Episode 3 - Avani Patel | Owner | Avani Rupa Fine Jewelers
Avani Patel is an entrepreneur and co-owner of Avani Rupa Fine Jewelers. Avani Rupa specializes in custom designed, one-of-a-kind pieces. Avani graduated from Birmingham Southern College with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting, but later went back to school to pursue her creative passions and became a certified Gemologist after attending the Gemological Institute of America in California. Watch the video to learn more about Avani’s career path.
Duties of a Jeweler and Jewelry Designer
Duties of a small business jewelry designer differ by each day. In Patel’s case, she also works behind the scenes on the business side of the company. When she isn’t creating a dynamic piece of jewelry, you might find her filing taxes, managing transactions, or handling financial statements. The following is a list of average duties of someone in this profession:
• Drafting designs for and consulting with clients
• Making appraisals for jewelry
• Selecting gemstones for pieces of jewelry
• Cleaning the jewelry
• Reshaping metal and gemstones for the perfect fit
A bachelor’s degree or higher in a related field is usually necessary to learn the skills for this career. Jewelry designers must be creative people who have a passion for art. They should be knowledgeable on different materials such as gemstones and metals, but also on unconventional materials such as wood and plastic. Designers should be good at working with people, especially clients who want a custom piece done a certain way. They should be helpful with clients during this creative process. Good eye-hand coordination and expert attention to detail is crucial when designing little pieces of jewelry.
• Estate Jewelry Dealer
• Inventory Control Specialist
• Jewelry Business Owner
• Jewelry Buyer
• Lab and Research Professional
Schools for Jewelry Design
You don’t need a degree in jewelry design to become a great jewelry designer, like Patel. There are certificates you can receive to help further your knowledge of jewelry design, such as becoming a certified gemologist. If you prefer the school route, there are some universities with great programs for jewelry design. Here are some of those schools:
- SUNY New Paltz
- Temple University Tyler School of Art and Architecture
- Rochester Institute of Technology
- University of North Texas College of Visual Arts and Design
- GIA – Gemological Institute of America
Jewelry designers make an average annual salary of $49,058, which is $23.59 per hour. However, the range for this occupation goes from $33,000 to $70,000. Most entry level positions in this field are closer to the lower end of that range. Other skills that affect salary are the location of the business, skill level and experience of the designer, and the ability to be client-focused.
• The oldest known piece of jewelry is a necklace discovered in South Africa, created 75,000 years ago. It’s made of shells strung together.
• Ever wonder why diamonds are so popular in engagement rings? It’s because a company named “De Beers” coined the phrase, “Diamonds are forever.” These precious gems are millions of years old and are basically indestructible which is symbolized in marriage.
• The most expensive piece of jewelry used in television was the necklace worn by Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge, costing over 1 million dollars.
How to get Experience
• Internships – Internships can be paid or unpaid, but they give you a chance to explore a career before fully committing, and can also be a great way to make connections. Search for internships on
• Volunteer – Volunteering almost always means unpaid, but this is also a great way to learn about your industry and make connections. Oftentimes, who you know makes a big difference when starting your career search.
• Experiment – Try designing jewelry at home to see what sparks your interest. Get creative!
We hope these tips will get you on your way to career success! Remember to check out the other episodes in our Video Mentoring series too! There’s more to come!