What Does a Gemsetter-Goldsmith Do?

A Gemsetter-Goldsmith (606G) fabricates, repairs and assembles all types of jewellery and gemstone work. 

Job -Related Skills, Interests and Values

  • working with client-customers to determine design need and/or repairs
  • preparing, sketching and colouring drawings                
  • acquiring knowledge of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, handling designated substances, wearing, adjusting and maintaining protective equipment
  • acquiring knowledge in the area of  gemsetting theory and techniques
  • communicating effectively with customers, in both words and pictures regarding design/style of piece; expectations re: timeline and cost
  • preparing written repair or new item order
  • designing, repairing, setting and altering jewellery and gemstone work
  • measuring, cutting, sawing, filing and drilling metals
  • working with precious stones, semi-precious stones, synthetic stones, chains and clasps
  • making models of rings, brooches, pendants, bracelets and lockets prior to fabrication and assembly of the jewellery/gemstone piece
  • examine, cut, shape and polish diamonds, precious and synthetic gems
  • examining and determining extent of damage to jewellery
  • cleaning, polishing and finishing jewellery and gemstone work
  • performing casting, centrifugal casting, and vacuum casting techniques
  • presenting the finished product for customer approval

What Preparation and Training Do You Need?

To become a Gemsetter-Goldsmith, you need Grade 12, preferably with senior credits in Math (geometry), Art/Drawing, Science (chemistry) and Communications,  and completion of a 7520 hour apprenticeship comprised of on-the-job training and 480 hours of approved theory. Computer literacy is an asset as design drawings are also performed using CAD (Computer Assisted Design). This is the minimum to be apprenticed in this trade under the (OCTAA) Ontario College of Trades Apprenticeship Act (2009). Please note that minimum entry requirements to this and other trades are currently under review by the Ontario College of Trades.

Apprenticeship Subject Pathways provides additional information for students/parents/educators:


Two Ontario community colleges have offered related post secondary Jewellery/Metalworking courses: Georgian College in Barrie and George Brown College in Toronto. Check out the details from Hot Links on our website. You should also check out two related websites: www.canadianjewellers.com (they have a Job Bank that lists employment opportunities), and www.modernjeweler.com

You may benefit from enroling in an Arts and Culture Specialist High Skills Major Program. For more information, please visit the following link:


What’s Your Future as A Gemsetter-Goldsmith?

Gemsetting-Goldsmithing is an occupation with a long history and tradition, with gems and gold signifying status and wealth. Present demand for this occupation tends to be tied to discretionary consumer spending on luxury items in this niche market. People who work in this area tend to want to combine technical skills and their artistic/creative abilities and may go on to open their own business, for a salary or on commission. They usually work full-time, 40hrs per week, with little or no supervision, and may need to work weekends or evenings, and overtime during busy sales periods (e.g. Christmas). 

Wage Rate

  • As an Apprentice you earn less than a Journeyperson
  • this rate increases gradually as you acquire skills and gain competency
  • Information on wage rates can be found at www.jobfutures.ca

Ask Yourself: Is Working as a Gemsetter-Goldsmith for You?


Do you have good hand-eye coordination?

Yes      No

Do you enjoy learning about precious metals and gems, mastering and applying different soldering, setting, repairing and altering techniques?

Yes      No

Do you enjoy working with tools, equipment and expressing yourself creatively?

Yes      No

Do you like to get the job done just right and pay attention to detail?

Yes      No

Do you enjoy working with and satisfying customers?

Yes      No

Can you visualize things in your head, draw or sketch them and then make them?

Yes      No

Do you like to follow different jobs through from start to finish?

Yes      No

If you answered Yes to most of these questions, a career as a Gemsetter-Goldsmith may be for You!

You may also want to explore other careers that require similar interests and skills, such as:

  • Costume Jewellery Designer
  • Watch Repairer
  • Silversmith
  • Graphic Designer
  • Jewellery Repairer
  • Pattern Maker
  • Blacksmith
  • Composite Structures Technician

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