Gemmology: With ever-increasing demands in gemstones market, know the emerging career opportunities

November 6, 2020 2:25 PM

Some of the Indian cities like Surat, Jaipur, Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Delhi are known worldwide for the excellent infrastructure in lapidary skills both for diamond as well as other precious gemstones and is one of the largest foreign exchange earning sectors in the country.

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

By Sayoni Mitra Das

A gemstone is a piece of naturally occurring material, which, in cut and polished form, is used to make jewellery or other adornments. However, the majority of precious stones or gems are minerals that have formed in the interior of the Earth, some rocks (lapis lazuli) and organic material (amber, pearls and coral) are also considered as gems. Rarity, beauty (gloss), acceptability and durability are some important criterion, which makes a mineral crystal, rock and organic material a gemstone. Gemmology is an art of studying gemstones using mineralogical and other criterion; and 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.

Since time immemorial, gems and gemstones are considered as symbols of love, prestige, power, prosperity and glory throughout the world. Some precious stones such as diamonds, sapphires (blue, white and yellow), emeralds and rubies have enticed royalty and commoners both and have etched their part in history. Some of the Indian cities like Surat, Jaipur, Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Delhi are known worldwide for the excellent infrastructure in lapidary skills both for diamond as well as other precious gemstones and is one of the largest foreign exchange earning sectors in the country. Under such scenario, the main job profile of a gemmologist refers to the proper identification, grading and valuation of the different gemstones depending on their various properties. It also involves separation of natural gemstones from their synthetic, treated and/or natural simulant counterparts. Plenty of career opportunities are available in the various industrial units, which specialize in gem cutting, polishing or treatment of rough natural gems. 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.

Gem Manufacturing: This involves both lapidary work 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.

Thus, it can be said beyond doubt, that with the ever-increasing demands in the gemstones market, the career opportunities in Gemmology, both in Indian as well as global context will also be expanding day by day.

(The author is Assistant Geologist, Geological Survey of India. Views expressed are personal.)

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