How to Be a Graduate Gemologist

Graduate gemologists can determine a stone's value by its color, cut, clarity and carat weight.
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A graduate gemologist is a highly skilled professional that can assume a variety of career paths, including appraiser, jewelry buyer or business owner, among others. To pursue a career in gemology, one must first complete a graduate gemologist certification course. Graduate gemologist courses cover mostly the fundamentals on diamond and gemstone grading systems and practical use of gemological equipment. Some schools, like the Gemological Institute of America, offer online programs, as well as on-campus laboratory instruction. Since gemology is highly comprehensive, new gemologists should gain experience in retail jewelry sales before pursuing other fields, such as appraisals and diamond buying.

Step 1

Research graduate gemology courses to find one that fits your schedule, career goals and budget. Determine whether you can participate on campus or online. Be advised, however, that most courses, including online programs, require some laboratory credits before a diploma can be awarded. A minimum prerequisite of a high school diploma or GED is necessary to apply.

Step 2

Complete all coursework, including lab work, successfully and in a timely manner. Most graduate gemology programs include courses such as gem identification, diamond and colored gemstone grading, stone treatments, lapidary equipment use, as well as current gem markets and trends. Once in the proper course stage, you may be supplied with stones, including diamonds, amethysts and garnets, on loan for practical application.

Step 3

Find opportunities relevant to your level of gemological expertise. For most new graduate gemologists, despite the credential, an entry level retail sales position is the most practical way to gain industry knowledge and experience. Knowledge gained from retail experience can serve a gemologist well in other pursuits such as appraising, jewelry buying, trading and gem faceting and repair.

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