You need to improve your creative talents, comprehend the manufacturing process, have a clear vision for your brand, and develop a solid marketing plan to launch a successful jewellery business. This article will walk you through the crucial aspects of beginning a jewellery business, from designing to manufacturing.
Jewellery has been a significant part of Indian tradition for centuries. Though it is mainly considered a symbol of wealth and prosperity, it is also associated with beauty and fashion.
It takes a lot of hard work and precision to turn a gold biscuit into a beautiful, finely crafted ornament. The process consists of various stages and is simple yet tough to execute. But to sell those beautiful pieces of craftsmanship, you first need to set up a legalised business, and then you can start earning.
Read this blog to learn how to establish a jewellery manufacturing unit and what steps you need to take while starting your own manufacturing business.
Do you know? The oldest known jewellery pieces are 100,000-year-old beads made from Nassarius shells!
How to Start a Jewellery Manufacturing Business?
For those with an eye for design and a passion for entrepreneurship, starting a jewellery manufacturing business may be a fulfilling and successful endeavour. However, it necessitates thorough preparation, investigation, and understanding of the manufacturing process.
Steps to Consider Before Starting Jewellery Manufacturing Business
Before starting a jewellery manufacturing business, let’s discuss some significant steps to consider.
1. Identify Your Line
Before entering the jewellery market, you must define what type of product you will sell.
Do you have any craftsmen ready to work with you? How much money would you need for this? Where would you sell your products? And many similar questions.
Answers to such questions will help you better plan your business and will also help you prevent losses.
For this, you can build a business budget that includes the estimated cost of running the business for a year. You can also analyse how your competitors perform in the current scenario. You can also analyse how they plan to run their business.
In short, you must define a working business plan for your upcoming jewellery manufacturing business to help you push-start your business.
2. Collecting Funds
Once your business plan is ready, you can analyse how much money you need and start collecting funds accordingly. For new businesses, it is difficult to get loans or money sanctioned as the business doesn't have any financial history, so it's difficult for the lender to make any kind of credit decision. Most initial funding for startups or new businesses comes from your pockets. So if you have a large chunk of money ready to invest in a business, opt for it. Remember to keep some personal savings apart from the money invested in the business.
3. Legalising and Finalising the Business
You must have specific permits, licences, and certifications to sell jewellery nationwide. If you are ready with your inventory, you should apply for permits and licences to run your business legally.
Along with these, you must decide on a brand name for your business and register it accordingly so that your brand stands out. To finalise your business, you must choose where to sell your goods. Most preferably in today’s era, it would be an online store.
You can host a website for your brand or sell your products on third-party online jewellery stores.
Now you know how to start a jewellery manufacturing business. But how would you run a business if you didn't have anything to sell?
Along with selling jewellery, you must also focus on the jewellery-making process, which will help you thoroughly monitor your business and maintain quality control.
How is Gold Extracted for Jewellery?
Gold is associated with the prosperity and dignity of homes, especially in countries like India, where Gold is part of every ritual and tradition in some way. It is one of the most precious materials available to carve out jewellery.
Being a noble metal, generally, gold is found in its pure state, and sometimes it can also be extracted from different ores of metals like silver, copper, lead, and zinc.
Various ores and rocks have gold in different ratios. And to extract pure gold, the vast stone piles are crushed and broken down. These broken stone pieces are sent to the mining process, where the rocks are crushed, and solutions like sodium cyanide are added so that it dissolves the gold. After the mixture, the gold is separated from this cyanide solution and smelted to remove all impurities.
The electrolytic refining, chlorination, or acid-leaching1 and many similar processes are further used for refining gold, and thus its obtained in its purest form. And once the pure gold is created, it is further shaped into blocks or biscuits.
Step-by-Step Jewellery Manufacturing Process
Jewellery manufacturing is one of the most tedious tasks and needs precision and care. Here is a list of the steps involved in jewellery manufacturing.
1. Creative Designing
To create jewellery, the first step is to get comfortable with designing. Though designing may seem easy, creating a piece of art that attracts everyone and is liked by everyone is not everyone’s cup of tea.
This is the stage where an artist’s imagination and creativity meet reality. The design proposed by the jewellery designer is sent for further analysis.
2. Dimensional Designing
Once the jewellery designer has finished the design in blue and black, they transfer it into a form of a soft copy. The dimensional designing is performed in CAD software.
