When I was getting ready for my wedding last month, one of the obvious things we had to do to get ready was to pick out wedding rings. I'm not much of a jewelry wearer myself, but I put a lot of thought into this choice, and in the end, I learned quite a bit more than I knew before about the jewelry profession and how it works. It struck me as a profession for people who really love making beautiful things and who love interacting with people at some of the most significant moments of their lives (such as ... weddings) -- but above all, real life jewelcrafters struck me as people who love details.
Of course, a number of professions in Azeroth have to pay attention to details in their various gaming aspects. Deciding which items to make for oneself, which to sell at the auction house, and how to use your chosen profession in itself requires lots of details. But when you think about roleplaying, there's a definite difference between blacksmithing on the one side, with its broad strokes of a hammer on metal, and jewelcrafting on the other, focused on the smallest of cuts and adjustments that the naked eye can't even perceive. Jewelcrafting is the profession on Azeroth that requires the keenest eye, the steadiest hand, and the most attention to detail.
In some ways, jewelcrafting in the real world seemed like sub-world of its own, where jewelers knew special secrets no one else knew. They used these secrets to draw forth items that were at once dazzling and magical, artistic and personal for each individual that wore them. Jewelcrafters in the World of Warcraft have no reason to be less devoted to their profession, or any less proud of their ability to craft the most delicate of magical items with the most powerful magical effects, using the secret knowledge only they can understand.
Qualities of Jewelcrafters
While blacksmiths are known for their strength, and the broad sense of patience with which they craft their weapons and armor, a jewelcrafter would be more famous for his attention to detail and appreciation for things that most other people may not know. One sort of jewelcrafter might be very patient when it comes to stones, metals and gems, but very impatient in front of people. The two worlds may seem so different that the jewelcrafter escapes into the world he understands rather than dealing with the world he doesn't. On the other hand, many jewelcrafters may love their art so much that they successfully transfer enthusiasm for the magic of fine details to everyone else they come in contact with. They may see similar layers of detail and beauty in each person they meet, appreciating each one as a jewel in his or her own right.
As a maker of truly wondrous items with real magic beyond normal beauty, an Azerothian jewelcrafter may have even more love for the fine details that makes each gem different than his or her earth-bound counterpart. Thus, when thinking about your character's jewelcrafting skill, you might find it useful to consider different ways in which a particular gem might be cut, and how that might effect the magic within it. For example, you might say that if you cut the a Crimson Spinel with precise designs that magnify its sparkling brightness, then you might get a Bright Crimson Spinel; but if you cut it in simpler way, such that magical runes can be inscribed on various sides (so small that you can barely see them, even with a magnifying glass) then you might get a Runed Crimson Spinel. Whatever gems or jewels your character is capable of making, it would be good if you can actually describe that process of making them to anyone who will listen. If you have no idea where to start with the vocabulary you might need to describe gems, then begin by researching different kinds of real life jewels and trying to find out how they are made. A little bit of professional terminology goes a long way in making your character sound real, and to the extent that people have heard these terms before, they may even understand what you say.
Jewelcrafting in your society
A jewelcrafter may be more than just an excellent craftsman. He or she may take great pride in wearing the most beautiful jewels for themselves. It's less visible on the game screen than a tailor's crafted robes and shirts and such, but if you play it up, linking whatever jewelry you are particularly proud of in the chat window so that others can click on it, you can help provide a picture in your fellow roleplayers' imaginations. Your character's talking so much about how great his or her jewelry is might come across as quite vain, but depending on your character, that might be just the thing you're going for.
Another option I've seen much less in the game is to roleplay one's jewelcrafter as a believer in the spiritual powers of crystals. You may keep many crystals on your person at all times, claiming that this one has healing power, while the other will protect you, and so on. It bears a certain resemblance to modern day New Age style spiritual ideas, but within the context of Azerothian magical systems people might just wonder if it doesn't actually work.
Draenei in particular might be particularly interested in crystals and gems for more than their explicit stat-raising capabilities. If you've seen any draenei architecture, you know that they love crystals as the main theme of their architecture, and perhaps they have many philosophies concerning crystals and their relationship to the Light. Perhaps they would say that each person's heart is like a different kind of gem, and the particular qualities you reflect in life, such as love, kindness, or justice, depend on how finely you perfect yourself.
However you roleplay a jewelcrafter, the main thing to remember is to is that your character loves his or her profession. Whatever you do should reflect that love, bouncing around through the manifold facets of your character's mind, and finally emerging in resplendent colors upon your friends and fellow roleplayers. Jewelcrafting is not just something you do for extra stats, it's an expression of what makes your character who he or she is.