As an engineer, Allen Jewel travelled around the world for 40 years designing chemical plants. It was while working in South Africa in 1973 that he began collecting agates found as sand was being sifted to make concrete. He joined a rock club in Johannesburg, learned to cut stones into cabochons (smooth rather than facetted shapes), and began his study of the lapidary arts. After returning to the U.S. Allen took silversmithing classes to create settings for the stones he cut and polished. It was only after taking up silversmithing that Allen discovered some of his early Kentucky relatives had been silversmiths.
Allen regularly teaches silversmithing at the William Holland School of Lapidary Arts in Young Harris, GA where he has led workshops in cabochon cutting, gemstone faceting and silversmithing. He also teaches classes in his studio in Versailles, KY, as well as for Louisville and Lexington gem and mineral clubs.
Works by Allen Jewell can be found at Completely Kentucky, in Frankfort, KY; The Damselfly Gallery, in Midway, KY; Sincerely Yours, in Lexington, KY; and the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, Berea, KY.