When we talk about the origins of jewelry design and manufacturing in America, we're really talking about Providence, Rhode Island.
Dating back to the late 1790’s, the jewelry industry was becoming a driving force in early Industrial Age America. Ship captains stopped in the important port of Providence, RI with quantities of silver bullion and coin. Looking to add value, they employed silversmiths to transform their silver into goods such as flatware, holloware, buttons and buckles.
In addition to the concentration of silversmiths, the first loom in America was imported to neighboring Pawtucket, RI. The textile industry brought to the area early machinists and machine tools and the ability to create complicated mechanisms in steel.
The third force shaping the jewelry industry was the development of clad metals, thin laminates of precious and non precious metals.
Built on this colonial era foundation of silver and goldsmiths, machinists and clad metals, the jewelry manufacturing industry became an Industrial Age juggernaut.