to have fairly strong security.
Game and Story Use
- Early in their careers, PCs are likely to come here to sell loot … later they may need to commission custom pieces, or borrow the jeweler's professional knowledge about an unusual find.
- In the modern era, an unscrupulous jeweler may make a good fence for small, valuable items.
- A jeweler may also make a good employer (for example for a group prepared to undertake thief-taking) or a mark (for thieves).
- As a money lender, they may also serve as a villain.
- A jeweler is likely to be able to assay precious metals for purity and may have other basic chemistry skills.
- The watch-repairing kind may be able to perform repairs to a wheellock and/or make replacement winding keys.
- Presumably a competent jeweller is required as a starting point for all of those magic rings and things that rattle about the standard fantasy campaign…