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Career in Gemology


Gemology or gemmology is the science dealing with natural and artificial gemstone materials. It is considered a geoscience and a branch of mineralogy. Some jewelers (and many non jewelers) are academically trained gemologists and are qualified to identify and evaluate gems.


Rudimentary education in gemology for jewelers and gemologists began in the nineteenth century, but the first qualifications were instigated after the National Association of Goldsmiths of Great Britain (NAG) set up a Gemmological Committee for this purpose in 1908. This committee matured into the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (also known as Gem-A), now an educational charity and accredited awarding body with its courses taught worldwide. The first US graduate of Gem-A's Diploma Course, in 1929, was Robert Shipley, who later established both the Gemological Institute of America and the American Gem Society. There are now several professional schools and associations of gemologists and certification programs around the world.

The first gemological laboratory serving the jewelry trade was established in London in 1925, prompted by the influx of the newly developed "cultured pearl" and advances in the synthesis of rubies and sapphires.[3] There are now numerous gem laboratories around the world requiring ever more advanced equipment and experience to identify the new challenges - such as treatments to gems, new synthetics, and other new materials.

It is often difficult to obtain an expert judgement from a neutral laboratory. Analysis and estimation in the gemstone trade usually have to take place on site. Professional gemologists and gemstone buyers use mobile laboratories, which pool all necessary instruments in a travel case. Such so-called travel labs even have their own current supply, which makes them independent from infrastructure. They are also suitable for gemological expeditions.

Gemstones are basically categorized based on their crystal structure, specific gravity, refractive index, and other optical properties, such as pleochroism. The physical property of "hardness" is defined by the non-linear Mohs scale of mineral hardness.

Gemologists study these factors while valuing or appraising cut and polished gemstones. Gemological microscopic study of the internal structure is used to determine whether a gem is synthetic or natural by revealing natural fluid inclusions or partially melted exogenous crystals that are evidence of heat treatment to enhance color.

The spectroscopic analysis of cut gemstones also allows a gemologist to understand the atomic structure and identify its origin, which is a major factor in valuing a gemstone. For example, a ruby from Burma will have definite internal and optical activity variance from a Thai ruby.

When the gemstones are in a rough state, the gemologist studies the external structure; the host rock and mineral association; and natural and polished color. Initially, the stone is identified by its color, refractive index, optical character, specific gravity, and examination of internal characteristics under magnification.

Gemological instrumentsEdit

Gemologists use a variety of tools and equipment which allow for the accurate tests to be performed in order to identify a gemstone by its specific characteristics and properties.

These include:

 Corrected 10× loupe

 Microscope

 Refractometer

o Polarising filter

o Magnifying eyepiece

o Contact liquid for RI (refractive index) up to 1.81

 Polariscope

o Optic figure sphere

 Dichroscope

 Spectroscope (handheld or desktop)

 Penlight

 Tweezers

 Stone cloth

 Color filter

 Immersion cell

 Ultraviolet lamp

General identification of gemsEdit

Gem identification is basically a process of elimination. Gemstones of similar color undergo non-destructive optical testing until there is only one possible identity. Any single test is indicative, only. For example, the specific gravity of ruby is 4.00, glass is 3.15–4.20, and cubic zirconia is 5.6–5.9. So one can easily tell the difference between cubic zirconia and the other two; however, there is overlap between ruby and glass. Nothing does make glass eagerly different as it can also be 4.00 And, as with all naturally occurring materials, no two gems are identical. The geological environment they are created in influences the overall process so that although the basics can be identified, the presence of chemical "impurities" and substitutions along with structural imperfections create "individuals".

Traditional handheld refractometer

One test to determine the gem's identity is to measure the refraction of light in the gem. Every material has a critical angle, above which point light is reflected back internally. This can be measured and thus used to determine the gem's identity. Typically this is measured using a refractometer, although it is possible to measure it using a microscope.

Identification by specific gravityEdit

Specific gravity, also known as relative density, varies depending upon the chemical composition and crystal structure type. Heavy liquids with a known specific gravity are used to test loose gemstones.

Specific gravity is measured by comparing the weight of the gem in air with the weight of the gem suspended in water.

Identification by spectroscopyEdit

This method uses a similar principle to how a prism works to separate white light into its component colors. A gemological spectroscope is employed to analyze the selective absorption of light in the gem material. Essentially, when light passes from one medium to another, it bends. Blue light bends more than red light. How much the light bends will vary depending on the gem material. Coloring agents or chromophores show bands in the spectroscope and indicate which element is responsible for the gem's color.

Identification by inclusionsEdit

The curvature observed in this synthetic color-change sapphire is due to a process known as the Verneuil Process or, flame fusion. During this process, a fine crushed material is heated at extremely high temperatures. The crushed material is then melted which drips through a furnace onto a boule. This boule where the corundum cools down and crystallizes, spins and thus causes the curved striations. Natural corundum does not form this way and lacks the curved striations.

