Master Jeweler Chad Elliott is creating art – not on canvas with oils, but with precious metals and stones. Elliott, who has owned Oceanside Jewelers since 2008, the only jewelry store in the area that creates custom jewelry on the premises, is a jewelry artisan: a master jeweler. He has worked at his craft for over 30 years, beginning his career at age 12, when he first worked as an apprentice in a store owned by two family friends. Although he may have started working there to “…stay out of trouble…”, he soon realized that he loved the artistry involved in creating beautiful pieces of jewelry.
“There aren’t too many people around anymore who can make jewelry the old-school way,” Elliott explains. “Technology, like CAD and 3D printing, has been a boon for jewelers, but there are some instances where technology doesn’t work. That’s when you need to know how to do things the old-fashioned way.” When a customer wants hand engraving or hand bead setting, the word ‘hand’ means exactly that: the detailing on the ring, pendant, brooch, or necklace must be done by hand, employing the tools jewelers have used for centuries: files, pliers, cutters, saws, tweezers, vises and torches.
“Being a master jeweler, not only can I create custom pieces using both new technology as well as hand work, but it also means that over my lifetime I’ve become more knowledgeable and creative in the art of custom jewelry.” In fact, one of the pieces Elliott is most proud of is a ring that he made entirely by hand. “I created the ring from a large, 2.75 carat yellow pear shaped internally flawless diamond, set in an 18 karat yellow gold bezel. Then I mounted the bezel into a platinum ring and surrounded it with over 200 pave diamonds; each one set by hand.” It is this kind of superb work that has won Elliott prestigious awards from the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA Spectrum Award) and from the Platinum Guild International (PGI Platinum Honor).
Elliott enjoys the process of working with clients to create unique pieces, beginning with sketches, then the CAD models, the rough casting, and finally the finished product. Customers are included in each step of the process, which can take anywhere from three to five weeks, depending on the complexity of the design.
For the holidays, diamond stud earrings and pendant necklaces are very popular gifts, as are colored stone rings, he observes. Since jewelry is often a last minute buy, a custom made piece may not be possible. But factor in a few weeks of planning and design, and Elliott creates one-of-a-kind masterpieces with which only a master jeweler of his caliber can be entrusted. Stop by Oceanside Jewelers, meet Elliott, and let him show you how he can make your dream jewelry piece become a reality for the holidays! Oceanside-Jewelers.com