Careers in Gemology


Gemology is a precise science and wannabe gemologists are expected to have acute powers of observation and the ability to concentrate.

Gems have been the object of man's fascination ever since their discovery. Today modern scientific Gemology is giving an insight into the character and the behavior of gems. The study of Gemology is relevant to the trader, the dealer, the artisan or anyone fascinated by gemstones, especially the lady in the house for it is she who appreciates the gems for their beauty and ornamental value.

From trade point of view Gems & Jewellery has been one of the biggest foreign exchange earner for India and substantial potential needs to be tapped at home. It is therefore, highly necessary that people associated with the trade, receive training and carry out the operations scientifically and professionally so as to achieve greater success. In today's world of modern synthetic gems is no longer safe to rely upon one's senses for identification but to learn scientific methods for a positive identification of a wide variety of gems.

Traditionally, the art of making Jewelry has been passed down through generations, kaarigars having inherited the expertise and skill from their ancestors, the art being handed down through the generations from father to son. Today it is no longer necessary to have a family background in the profession since there are training schools to teach jewelry design and manufacture. And with the boom in the fashion and accessories arena, especially with well known foreign jewelers eyeing the Indian market, this field is slowly holding out promise for a lucrative career option. Moreover, Jaipur is among the world?s largest gem cutting center and the numerous Jewelry export houses there offer good positions to those with training in the latest trends and developments in this emerging field.

Gemology is the science dealing with the study of gemstones. Jewellery designers craft a wide variety of items either by hand or using the methods of large-scale production. Among the various fields of design, jewelry design is, perhaps, the only one that requires such an extremely high degree of skill and attention to detail. Accounting for one-fifth of the country?s total exports, the gems and jewelry sector is the frontrunner in India?s export trade, earning valuable foreign exchange.

Nature of Work

Gemologists are involved in the identification, sorting and grading of gemstones. They also advise jewelers/jewelry designers on various properties regarding the suitability of particular gemstones in different metals and types of settings.

Physical and Psychological Requirements

Gemologists need excellent powers of observation; attention to details; precision; the ability to concentrate; ability to work on one's own; an objective approach and a great sense of responsibility.

Study / Training

The main objective of the courses in gemology is to impart the latest technical know-how with respect to gem cutting, sorting, grading, valuation and identification of gemstones. These courses, which are usually of short duration of three to eight months, provide up-to-date knowledge of scientific developments in the field to students who can become skilled artisans. To join such courses what is required is a pass in the Secondary School Examination.

Employment Prospects

In recent times the entry of branded jewelry has infused new impetus in the profession. And when it comes to gems and jewelry exports, India accounts for 70% (approx.) exports worldwide. There is also a demand for traditional gold        jewelry in the international market.

The Indian Gem & Jewelry industry is poised to enter the new millennium with great confidence. Indian gem cutters and craftsmen are held in high regard the world over. The opening up of the market will help India to acquire a sizeable share of the world market.

Job openings have shown an increase with entry of branded jewelry and increased interest in newer and westernized styles. Self-employed jewelry designers can carve a niche for themselves provided they could satisfy market needs and continue to be creative at the same time.

Within manufacturing, increasing automation will take some time to adversely affect employment of low-skilled occupations, such as assembler and polisher when replacement benefits and costs outweigh the productivity of manpower. Automation will have a lesser impact on more creative, highly skilled positions, such as mould and model maker.

The demand for jewelry is largely affected by the amount of disposable income people have. Therefore, the increasing number of affluent individuals, workingwomen, double-income households and fashion conscious men are expected to keep jewelry sales strong.

Related occupations could be of gem-cutters, hand engravers, and watchmakers and repairers.


Career Progression

Advancement opportunities are limited and greatly dependent on an individual's skill and initiative. Designers working for small concerns may acquire experience, gain prominence through success in competitions and move on to larger concerns. Jewelry designers can supply to bigger stores and move on to prominent companies. Some decide to work on their own line but this could take time. Because the jewelry business is highly competitive, jewelers who plan to open their own store should have experience in selling, as well as knowledge of marketing and business management.

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