This software is widely used in the design industry to develop 2D and 3D models of the desired designs. It helps improve the design's dimensional accuracy. It makes it easier for designers to share the exact dimensions of their designs. It helps to maintain quality control, especially if the same jewellery is crafted in two or more workshops.
CAM software transfers the concept from computer screens to reality. It is used to handle the manufacturing and machining process and helps to bring automation and efficiency to the manufacturing process.
3. Model Designing
The output from the CAM software is used to design silver models. These models will be used in a subsequent step to prepare rubber moulds for similar jewellery pieces.
Also, this step helps us get a first-hand experience of the jewellery and know about the shortcomings in the design and provides us with an opportunity to improve them.
4. Preparing Rubber Moulds
Jewellery production changed after the introduction of rubber moulds. The process of preparing rubber moulds is known as vulcanisation.
Rubber moulds have made the casting of metals in beautiful pieces of art a much easier job. Using rubber moulds, we can easily store jewellery designs to be replicated on further demand. They have helped to increase the production rate and have brought uniformity in the finished products.
5. Preparing the Wax Tree
Once the rubber moulds are prepared, they are injected with the wax directly into them with commercial wax injector machines. These wax injector machines inject wax and high pressure into the cavity to prepare highly accurate wax models of the desired jewellery.
These spruce of the wax models are then soldered to a wax stem. This process is called ‘treeing’. The lighter models are attached to the top of the tree, whereas the heavier items are attached to the bottom of the tree to avoid any issues.
The wax trees prepared in the earlier steps are used for casting ornaments. Even though rubber moulds and wax models have made the casting process much more accessible, it is still considered one of the most complex processes in the jewellery manufacturing industry.
The wax trees are kept in a steel flask, then sprayed with a chemical powder, and allowed to dry. Once the powder is dried, the steel flask with the wax tree is placed in a furnace. The wax is allowed to melt, leaving behind the tree's cavity.
Further, molten metal is poured into these cavities and allowed to cool. This molten metal can be any precious metal like gold, silver or platinum. Once the molten metal is cooled, the moulds are demolished, thus revealing the metal jewellery in the form of casting.
7. Grinding and Shaping
The rough and unpolished metal ornaments are transferred to a grinder or polisher to grind off the nub (the remaining part of the jewellery after clipping it off the wax tree stem) and excessive materials.
Grinding is done by holding the pieces against a smooth rotating grinding wheel. The polisher also smoothens the rough surface and prepares ornaments for further processing.
8. Pre-polish and Filing
The filing process involves removing excess material from the ornament to improve the fit and finish of the product. For this, tools like files and burns are needed. It also helps remove the casting layer extracts from the piece and provides the piece with a smooth finish.
Before attaching gemstones or soldering two metal pieces, they are pre-polished, increasing the piece's market value and making it look more pleasing to the eyes. The pre-polish process includes three stages: tumbling, polishing, and ultra-cleaning.
9. Final Assembly and Metal Setting
After cleaning and polishing the metal pieces, it’s time for final assembly. This includes soldering two or more metal pieces and attaching gemstones or diamonds to the jewellery wherever needed.
Many patterns are adopted in the metal setting step to achieve various designs. Every new gemstone attachment on the metal piece can provide a fresh look to the jewellery. So many combinations are tried, and the one that suits the best is adopted for final production.
10. Final Polishing and Finishing
Once the gemstones are attached in the desired way and the final jewellery piece has been created, it is sent for final polishing. This is to give it the final touch of perfection. It ensures that polishing is done to avoid affecting the gemstone/diamond's shine.
11. Attaching Rhodium Plate and Quality control
Last but not least, rhodium metal plates are attached to pieces of jewellery which help to provide better resistance to jewellery against scratches and tarnishes. Along with increasing jewellery life, it also helps to make ornaments more appealing and increase their market value.
Quality control determines whether the manufactured pieces adhere to the required guidelines.
Starting a business is not a big thing, but maintaining the pace of the business and maintaining the profit-to-loss ratio for an extended period is more critical. It may seem time-consuming, but this will help you in the long run.
Jewellery manufacturing businesses are also no exception and thus take time to settle and bring profit to your pockets. A jewellery business' success depends not only on selling the products but also on how the products are made.
Winning the design game is equally necessary, as it can become your USP and help you stand out from competitors. Even if you do not have many funds available, you can start with small capital and increase your reach over time.
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