The study of gemstones is the subject of gemology, which is a branch of science. Gemologists are certified professionals who work in this field. Identifying, grading, and appraising gemstones are usually among their responsibilities.
A gemologist can sometimes tell what gemstone is in front of him just looking at it, but this is not always the case. Blue topaz and aquamarine, for example, may appear to be nearly identical. This means that gemologists are frequently required to conduct a series of tests in order to determine a gemstone’s true identity. In most cases, one test is sufficient to provide indicators but not for complete identification.
Once the gemstones have been identified, they can be analyzed and graded. The quality of a gemstone’s features such as color, clarity, and cutting properties is typically assessed in a grading report. There are many different grading systems, and one gemologist’s results may differ from another’s.
Some gemologists also provide appraisal services. In most cases, this entails evaluating a cut and polished gemstone. Most gemologists are concerned with determining whether a gemstone is natural or synthetic, as well as how much it is worth. Some appraisers work on their own. Others may work for jewelry stores or auction houses.
Gemologists are frequently employed retail jewelry stores. Many professionals gain the experience they need to advance to other gemology careers in this setting. A gemologist can work as a salesperson or a buyer in a retail setting. He could also work as a consultant for jewelry designers. Designers and makers of jewelry may lack sufficient gemological knowledge to know which gemstones are appropriate for which applications.
A gemologist might work in a museum as well. He may evaluate and gain access to donations or gemstones that the museum wishes to acquire in this capacity. He’ll most likely provide information that will assist the facility in determining which purchases are prudent and valuing collections for insurance purposes. He could also be in charge of providing information for the gemstone placards on display.
Individual gemology courses are available in a variety of formats. When a person completes a course, he or she is often given a certificate as proof of completion. It’s important to note that this does not imply that a person is a certified gemologist in the eyes of the industry. A true gemologist will usually have a diploma from a recognized institution after completing a gemological curriculum.