John Wade of North Carolina is a master artisan and hand engraver, one of the best. Much of his journey to the comfortable life he lives now is typical in the jewelry trade – he started off in a small shop, moved to a retail location, and ended up back in the custom design studio he loves. But before any of that, he ventured out west as a teenager to dig for opals in Nevada.

“We would travel out during the summers and dig in the mines,” John remembers. “My Uncle Charlie was a hobbyist rock hound, pretty much full-time in his retirement. I don’t know that he ever made a dime at it, but we would dig and find opals – sometimes something we could cut! So I started out as a hobbyist lapidary, from the age of about 12 to 16 years old.”

John grew up in Newton, Iowa, known as the “Washing Machine Capital of the World,” where his whole family worked for the Maytag company. But his Uncle Charlie, who actually made money as a machinist for Lockheed in California,  may be the one who sparked something inside him, a passion that led to an esteemed career in jewelry. “John has become nationally known for being the master hand engraver,” says his wife Rita, who works with him as Wade Designs Jewelry’s CEO/Business Development and Marketing Director.

Read more about Jewelers Suite member and master hand engraver John Wade on the Southern Jewelry News website online now HERE

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