Jewelry-Making 101: Getting Started with Tools, Supplies and Techniques

Want to learn more about making your own jewelry? It's about time we met! We’re Rio Grande, and we've been helping jewelers with everything they need since 1944. Think of us as a one-stop shop for all the tools, supplies and information you need as a new jeweler. So take a look around, and start making beautiful things happen.


Tools and Equipment to Get Started


Jeweler at bench
The Essential Jewelry-Making Supply List

There’s a tool for every jewelry-making task out there—but what do you really need when you’re just getting started? Here’s our list of the 44 most essential tools and materials for metal forming, metalsmithing and jewelry making.

Jeweler setting stone video image
Beginning Techniques Video Library

We produce a wide variety of videos to help jewelers succeed at their craft, at every level. Check out our Jewelry-Making for Beginners playlist for informative videos geared toward increasing your skills and confidence as a new jeweler.

New Approach Jewelry School
Find a Jewelry-Making Class Near You

Our free Jewelry Schools Directory is a place where jewelers can go to find the right program, class or institution for their individual needs. Search by keyword or location, find upcoming events, and start your learning journey.

Images of #RioJeweler submissions
Join the #RioJeweler Community

Jewelry designers use #RioJeweler to chronicle their lives as jewelers on social media—and to collaborate with a diverse and passionate worldwide community. Join in and discover a world of #RioJeweler inspiration today!


Your First Jewelry Project Starts Here

Maybe you developed an interest in metal clay while taking a workshop. Or perhaps you’ve got an amazing bead necklace idea that you’d like to turn into gifts for your family and friends. So now you’re asking, “How do I create jewelry?” “What are the best tools and equipment?” “Which types of metals and materials do I need?” “How do I set up a silversmithing studio?” “.... Help?”

First off, congratulations on embarking on this journey of self-discovery! Becoming a first-time jeweler or metalsmithing student is an awesome learning experience. But figuring out what’s really necessary as a new maker can be a little overwhelming. That’s where we come in. Think of Rio Grande as your essential guide to everything required to create—a handy resource that provides all the basic knowledge, instruction and supplies your craft demands.

Use our website to research, compare and order products (and remember to check the daily metal market prices while you’re here!). Teach yourself new tips and tricks by watching our how-to videos or by looking at our instructional charts. Discover a class held at Rio Grande or lessons at a local jewelry-making school in your area. Browse our #RioJeweler community of social media forums to find creative inspiration, read useful advice, and see some of our customers’ favorite, must-have items.

You bring the artistry and passion, we’ll make you feel comfortable at the bench. And when you level up to a more intermediate or advanced stage, we’ll even help you steer your hobby into a small business. You can always depend on our specially trained customer service team for assistance and support that makes your work easier and more successful. That’s what Rio Grande has been doing since 1944, after all.

So go ahead: Polish your skills. Grow your confidence. Invest in yourself. Because at Rio Grande, we love making jewelry as much as you do!