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Why I Became A Goldsmith

Updated: Sep 12, 2022

For the past 17 years have been honing and perfecting my skills and craft. I thought I would share my journey into goldsmithing and where it led me.

Read on to find out how and why I entered my trade and became a goldsmith.

What exactly is a goldsmith?

A goldsmith is a craftsperson who takes gold and other precious metals and uses traditional techniques and cutting edge technology to create jewellery.

Techniques such as piercing, soldering, wax carving, stone setting, polishing, master model making, as well as designing.

handmade jewellery in Dublin
Working at my bench in Marlay Park

What skills are needed to be a goldsmith?

Creativity is a must if you are to be a successful goldsmith. Detail orientated, obsessive about the detail. Skills like attention to detail, dexterity, design skills and visualisation, along with problem solving. Patience is a big plus as working at such a small scale can come with some frustrations at times, but the outcome is so rewarding. Even after many years creating jewellery, I always stand back and think - I made that!

How I became a goldsmith

Rewind back to the moment in 2002 when I discovered I could train to be a goldsmith. I didn’t realise I could actually learn to make jewellery - I assumed you have to be in a family of goldsmiths to do so.

From that moment onwards - I was laser focused on getting the training and experience in the industry.

Being a non traditionalist, I didn’t go down the formal educational path and in 2005 I was lucky to received an apprenticeship. This was a solid foundation to what is a lifelong learning path.

Having always been creative and detail orientated I took to it easily and completely immersed myself in the trade. This apprenticeship would lead me on the right track to setting up my own brand and creating my own collections.

As you would expect, the apprenticeship was a very hands on learning experience, and not only was I taught how to make jewellery, I was also given behind the scenes access to how a successful jewellery business was run.

My learning also involved a lot of experimenting at the bench, and you learn very quickly when the materials are precious metals like silver and gold.

a handmade gold and diamond ring
Polishing a gold and diamond Horizon ring

Why I became a goldsmith

A lot of people ask me why I became a goldsmith, because it’s not an average career. The simple answer is because I could. I believe I was put on this planet to make jewellery! From the moment I sat at the bench I took to it naturally and have loved it ever since.

I have always loved miniatures, so jewellery was a natural choice for me, and I have always been absolutely in love with jewellery. Ever since I was a young child, I remember looking through my granny’s jewellery box. I loved when she handed me her wooden jewellery box that my grandfather made for her, and I looked through all the miniature pieces.

What I do now

Fast forward 20 years and I am still as enthusiastic as ever about all things jewellery.

I eat, breathe and sleep it. To this day, I am continuously researching, developing and experimenting with new ways to design and create jewellery and I hope here are many more years of learning.

Dublin jewellers studio
My studio workbench

I have a beautiful studio in Marlay Park and I’m currently creating all my collections in solid gold, diamonds, pearls and coloured gemstones. My style has evolved from big, bold geometric sterling silver shapes circa 2009 to my current style which is delicate art deco inspired gold pieces.

I am so grateful to all the mentors and experts that helped me along the way and still do. They encouraged me and shared their knowledge of the jewellery trade and behind the scenes of running a jewellery business and I’m extremely lucky to work from my gorgeous studio where it’s just bursting with inspiration and a hub of creativity.

I hope you enjoyed that little glimpse behind the brand and how it all began, and I hope you are still on this journey with me for the next 20+ years.

Have you taken the road less travelled?


Rachel Swan Goldsmith, Marlay Park, Dublin.jpg
emerald and gold necklace
Rachel Swan Goldsmith, Marlay Park, Dublin.jpeg
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