Three inclusion phases in rock crystal quartz

Inclusions can help gemologists to determine whether or not a gemstone is natural, synthetic or treated (i.e. fracture-filled or heated).

Institutes, laboratories, schools, and publicationsEdit

 Institutes and laboratories

o Institute of Gem Trading - IGT[4]

Gemologist – though it is considered as one of the oldest profession of the human society in the real sense, it was always adopted only by those whose forefathers were into this profession from centuries even since the times of kings and emperors and maybe before that. There was no formal education for this profession to enter in. It was only acquired knowledge by the descendants of those who were already in this profession involving the most precious commodities on the earth. At that time even the buyers were only high profile people and there was not much scope in this profession for the new entrants.

But since then a lot of water has flown under the bridge, the situation has changed a lot. Gems are still considered as the most precious thing but its knowledge and craze and above all capacity to buy it have increased a lot among the masses and thus the demand of Gems and the professionals of this field have increased a lot in last 50 years or so. Moreover, with the full commercialization of this business of precious stones, its knowledge has also increased among the masses.

Thereby making the younger ones to think of joining the courses and adopting this business has increased a lot. They are foreseeing their future in this profession and that too quite lucrative one for the successful and talented ones.

It is, therefore, quite necessary that people associated with the trade, receive training and carry out the operations scientifically and professionally so as to achieve greater success.

To do his work successfully a Gemologist requires special knowledge and training which can be acquired by doing the required courses of varying duration. To become a Gemologist one has to follow the below-given path.

Gemologist Eligibility

Educational Qualification Pass in Senior Secondary Examination (10+2) or equivalent recognized examination in any stream

Age Limits There is no restriction with regard to the age of the candidate however some good institution prefers younger people below the age of 18 yrs as their student.

Gemologist Required Skills

 Gemologists must have sophisticated analytical skills to recognize the types of gems through close analysis; also need strong evaluation skills to separate real from manufactured stones.

 They should also have the skills to talk with customers and other Gemologists about stones.

 They also possess a mastery of written skills to complete gem-certification forms and answer customer questions about the stone evaluation.

 They should be able to identify whether a gemstone is synthetic, natural, fracture-filled, treated or colour-enhanced.

 They should also be able to the management of material resources like obtaining and seeing to the appropriate use of equipment, facilities, and materials needed to do certain work.

How to become a Gemologist?

To become a Gemologist one has to follow the given steps:

Step 1 Candidates who have qualified 10+2 or equivalent examination from a recognized educational institution have to apply for the Gemology/Jewellery Design degree/ diploma/ certificate courses such as:

 Gemological Institute of India, Mumbai provide 4 months Diploma in Gemology.

 Indian Institute of Gemology (IIG New Delhi) is offering various courses of varying duration in Gemology including three-and-a-half month course in Gemology (resident programme) as well as a one-year home study programme.

 The Indian Diamond Institute and the International Gemological Institute conduct advanced fellowship programmes of 1-year duration for science and engineering graduates.

 National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT, Delhi) offers a 3-year B.Des.(Accessory Design) course that includes Jewellery Design.

Step 2 After undergoing one or more of these undergraduate courses one can opt to join some big Jewellery houses or can go for the advanced courses like Post Graduate Diploma in Diamond Technology for further enhancing his skills.

Step 3 After acquiring full knowledge of the trade one can opt for a job or can start his own business in association with some jewellery. A bit of hard work and dedication can make a learned Gemologist a perfect in the profession. Besides the formal knowledge and experience of the technical field, these professional do require an insight into customs and tradition as well as the latest trends as these do influence art forms and design. Effective communication skills facilitate an understanding with the clients as well as the craftspersons.

Gemologist Job Description

The responsibility of a Gemologist is to study the quality, characteristics and value of gemstones and the rest of the work are done by the Jewellers to produce a piece of Jeweller. A Gemologist identifies the gems and advises the jeweller about the compatibility of gems to particular metals. While making jewellery, identification is one of the most important elements of trade. And it makes the Gemologist work all the more important and of great responsibility towards its customers. Some very precious stones like Rubies and Garnets sometimes look alike, but their values are considerably different, only a Gemologist can easily identify the difference and know its physical characteristic and value.

Gemologist Career Prospects

Employment opportunities for Gemologists are increasing nowadays as the sale of Jewellery is swelling among the masses. Thus a Gemologist can begin by working with Jewellery houses or work as a freelancer. There are lots of job offers in the private sector export houses as well. However, if one is talented and designs one's own line of products, the chances of carving an individual niche are much higher provided they could satisfy market needs and continue to be created simultaneously. There are also opportunities for setting up retail and trading units. Once they make a name, it is a very lucrative profession.

Gemologist Salary

To start with, one can expect to get nearly Rs.20,000 to Rs.25,000 in a job with a good organization. For those working independently, there is no upper limit of earning, it may be from a few thousands a month and can be lakhs, to say the least. It all depends upon the capabilities and marketing skills of the Gemologist along with his expertise and superiority of work.

