Run with Eric + training

The New Gemmology

In this blog he explains that gemmology is getting ever more scientific with all the new equipment available, that allows a more in depth analysis of a gem material.

These are big expensive pieces of equipment that are housed in the larger gem labs and universities and are proving very helpful in the identification of new synthetics and treatments.

It used to be a matter of course that when you entered the jewellery trade you enrolled in two courses to gain qualifications. The first was The Retail Jewellers Diploma (R.J.Dip. now The Professional Jewellers Diploma, P.J.Dip.) to gain knowledge about all the various aspects of the retail jewellers role. The second was enrolling on the Diploma course in gemmology from the Gemmological Association of Great Britain and Ireland, to gain an excellent understanding of gemmology and ultimately the F.G.A. I have spoken to many colleagues in recent years that are either too focused on sales or don't see the point in studying gemmology "because it's all done in labs now" rather than using some skills in store.

Erics next point is to say that the new gemmologist's job is to explain gems, synthetics, treatments and of course the beauty of these pieces to the trade and public. I spend hours every day explaining what a Tourmaline is, how angles and percentages affect the light performance of a Diamond, what is the difference between Akoya cultured pearls and Natural Pearls, what does heat treated mean, and so on. But I am able to do this with confidence because of the training I have had. So Eric is right, but this is only part of the new gemmologist's role.

We need to have more gemmologist's in or close to retail in order to protect the trade and public alike. Unfortunately there are many rogue traders in the world that don't tell the truth either intentionally or through ignorance. All jewellery professionals need a basic training using the most useful equipment a good pair of eyes and a loupe or eyeglass. This was something reinforced by Edward Johnson of GIA London where I attended a course in January. My view is it's easier to stumble into trouble with your eyes closed!

You also need to train your eyes. After coming back from a weeks Diamond Grading, I noticed colour or lack of it in everything. When a tap was running, I could easily detect the slight differences in the water coming out, just the same as Diamonds in the normal colour range. Something that made me think of doing this blog this mornig was this. My wife tells me off for putting spread on the toast on the kitchen worktop intead of on a plate. If she had an eye as trained as mine I would never get away with it. When you spread toast on a worktop it stays relativly flat, if you spread it on a plate it takes on the curvature of the plate. Yes, I know it's very sad that I notice these things, but it helps me to be a good gemmologist! Get looking!

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