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Finding value in the sparkle: A career in gemology

A certified gemologist can explore a career in gems testing laboratories, jewellery retailing businesses and export houses dealing with gemstones

education Updated: May 22, 2015 15:51 IST
Proyashi Barua
The-work-of-a-gemologist-involves-grading-and-evaluating-the-quality-of-gemstones-among-other-things-Photo-Shutterstock
The-work-of-a-gemologist-involves-grading-and-evaluating-the-quality-of-gemstones-among-other-things-Photo-Shutterstock

If the sparkle of gems and jeweller designs has caught your eye, you may want to think about a career in gemology.

“Since time immemorial, Indians have worn both precious and semi-precious stones to ward off the so-called evil influence of planets. Also, gemstones like sapphire, ruby, emerald and diamond have been looked upon as symbols of power and prosperity. Even today not much has changed when it comes to the utility and significance of these precious materials,” says Radha Bakshi, a certified and practising gemologist.

So, what is gemology? “The study of finding gemstones, grading them, and evaluating them is termed as gemology,” says Bakshi.

To become a gemologist, you can take up a short-term certificate course in any gemology-related programme.

The courses provide basic information regarding identification of different gemstones. To apply for any of the diploma programmes, you must be a graduate in any discipline. Some art and design colleges, with jewellery designing, offer gemology as a part of their curriculum, says Bakshi.

Students also get to learn about the principles of grading gemstones as a part of their curriculum. Some of the short-term courses include: gems identification certificate course, diamond grading certificate course, certificate course in cut design and analysis, pearl grading, polished diamond grading course etc.

Though India is known for its rich treasures, the art of certifying and assessing precious metals has still not emerged as a full-fledged career in the country. “The study and evaluation is still not given major importance,” explains Bakshi.

As for job prospects, one can either opt to work in gem exporting companies or be employed in jewellery designing and jewellery retailing businesses. One can also be engaged in evaluating gems and precious metals in testing laboratories.

Other job options include working in units producing gemmological tools and artificially created gems.

For a dazzling career
Communication skills are essential as a gemologist may have to provide detailed description of gemstones

Rs. I take home
Rs. 25,000- Rs. 35,000 at the initial stage

I love my job becouse....
It gives me the opportunity to network with the super rich and famous since they form a large part of the clientelle

Expert gyan
It might take quite some time to get a good pay packet in this industry. Having studied gemology once, your best bet is to open up your own business and earn in crores, depending on the scale of your business