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What is a Gemologist & What Do They Do?

September 10, 2018 2:30 pm Published by

The role of a gemologist is crucial to the gem trade. A gemologist is someone who has trained professionally at an accredited institution in colored stone identification and colored stone grading. The training may also include diamond grading. Gemologists may work in gemological laboratories, in retail jewelry stores, and in manufacturing organizations using their knowledge in a variety of fields including purchasing and quality control.

What a Gemologist Does

A gemologist is an expert that is able to identify and classify gemstones of many varieties. A trained gemologist will be able to discern visible and measurable difference in minerals and can determine if a gemstone is natural, synthetic, was subjected to treatment, and even the country origin. This is accomplished using a variety of tools, including some very sophisticated equipment. The gemologist will also take careful measurements to the 1/100th of a millimeter and verify the carat weight.

One of the most prestigious credentials in the industry, the GIA Graduate Gemologist program gives you the comprehensive knowledge of diamonds and colored stones you need to succeed anywhere in the jewelry business. You’ll gain both technical expertise and practical skills to evaluate gemstones by the 4Cs (color, clarity, cut and carat weight), the International Diamond Grading System, and the Colored Stone Grading System. At Professional Jewelers we have our own Graduate Gemologist, Sam Mitchell. His skilled eye is trained to recognize the purest of gems and brings the professionalism you would expect at any jeweler.

Under the guidance of this elite program, you will learn a variety of things that no other person has easily understand. Developing in-depth, hands-on experience with the GIA International Diamond Grading System and the 4Cs (color, cut, clarity and carat weight). Grade diamonds in the D-to-Z color range. Build a knowledge base about colored stones and the colored stone market. Use gemological equipment effectively to identify gemstones. Use the GIA Colored Stone Grading System to evaluate gemstone quality. Identify gemstone characteristics, stimulants and treatments, and recognize when advanced testing is required. Understand how gems are mined, fashioned and brought to the marketplace. Recognize how quality, rarity and color affect value. Determine how market factors affect gem value.

Tools of the Gemologist

  • Microscope: The microscope is used for gem identification of internal and surface characteristics. Gemstone grading is done at 10x magnifications, although a gemologist may view stones at much higher power to determine treatments and characteristics.
  • Loupe: A handheld magnification tool, the loupe is used for identification and grading in much the same manner as the microscope. If you are new to gemstone shopping, it is important to familiarize yourself with correct use of the loupe. Hold the loupe in your left hand close to your eye, and using gem tweezers, bring the gemstone up to the loupe until it is in focus. Learn to discern with your own eye and become a connoisseur of gemstones.
  • Micrometer: Used for precise measurements, the gemologist will use a micrometer such as a Leveridge gauge to determine dimensions such as average girdle diameter, total depth, and length and width.
  • Refractometer: Each gemstone will bend light in a particular way. The refractometer is sued to measure the refractive index, or RI which is a key indicator of a gemstone’s identity as well as measure the optic sign.
  • Spectroscope: Measures the amount and type of light absorption in a gemstone. The two types of spectroscopes used are diffraction grading and prism.
  • Polariscope: Used to make determinations regarding the optic properties of gemstones, the polariscope is an asset when distinguishing natural gemstones from synthetics.
  • Heavy Liquids: Used to determine the specific gravity of gemstones. Gemstones immersed in heavy liquids must be unmounted or “loose” gemstones for specific gravity to be determined.

Come and check out Professional Jewelers, we have plenty of in stock inventory as well jewelry designers to help you curate your perfect, customized piece. You can find us at: 5275 W 95th St, Overland Park, KS 66207. Or give us a call at: (913) 707-6326.

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