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The Jewel in the Crown
Jewelers and gem cutters play a crucial role in Dungeons & Dragons. These skilled tradespeople are responsible for crafting the basis for some of the game's most potent and valuable magical items, from enchanted rings to powerful amulets. Without their expertise, many adventurers would go without the tools they need to face the dangers lurking throughout the world of D&D.
Perhaps, one of the most underrated yet indispensable roles for a jeweler is to craft the settings, the metal base a gemstone sits in, used for magical jewelry. Though many adventurers focus on legendary swords or mythical staffs, rings, bracelets, and necklaces with the proper enchantments can significantly benefit their wearer. Arcane jewelry can increase strength and agility, provide protection, and grant the ability to cast spells or teleport to distant locations. Such ornamentation often requires using rare and valuable gemstones, which artisans carefully cut and polish to enhance their magical properties.
While most traditional adornments feature stones and gems, jewelry makers also have the skills to create amulets, pendants, and other items to house more curious and irregular objects. A jeweler looking to craft such things can provide perfect quest opportunities for the party. They may ask for the character's assistance harvesting and retrieving rare and exotic materials, such as dragon scales or gorgon horns. These quests may require the party to venture into remote and dangerous locations, delving into underground caverns or scaling the tops of treacherous mountain peaks.
Though they fall into a slightly different category of artisans, gem cutters play an equally important role in the specialization of D&D jewelry. Gem cutters expertly process the various precious materials, shaping and polishing whatever a jeweler might add to their settings. While doing so, a talented gem cutter must carefully preserve the material's unique properties while enhancing its natural beauty and clarity. This skill requires great talent and patience, as even the slightest mistake can ruin the gemstone and render it useless for potential arcane purposes. While their expertise is pointedly different, it is not unheard of for Game Masters to incorporate both skilled trades into a singular artisan or shop.
Diamond in the rough
In addition to creating their magical and nonmagical goods, jewelers and gem cutters also play an essential role in the economy of a GM's growing fantasy world. Their skills are in high demand, and they can command high prices for such services. Thriving jewelers' guilds have formed throughout many major cities, where skilled artisans can work together to produce the finest items in the land. An enterprising character with proficiency in jewelers tools and enough time and perseverance can make a tidy profit outside their regular adventuring.
However, as with any profession, the life of a jewelry maker has its dangers and downsides. Due to the value of the precious materials they work with, many artisans are the target of thieves and other unsavory characters looking to make a quick coin or two. Although, this often means that well-established tradespeople may require bodyguards or escorts, which can provide players with alternative ways to earn a few gold pieces between grand crusades.