Providence is the capital city of the U.S. state of Rhode Island. It's home to Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design, whose RISD Museum displays American art and silver. For the better part of a century, Providence, Rhode Island, was known as "the jewelry capital of the world." At its peak, the city boasted an estimated 85% of the precious metals products manufactured in the U.S., and the industry was the state's primary source of revenue.
But by the 1980s, jewelry manufacturing was in a tailspin. Between 1978 and 1996, the number of jewelery employees shrank to 13,500 from 32,500, according to The New York Times.
Today, Rhode Island employs just over 3,000 jewelry workers, a 70% drop from 2000.
It's called the Ocean State, but Rhode Island might better be considered a satellite of the Rust Belt, as it's been in a state of unending decline for nearly three decades. At 7.9%, it now has the country's highest unemployment rate.