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Jewelry, Gems, & Minerals/jewellery finding's


QUESTION: Hello Thomas,was just doing a google on what to buy for drilling hole's in gemstone's and pearl's when i saw your piece. I decided to make some necklace's using swarovski crystal's,and as i buy on ebay,different thing's appeared under jewellery finding's,so had a look and my eye's opened wide,"so that's how they do it," well i can give that a go,you know how it goe's,you want to start making earring's and every thing.Well,i have alway's wanted a platinum diamond bracelet,but can never afford one,but i did find SSS bracelet cast's or what ever they are called and you just set your own stone's in them,but i can't find any for white gold or platinum,can i buy my own? Also,where do the jeweller's get there gold and white gold finding's? I live in New Zealand and am pay pal verified,but i thought i would give it a go.The necklace's i have started making are mixed with natural genstone's and SSS spacer's,and aren't too bad,but i want to up the anti so to speak.Thank you,Regard's Andrea

ANSWER: Andrea,

Thanks for this question.

Jewelers obtain findings including bracelets and necklaces from vendors they have searched out and tried, continuing with a particular manufacturer or distributor as products, price and service meets their needs. Over time, a few vendors will become primary for a business and others will drop by the wayside. The development of suppliers is a time consuming an integral part of running a successful business and most businesses will not be willing to share what has taken much effort and time to develop.

All that said, the fact is that sellers exist for registered, full time businesses and those sellers generally will not sell to individuals in any regard.  Not to despair, with a lot of people interested in jewelry work as a hobby, companies are plentiful in that market, too. The problem is one of finding a company selling product you want with the pricing and service you personally need. I can provide a reference to check.  I do not know what suppliers are available and which will serve you in New Zealand.  This magazine has an on-line issue and you can search advertisers and classified advertising for sellers. At that point, you need to email or contact the sellers to work out what you need and see which vendors will work for your needs.

Andrea, I visited the website and thing have changed.  I did not see the on-line editions or even direct link.  I suggest you try a net search for The Jewelry Artist/Lapidary Journal magazine.  You will find a "jewelry daily" site with issues of Jewelry Artist listed. Click those and follow index to the bottom for a quite limited access of classified ads. They do offer an annual buying guide crammed full of sellers but you need that mailed to you.  Other jewelry oriented magazines are on a search and that would be a good place to search for sellers.  The great resource I intended to provide you does not still exist on the net, it appears.

Platinum findings and certainly for bracelet or necklace will be almost impossible to find in offerings to individuals.  Custom manufactures like may do that sort of work.  Prices of platinum and gold(any color) will be quite high.

Best wishes in getting what you need. God Bless and Peace.  Thomas.

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QUESTION: Thank you so much for your advice Thomas,the magazine you mentioned is a brilliant start,who know's where this journey will go,all knowledge is useful.I would like to give a donation,but my fund's are limited until next week,but please give me an idea of an approx as i haven't done this before. By the way,you might want do go to ebay and do a search on Jewelery Finding's and tell me what you think.Blessing's andrea taylor

Dear Andrea,

Thank you so much for the fine ratings. As for a donation, if you choose to do that the amount is totally your choice. Donations received thus far have all been for around $25US. Andrea, in this world of Internet communications and text messaging much has become very impersonal and taken for granted. That is perhaps one reason many questioners do not even take a moment to rate the answer and donations are few and far between.  I do this service because of people like you who appear sincere and who will find my assistance valuable. I certainly know what it was like in the first days of my own beginning in jewelry work and help from an experienced person would have been wonderful in getting me on the correct path. I do this for people like you and others who need and want assistance, who appreciate help without hype and self serving motivations from my end.

I have looked at eBay and as expected the majority of items for sale are aimed directly at current tends.  The idea is to sell and marketing must reflect what is in demand. For beaders, there is some resource. I am not sure if pricing and quality are any better or equal to that offered by normal findings businesses.  Do not be surprised by the "made in China" dominance of items offered for sale. A large percent of jewelry sold by other means and in jewelry stores is of Chinese manufacture. Quality must be judged by the item and not by country of origin.  My recommendation is to avoid the eBay items unless that is specifically what you need at the time.  

One company which specializes in selling silver and gold findings is at , a manufacturer of mountings and parts without gemstones.  They offer a system of setting stones in their mountings.  I have used their mountings but do stone setting by better professional methods. The mountings generally require more initial finishing than what is supplied by other vedors but they often have the odd size setting not found elsewhere. I do not believe they will do anything in platinum.

Finding a supplier/manufacturer who will be suitable to your particular needs is the first and possibly difficult part.  You will follow a few rabbit trails to little avail but will find what you need sooner or later.  

I noticed that, a company mentioned in the previous answer, now offers items from these suppliers:

These are manufacturers/suppliers considered premier in the business in the USA.  Stuller deals with businesses only as do the others. However, access through Tradeshop may be useful. Then again, pricing and availability of particular items may not suit your needs. This is mostly higher end products.  Tradeshop also does custom work in most jewelry metals.

For general findings and silver, etc., suppliers found through the magazine should serve your wants.

Andrea, again, thanks for getting back. God Bless and Peace.

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Have a question about jewelry repair or working with precious metal jewelry and gemstones? For many years up to December 31, 2010, I was a working professional bench jeweler, involved everyday with setting stones in mountings, designing and making jewelry, repairing and limited custom manufacture. If you work with jewelry as a hobby or as a profession, I might be able to help. I deal with the retail business, not mass production. Ask privately if you wish. See the box for that: It keeps your question between us. Please DO NOT ask MAKER'S MARKS, but metal quality marks are fine to ask. Please DO NOT ask diamond prices. See a gemologist for that.


I have extensive experience in design, service and making of jewelry. I deal mostly with precious metals and gemstones but work with many materials as needed and usable to create an artistic design. My experience also includes freelance photography and photographer of jewelry and similar items for a former employer and individuals. Design of custom items requires reading the desires of the client and being clear on what can be done within that framework...then fulfilling the transition of idea to reality. Effective communications is essential in a working designer/producer and customer relationship.

Education is English/Physics! Started in human resources, to advertising, to, what a road. I have had formal training in jewelry work and many shared experiences with top grade jewelers. We just never know were we will go or be. Follow your best, your dreams, with some discretion! Don't let the work tear up your body along the way as it has mine.

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