American Industry Overview: Jewelry and Precious Metals

This category encompasses those establishments primarily engaged in manufacturing jewelry and other articles worn on or carried about the person, made of precious metals such as platinum, gold, and silver (including base metals clad or rolled with precious metals), with or without stones. In addition to personal jewelry, products of this industry include cigarette cases and lighters; vanity cases and compacts; trimmings for umbrellas and canes; and jewel settings and mountings.

The precious metal jewelry industry encompasses retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers, and suppliers, including lapidaries, refiners, stone dealers, findings manufacturers (manufacturers of the small parts used in making jewelry, such as clasps and other items), and subcontractors who provide services such as polishing and electroplating. Manufacturing firms in the precious metal jewelry industry tend to be small establishments and are concentrated in the New York City area. The industry's major expenses are the costs of raw materials and highly skilled workers. Manufacturers face steadily rising costs in precious metals, especially diamonds.