Rewarding Careers in the Gem and Jewelry Industry

The gem and jewelry offers countless opportunities: gem analysis; sales; appraisal; quality assurance; the design, manufacturing and repair of jewelry; field gemology and much more. Qualified professionals can pursue careers at large and small companies, as a freelancer, or as an entrepreneur starting their own business.

Yet, because of cultural practices, relatively little of the historic jewelry exists, the gems and precious metals repurposed by succeeding generations. The jewels in “Centuries of Opulance: Jewels of India,” which will be on display in Carlsbad until March 2018, are on loan from a private collection and showcase more than 300 years of adornment in India from the 17th to the 20th century, including several from the magnificent Mughal Era (1526–1857).

Sir Yadavindra Singh, Maharaja of Patiala, is seen here wearing a fortune in jewelry, including two necklaces that Cartier created for his father in 1928. Reprinted with permission from the Cartier Archives, © Cartier.

In fact, it was a thirst for the fabled riches of Northern India that drew Babur, the Muslim founder of the Mughal Empire, from Central Asia. Lavishly adorned with the jewels they had won, received as “gifts” or created from the vast stores of gems and gold in their treasuries, the Mughals and other rulers of India continued to honor the religious, metaphysical and social importance of the precious materials and the forms they took.

Intricately designed pieces celebrated Allah and Hindu gods, such as Shiva, Krishna and Vishnu. Other jewels were integral to the marriage contract, as seen in the elaborate wedding necklaces, in depictions of snakes or fish as symbols of fertility, and in nose rings worn as testament to happiness in the union. Brightly colored gems and enamel symbolized the forces of life: red as blood, the life force of the animal kingdom; green as the plant life created by the blue sky combined with the yellow sun. To this day in India, gems and jewelry carry potent messages of power, honor and love.