Scope in Gemology

Gem is one of the most precious and important part of Indian culture. Indians have desired to achieve both precious & semi-precious gemstones such as diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, rubies for their astrological significance.

Gemstones are also considered as symbols of power and prosperity. With the trend of gems, the gemology studies are also rising in India as well as in abroad countries. In India tradition of wearing ornaments which are made up of gems, stones & different kinds of stone is very much demanding. So, the scope of Gemology is never ending.

In this profession, you can establish your own business or work with other companies. After completion of this course, you can adopt various lucrative jobs & opportunities.

Admissions Closing Shortly

1. DIT University - 2020

2. UPES University Dehradun - 2020

3. SRM Institute - B.Tech 2020

4. MIT-World Peace University - B.Tech 2020

5. MIT Manipal - 2020

Courses & Duration

How do I become a Gemologist?

There are many courses offered by Institution in India such as degree, diploma & certificate courses. Make a career in gemology is a highly profitable & rewarding option. Some of the most sought courses are given below:

Diploma Courses

 Diploma in Diamond Processing

 Diploma in Diamond Trade Management

 Diploma in Gemology

Certificate Courses:

 Certificate course in International system of Diamond Grading

 Certificate course in Planning & Marketing

 Certificate course in Coloured Gemstone Cutting & Polishing

 Certificate course in Grading, Cutting, Polishing, Bruiting

 Courses in Jewellery Design & Machine Cast Jewellery

 Certificate course in Hard Shape Grooving

Master Courses:

 Masters degree in Fine Arts in Jewellery design

 Post Graduate Diploma in Diamond Technology


 Jewelry Designing

 Gem Grinding

 Gem Engraving

 Gem Polishing

 Gem Assortment

 Jewelry Setter

 Gem Research

Skills Required:

The candidate should possess the below-mentioned skills in order to become a Gemologist:

 Have a sense of design and appreciation of quality

 Excellent powers of observation

 Precision

 Good hand-eye coordination

 Artistic and creative skills

 Color awareness

 Good Communication Skills

Top Colleges

Colleges in India offering Gemology Courses are listed below:

If you are interested to do a course from any other Institution, check that they are accredited by the American Gemological Society (AGS).

 National Institute of Fashion Technology, Delhi

 Indian Institute of Gemmology, New Delhi

 Arch Gemology & Jewelry Institute, Jaipur

 Gemstones Artisans Training School, Jaipur

 Xavier’s College, Mumbai

 Indian Institute of Gemology, New Delhi

 Sidhar Institute of Gemology, Andhra Pradesh

 SRDC Diamond Institute, Mumbai

Career & Jobs

The growing demand for precious stone jewelry increases the employment opportunities for gemologists.

There are lots of job opportunities for gemologists mainly in the private sector.

They can go for either the gem exporting and gem mining industry.

A gemologist can start their career by working with jewelry houses or work as a freelancer.

If you can satisfy the need for market & continue to create new things, then you can work as a self-employed entrepreneur.

Those people involved in this field, they can work as wholesalers and retailers of gems and jewelry shop.

Many foreign companies and brands are tieing up with the Indian industry for manufacturing gold and diamond studded jewelry. It has also increased the job opportunities.

You can also work as an instructor or lecturer in the colleges/universities.

Job Profiles

 Gem grinders

 Gem polishers

 Gem assorters

 Engravers

 Jewellery setters

 Researchers

 Scientists

 Gemologist

 Diamond Grader

 Graphics Operator

 Jewelry Designer


Gemmology is a profession with great scope. You can earn extremely well once your ideas and designs are appreciated. The starting salary of Gemologist is Rs. 2 Lakh to Rs. 3 Lakh per year. The salary may rise depending upon your experience and job nature. A highly qualified Gemologist can easily fetch an attractive package between Rs. 4 Lakh to Rs. 5 Lakh per annum.

Frequently Asked Questions about Gemology

1. What is Gemology?

Gemology is the scientific study of Gemstones. Gemology is the branch of Mineralogy and mineralogy is the branch of geology. Most of the Gemstones are minerals, but not all minerals are Gemstones. Gemology includes sources, formation and mining of Gemstones, their physical & optical properties and their identification.

2. Why should you learn Gemology?

o Gem stone market is full with Synthetic/Imitation stones.

o Synthetic stones are getting closer to Natural stones due to advanced Techniques.

o Due to Globalization, Market has become very Competitive & hard to work without knowledge.

o Most of the gemstones are treated these days.

o More Customer awareness due to easy access to information.

o Limited Gem Resources & Increased interest in Gemstone buying.

o Gems & Jewellery is one of the biggest & Profitable industries.

o Less Customer Loyalty, Buy with Facts not Emotions.

o Jewellery Business changed from Traditional to Professional.

o Better Business & Job Opportunities than most sectors.

3. Who can join Gems & Gemology courses at GJI?

Anyone can join course at GJI, who want to make career in Gems & Jewellery, who want to starts their business.

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