Goldsmiths are found in almost all the villages and towns.
They prepare silver and gold ornaments. In rural areas the
goldsmiths once served as balutedars. However, that system is
not in vogue any more.
The tools of a goldsmith consist of an anvil, bellows, hammers, pincers, pots, crucibles, moulds and nails for ornamental work, drilling machine, cupboards, etc. The cost of these tools varies between Rs. 400 and Rs. 500.
The old District Gazetteer of Chanda published in 1909 has the following to say about the condition of goldsmiths at that time.
'Chandrapur city contains some forty families of gold and silversmiths, but there is really very little to say about the local industry, which only receives a few cursory notices in Mr. Nunn's monograph on the gold and silver ware of the Central Provinces. The people regard ornaments primarily in the light of a portable savings bank and do not care to pay for artistic workmanship when the ultimate destination of their jewels may not improbably be the melting pot. The work of Telugu craftsmen does however make some pretensions to artistic merit, and in grace and lightness far surpasses that of the ordinary sonar of the Central Provinces. Head ornaments, called rakhris, made with a base of gold and a top of silver and fitted up with lac in the centre, are popular among both Telugus and Marathas. It would be impossible to enumerate the count-less varieties of other ornaments. Most of the gold and silver-smiths are compelled to eke out their living by also working in baser metals: not to be reduced to this necessity gives a certain social distinction: the Sonar's position as a pawn-broker also, as is well-known, gives him an opportunity of making money in various ways which will not bear too close a scrutiny and often brings him into contact with the police. Sonars, Panchals and Kamsaliwars are the castes occupied in the gold and silver craft of this District: the last named are a Telugu caste who ape Brahmanical customs and are anxious to be called Vishwa Brahmans. Some local ware was sent to the Delhi Exhibition'.
Goldsmiths in rural areas can rarely prepare thin, fine and skilled articles as the accent is more on savings in the form of the yellow metal. Their business is brisk during the marriage season, fairs and festivals. The ornaments generally prepared by them consist of a necklace, bangles, ear-rings, ring, etc. Sunanda har, bakul har, lappha, etc., are more in vogue today.
However, the goldsmiths have lost much of their business due to the Gold Control Order issued recently by the Government of India. Many of them have been thrown out of employment. The Government have extended all possible help in establishing them in other avenues of employment.
Prior to the issue of the Gold Control Order, the goldsmiths in rural areas used to earn between Rs. 100 and Rs. 125 per month, depending upon the orders received from the customers which
in themselves depended upon his skill as well as honesty judged
by the people. The raw material required by goldsmiths included gold, silver and copper and these were generally locally
The goldsmiths in urban areas used to get work from the sarafs. The goldsmiths were paid either on daily wages or on piece-rate basis. Their monthly earnings were placed between Rs. 150 and Rs. 200. Even before the issue of the Gold Control Order, the prohibitive cost of the yellow metal coupled with the rising cost of living had reduced orders for ornaments placed with them to a considerable extent.