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Emerging courses: Gemmology – the study of gems

If one is interested in the shining world of gems, there are plenty of career opportunities available in the various industrial units, which specialise in gem cutting, polishing or treatment of rough natural gems

Updated: December 2, 2020 9:18:54 am
gemmology, best courses, new courses, courses in arts, education news, college admission, Students from any stream in class 12 are eligible to pursue courses in gemology, interested candidates can also do short-term certificate and diploma courses in this field as well. (Image by Pexels/Representational)

Written by – Sayoni Mitra Das

Do you like those different coloured stones and gems in jewellery? Do you know there is a science behind it? A gemstone is a piece of naturally occurring material, which, in cut and polished form, is used to make jewellery or other adornments. Gemmology is an art of studying such gemstones using mineralogical and other criteria. A gemmologist is a skilled person who identifies and describe gems based on their characteristics pleochroism, refractive index, dispersion, specific gravity, hardness, cleavage, fracture and lustre.

If one is interested in the shining world of gems, there are plenty of career opportunities available in the various industrial units, which specialise in gem cutting, polishing or treatment of rough natural gems. But in India, the main job profile of a gemmologist refer to the proper identification, grading and valuation of the different gemstones depending on their various properties. It also involves the separation of natural gemstones from their synthetic, treated and/or natural simulant counterparts.

Career options

Career prospects on the field of gemmology involve various designations and area of work, some of which are discussed below:

— Lab- Gemmologist: Discovery, investigation and study of new gemstones along with their evaluation.

— Gemstone appraiser: Conducting careful examination of a gemstone and estimation of its price depending on its particular global market prices.

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—  Gem manufacturing: This involves both lapidary works for rough gemstones as well as other treatments to improve the appearance and durability of a gemstone.

—  Gemstone jeweller: Most of the reputed jewellers recruit gemmologists to help in the repair and re-cutting of precious gemstones.

— Diamond grader: Depending on the 4C’s (cut, colour, clarity and carat weight) diamonds are graded on various scales. This gradation determines the price of a diamond. India, being a major diamond polishing industry, has great opportunities for the diamond grader.

— Jewellery designers and setters: This requires knowledge not only in gemmology but also in precious metals, along with lots of imagination, creativity, sense of latest fashion trends and technical skills.

While the above career options are available both in global as well as Indian scenario, the following two career options are high in demand with a global perspective.

— Auction gemmologist: Foreign auction houses who block gems, gemstones and various jewellery pieces need a regular gemmologist to ascertain the value of the items both while going for auctions or while buying them from private owners.

— Gem museums gemmologist: All the gems and gemstones museums of the world require trained gemmologists for expert opinion on the pieces under display.

How to become gemologist?

To become a gemologist, students need to plan their career right from class 12. Even though students from any stream in class 12 are eligible to pursue courses in gemology, interested candidates can also do short-term certificate and diploma courses in this field. There are no entrance exams available in order to enroll in a course of gemology. There are several courses offered by institutions in India such as degree, diploma, certificate courses in this field. Some of the courses are listed below:

Certificate courses in gemology:

— Certificate Course in Hard Shape Grooving

— Certificate Course in International System of Diamond Grading

— Certificate Course in Grading, Cutting, Polishing, Bruiting

— Certificate Course in Coloured Gemstone Cutting and Polishing

— Courses in Jewellery Design & Machine Cast Jewellery

— Certificate Course in Planning and Marketing

— Diploma in Diamond Trade Management

— Diploma in Gemology

— Diploma in Diamond Processing

— Bachelors Courses in Gemology:

— Bachelors of Fine Arts in Jewellery Design

— Post Graduate Diploma in Diamond Technology

— Masters of Fine Arts in Jewellery Design Subject Combination

— The author is assistant geologist Geological Survey of India

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