Lapidary

Grind raw gems into finished, glistening jewels.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$19,000 – $61,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Lapidaries do?

Stones and precious gems don’t look like much when they’re mined from the Earth’s crust. But with some love and artistic vision, they can be transformed into beautifully polished rocks and meticulously carved decorations. As a Lapidary, you use precision tools to transform dirty, earth-crusted stones into jewelry and other works of art.

Your job as a Lapidary uses your reservoirs of patience and precision as you articulately handle each piece. It takes vision to see the potential in a raw gem, so you study its makeup, shape, color, and density. With a picture in mind, you begin to clean and shape the piece. Through dedication and the proper tools, you end up with a piece that can be used for decoration, embellishment, or jewelry.

Whether you work with shells, rare stones, or glass, it takes the right tools to complete the job. You know how to handle a variety of power saws, each of which is able to make different thicknesses, shapes, and patterns. Once you’ve cut away the outer crust, you use drill bits, buffers, sanders, and grinders to smooth out and shape the piece. You might also use engravers to create a pattern or carve out a special message.

Work as a Lapidary is challenging, yet wholly rewarding. Just like any Artist, you need an eye for design, a steady hand, patience, and a passion for gems. With these traits and some practice with the tools, you’re well on your way to imprinting your style on the craft.


Should I be a Lapidary?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Persistent: You keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • Also known as: Lapidary Apprentice

    How to become a Lapidary

    Lapidaries often have a Certificate or higher. Chart?chd=s:9oaraa&chl=no+college+%2866%25%29|certificate+%2815%25%29||bachelor%27s+%2819%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,66,66
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