MJSA. Professional excellence in jewelry making and design.

MJSA Journal Cover Image and ArticlesMJSA Journal

Every month, the award-winning MJSA Journal offers design ideas, fabrication and production techniques, bench tips, business and marketing insights, and trend and technology updates—the information crucial for business success. "More than other publications, MJSA Journal is oriented toward people like me: those trying to earn a living by designing and making jewelry," says Jim Binnion of James Binnion Metal Arts.

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This Month: January 2021


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Business Insights

21 Ideas for 2021

The beginning of each new year is always an exciting time. Even the most change averse of us gets swept up in the potential and energy of a new beginning. And 2021, perhaps more than any other new year in recent memory, is filled with anticipation, expectation, and hope. As we raise our glass to drop the curtain on the drama, discomfort, and uncertainty of 2020, here are 21 ideas for advancing your business goals and increasing your business satisfaction in the year to come. By Andrea Hill


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5 Tips for Online Success

In this episode, Andrea Hill shares five great ideas for businesses looking to improve and expand their online reach in 2021. She also covers the valuable online tools and apps that can help encourage more innovative thinking and simplify content creation for your website and social media channels.


Contracting Conundrum

Contracting Conundrum

Jewelry business owners often wear a lot of hats, especially when they’re sole proprietors. They’re designers, bench jewelers, CAD modelers, polishers, stone setters, photographers, marketers, and shippers. But as their businesses grow and succeed, they have to decide when it makes sense to turn over some of the reins to someone else. How do you know when it’s time to outsource production? Discover the questions that jewelers need to ask themselves to determine if outsourcing is the best option. By Shawna Kulpa


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Top Supplies and Services for the New Year

See a selection of premier tools, supplies, technologies, and services that can help you find success in 2021 (and beyond). All of the products and services are offered by MJSA members, who agree to abide by the MJSA Code of Ethics. 


MJSA Design Challenge
Online Design Challenge

Honoring One’s Heritage

A Native American woman dedicated to bringing attention to the issues affecting indigenous people worldwide is at the center of this year’s MJSA Challenge: Responsibly Sourced Designs. Read the scenario that will be posed to this year’s nine participating designers. By Shawna Kulpa


Nature Calls

Nature Calls

Pantone’s spring fashion color palette is filled with rejuvinating hues, illustrative of nature. Learn how to take advantage of this season’s colors by using thie natural gemstone counterparts. By Deborah A. Yonick


Synthesizing the Subconscious
Creative Design

Synthesizing the Subconscious

Jewelry designer Emily Kuvin has always prided herself on being a sharp observer of the world around her. It’s no surprise her knack for taking in gobs of information and distilling it down to the essence landed her in a journalism career after college. Today, those same characteristics define her approach to jewelry design. By Tina Snyder


Bench Envy: Jean Menden
Bench Envy

Jean Menden

Jeweler Jean Menden had a small home studio that she had long outgrown. When she and her husband sold their home and moved to a lake cabin in 2019, she took advantage of the situation to construct her dream workspace: a 16 foot by 22 foot addition to an existing garage, giving her more space for all of her tools, more outlets to power all of those tools, and a warm floor to keep her toasty during Minnesota’s long, cold winters. By Jean Menden


At the Bench: Inside a Tinkerers Toolbox
At the Bench

Inside a Tinkerer’s Toolbox

If you enjoy many happy hours tinkering with various tools and materials around your shop, you’ll appreciate this step-by-step guide to creating your own mini riveting anvil. Perfect for riveting the inside of a hemispherical form, this type of anvil also offers support for a concave surface while simultaneously raising and securely holding the workpiece above the tabletop. By Helen I. Driggs


The Latest Tools, Supplies, and Technology from MJSA Members

Diamond Pacific Pixie Gem Maker
Ideal for use on opal and other softer gemstone material, the Diamond Pacific Pixie Gem Maker is designed to efficiently shape and polish stones. It works with 4 inch lapidary wheels and uses the same six-wheel diamond grinding and polishing sequence as larger units, allowing users to quickly take stones from shaping to final polishing. The unit includes a lamp with an adjustable 15 inch flexible neck and an enclosed 1/8 hp motor to keep out dust and water. A spray-mist cooling system automatically begins spraying a fine mist to the underside of the wheels when the unit is turned on. Operating on 110 volts, the system measures 19 inches wide by 14.5 inches deep by 10 inches high. Contact: Rio Grande, 7500 Bluewater Road NW, Albuquerque, NM 87121; 1-800-545-6566; fax 800-965-2329; e-mail info@riogrande.com; riogrande.com. MJSA Member and Expo Exhibitor

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Presidium Duo Tester II
Suitable for use on gemstones as small as 0.02 carat, the Presidium Duo Tester II screens gemstones using dual tests of thermal and reflectivity properties. Its probe pen has a retractable tip that ensures consistent pressure against the gemstone during testing for more reliable results. Designed to be easy to use, it features a large easy-to-read analog dial with indications for 16 colored gemstones. Suitable for use both indoors and outdoors, it runs on five AA batteries and can also be powered with the Presidium AC adaptor. The tester does not differentiate between natural and synthetic colored gemstones. Contact: Stuller Inc., 302 Rue Louis XIV, Lafayette, LA 70508; 1-800-877-7777 or 1-337-262-7700; fax 337-981-1655; e-mail sales@stuller.com; stuller.com. MJSA Member and Expo Exhibitor

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Rosy Revolver Forming Mandrel
Made in the USA, the Rosy Revolver Forming Mandrel features a flat back machined surface for open ring forming. Constructed in hardened and polished steel, the mandrel is graduated with U.S. sizes 1–16. Designed in collaboration with Jessica Jordan Coté of Rosy Revolver and available exclusively from Pepetools, the mandrel is being manufactured in limited quantities. Contact: Pepe Tools, 7601 SW 34th St., Oklahoma City, OK 73179; 1-405-745-4054; fax 745-4335; e-mail info@pepetools.com; pepetools.com. MJSA Member and Expo Exhibitor

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