Growing demand for precious stone jewelry has created the need for more gemologists. Anybody who has a passion for jewelry and stones and has an eye for detail can become a successful gemologist. Gemology is the study of precious gemstones, identifying them, where they are found, how they form, their physical and optical properties, grading them, and sorting them. A course in gemology helps students understand various aspects of a gem and its use for mankind.
Gemology can be termed as a scientific study of gemstones. Gemologists are taught to classify natural gemstones and check for damage to these stones. The splendor, durability and material value of gemstones have always surprised people and have remained a cause of interest for centuries.
Special gemology: Study of the various categories and varieties of gemstones, synthetic stones and imitation stones. Special gemology includes study on organic substances such as pearls, corals, amber etc.
Practical gemology: This is a stream of study that educates the student in identifying and distinguishing original gemstones from synthetic ones. This course of study is very useful for people who wish to become graders.
Gemology, as all know is the study of precious/gemstones, more precise it is a scientific study of gemstones. Students are taught on the various aspects of the stones that include:
- Identification and coloring of stones, i.e. sorting and grading of stones.
- Occurrence of the stones
- Physical properties of the stones
- Optical properties of the stones
- Identification of naturally occurring gems
- Design methodology
- Metal concepts drawing techniques
- Ornament designing, computer aided designing
- Metallurgical process
- Ornament making in both traditional and modern techniques
There are numerous institutes all over the world that offer courses in gemology. In the United States, GIA, Gemological Institute of America is the most famous and reputed institute offering various courses in gemology. The head quarters of this institute is located at Carlsbad, California, the institute has branches at Los Angeles and New York. Both regular and correspondence courses are available and the cost is about US$ 14,695 for six months regular course and about US$ 6,975 for correspondence course. If you choose to do a course through any other institute, please check if they have an accreditation from the American Gemological Society (AGS).
Gemology career options
- A jewel business owner
- Jewelry designer – Designs jewelry according to the fashion requirements.
- Gemstone appraiser – Appraises value of semi-precious stones, precious stones/gemstones
- Sales associate – In any jewelry store
- Buyer – selling and buying gemstones either for self-business or on behalf of a firm
- Diamond or colored stone grader – Grading diamonds and other gemstones
- Jewelry historian
- Auction house cataloger
People having an interest in gems and precious stones can also pursue this career. Gemologists are offered job opportunities by jewelers, police and customs department, and insurance companies
Role of a gemologist
A gemologist holds a very responsible role in his/her job. They are entrusted with a job which includes people’s faith, thus gemologists have to very carefully in their work. Their job role usually includes:
- Identifying, sorting, and grading gemstones/precious stones.
- Advise jewelers on gemstones quality.
- They decide on which metal and setting will aptly suit a particular type of gemstone.
- Measuring, weighing, and ascertaining the size of a gemstone.
- Few gemologists train as gem polisher, gem grinder, gem assorter, jewel setter, engraver, jewel scientist etc.
- Few people opt to teach the subject and train others in gemology.
Desired qualities for a gemologist
- Good sense of designing and should be able to value quality
- Good observation capacity
- High levels of concentration
- An eye for details
- Good ideas
- Artistic sense and a good sense of color combination
- Good hand to eye co-ordination
- High levels of responsibility
- Preciseness and carefulness
- Immense levels of patience
- Should be eager to learn and should have knowledge about traditional jewelry
- Should communicate well and should understand the customer’s need
Gemologists have a very bright and promising future as the demand for qualified gemologists is very high. People can set up their business after the course or work for someone. They can also choose to become consultants for grading and valuing stones.