Day in the life of
Master Jeweler – Edgar Hidalgo
A typical day for me starts with arriving to our facilities and lining out jobs that are of importance by completion dates. I then sit down and focus on the job at hand. We have to diligently study the design as well as the stone(s) before setting, determine the best way to set, and make ourselves aware of any fragile areas or flaws that the stone may have. Finding weak areas in the stone is imperative, in addition to having a setting plan to accommodate each stone since they are all different.
Once the setting plan is determined, I then start on the job. Some jobs can be completed in a day, some take weeks depending on the complexity of the piece. You must have the ability to remain focused and have the ability to be pulled away from a job at different times throughout the day but still get back into the “mental zone” in order to finish the job you were working on. No matter what, you must pay special attention to the details of the design throughout the process. Jewelry shops are noisy environments as well as constant interruptions with questions on jobs or questions on bench knowledge.
The pros of working as a master jeweler include the satisfaction in seeing a piece of jewelry evolve from the start of the design to the finished piece. Seeing it come to life knowing you created it is one of the best feelings in the world. I love being able to be creative in my work, and it means the world to me to be a part of others’ special moments. I take pride in seeing the client’s happiness in the final product.
The cons of this profession are the rare occasions when you are working on a setting and a stone breaks on accident. It absolutely drains the life out of you. You must have the ability to mentally find your way through this misfortune because this, unfortunately, happens to all jewelers, even master jewelers.
Advice to aspiring jewelers
Don’t become discouraged when you melt or damage a piece of jewelry. A good jeweler will learn from these mistakes. Anger is not a jewelers friend, you must remain patient through mishaps and difficult jobs. Anger makes the mishap a more difficult job that becomes worse. There will be times that you will need to put the job aside and work on it another day. Every day is a new day.