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.
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!