The Studio – Jewelry Blog by Rio Grande

Cool Tools: Smart Phone Apps for Jewelers

Jun 25, 2012

Jewelry creation and technology go hand-in-hand. Now that so many people have a smart phone, it makes sense that many jewelers do as well. And of course, that means apps! So if you haven’t already, here is a list of apps you can download to turn your smart phone into one of your most useful bench tools.

Metalsmith Suite (on iTunes)

This app is fantastic. At least that’s what Yvonne M. Padilla told me. And then so did Mark Nelson. And Cathy Contreras. And Alan Bell. This app was created as a complementary reference tool for The Complete Metalsmith, written by internationally renowned metalsmith Tim McCreight. This app does a lot: unit conversions; cost of sheet metal, wire, and grain; casting calculations; drawing length; metal conversions; gold alloying specs; and gem properties (just to name a few). This app isn’t cheap (it’s $3.99), but if you work with precious metals, it will be a few dollars well spent.

iChainMaille (on iTunes) 550

iChainMaille is a must-have for wire weavers and chainmail artists. It has several jewelry-related features including a jeweler’s almanac and information on gems, but its highlight is its lightning-fast ability to calculate ring aspect ratios for wire which will make your projects a breeze. This app is cheap ($.99) and will save you tons of calculation time that you can turn into more creation time! But, it’s currently only available on iPhone (TIP: our in-house chainmail aficionado Cathy Contreras contacted the software development company to ask if they planned to make the app available on Android phones, they said it depends on the amount of requests they get).

Kcast Gold Live!+ (on iTunes, Blackberry and Android)

Recommended by a Rio associate who sends out our daily metal markets update, this app by Kitco Metals Inc. offers live spot prices for gold, silver, and other precious metals you need to know about. The app is free (gotta love that!) and you can also dig up info on other tradable commodities like oil and mining stocks, get related news headlines, press releases, and video news.

iMakeJewelry (on iTunes)

Another handy-dandy app for jewelers and metalsmiths! You can use iMakeJewelry for wax-to metal-weight conversions; it also calculates sheet, wire, and wax weights; as well as weight, length, and area conversions. Add this app to your bench for $3.99 and cut your calculation and conversion time down to seconds.

 Etsy for iPhone

While not a bench tool, this Etsy app will help you manage your business from your smart phone—keeping you instantly in touch with your bottom line. Or, you can use it to buy from other jewelers. This app is free from Etsy and is a must-have for the savvy businessperson.

Got a favorite app that didn’t make this list? Tell us all about it!

Amy Dalness

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Comments (2)
  1. How about an App for our phones that has your conversion charts (page 179)? Also could include Tips ie: comparing silver hardness, determining metal weight, measuring blanks, etc. (I’m sure you can come up with some awesome tips and links for us to have handy!) A lot of the info in the catalog’s Tips sections could be put into applications for our IPhones and IPads.

    It would be so nice to have this info at our fingertips when we need it. Thanks a bunch! Dottie Moon

  2. WOW Dottie! What a genius idea that is –I agree that it would be great to have that stuff readily available on your smartphone! I’ve passed the idea onto the creative folks on our technology team, and in the meantime I want to let you know (in case you didn’t) that you can access conversion charts, measuring tools, care info, instructions, projects, and all kinds of other good information on the product pages of our website. In fact there’s even more of this extra content on our website than in our printed catalog! Just go to ANY product page and click on the the MORE INFO, VIDEO, PROJECTS, & MORE tabs.

    Also, tons of content can be found through the Learn with Rio Link

    Thanks again for your brilliant idea and thanks for reading!

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