GET YOUR CRAFT ON
Brigette & Billie,
I also photograph my own work and have found it to be an enjoyable but somewhat steep learning curve and in no way profess to be an expert at it.
I have an interest in photography in general, and have ventured down the "strobist" path of using small off- camera flashes which I have found to be very effective for smaller scale jewelry work. (if you google Strobist you will find David Hobby's blog which I have no affiliation with, just appreciation for his sharing of his experience and knowledge).
I typically use one light diffused through a lighting umbrella, but I have also used tracing paper which worked well to soften the light. Often I place white and black cards around the object to bounce light back and provide reflections that help define the objects form.
As both Brigette and Billie mentioned experimentation is the key - I take scores of photos of each piece until I am happy with at least one!
Shoot RAW format if your camera supports that format, and you have the facility to process them (Lightroom, Photoshop etc).
Billie's point 8 is extremely important and one that I am guilty of not doing, but your life will be so much easier if you keep ongoing records of each piece / photo.
Back up your best photos somewhere other than your computer's hard drive!!
Enjoy it - I have actually found that by taking pictures of my work it has helped me to be slightly more objective about evaluating it and seeing where improvements are required and where ideas need to be developed and pursued.