Exquisite Jeweled Art by Larry Seiger
Call me a goldsmith. Call me a jeweler. Just call me!

So you might be wondering, “What exactly is the difference between a goldsmith and a jeweler?”

The term “jeweler” is very broad and incorporates anyone who works with jewels. It's not unusual for a jewelry appraiser, salesperson or a jewelry store owner to call themselves a jeweler. The bar is pretty low. As long as you work with jewelry, it's appropriate to call yourself a jeweler.

“Goldsmith” on the other hand is a very specific moniker.

The root of the word here is “smith”. A smith is someone who creates their craft with a hammer. It may surprise you to know that the difference between a silversmith and a goldsmith isn't the material they use, but the size of the hammers!

Typically a goldsmith uses the smallest hammers, everything from tiny riveting hammers with heads less than 1 ½ inches long to hammers with heads measuring 3 ½ inches. Silversmith hammers usually start around 2 ¾ inches and up.

Blacksmiths use the largest hammers, though even I have a 5 pound hammer that I use to forge ingots.

I have a collection of both goldsmith and silversmithing hammers. Most of my work is small. It typically fits in the palm of your hand, but even a belt buckle needs a pretty large hammer if you want to move the metal into a basic shape.

There are many other tools that one can use to create beautiful jewelry: chisels, pliers, saws, drills, grinding tools and even computers, but a bench jeweler who can't use hammers to make their jewelry can't properly call themselves a goldsmith.

So, the next time you're in downtown Apex and want a hammer “tour”, drop into Virtuoso Jewels. After the Tool School is over, you can browse the jewelry made with those hammers.



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