"But after a while it becomes just like any metal ... the value that comes into it is actually the work you put into it," he said.
And although he's now working with gold and metals, he still considers himself a carver.
"The thing that drives me the most is the process of carving, and I've applied that to my jewellery technique," said Wilson.
"It's no longer just engraving, its actually carving and adding volume."
Wilson's works are now a featured exhibition at the Coastal Peoples Fine Art Gallery in Vancouver, running until Dec. 18. The art on display took him four years to create.
One of his favourite pieces is the skate fish pin/pendant.
Skate fish have small spots on their back and wings — a feature that Wilson says inspired the northwest coast ovoid, the circular shape featured prominently in the province's Indigenous art.
"It's kind of my homage towards the origin of the northwest coast art form," he said.
With files from CBC's North by Northwest
To listen to the full interview, click on the audio labelled: Haisla artist carves gold in new exhibition