Gems are an important part of Indian culture. Since time immemorial, Indians have coveted both precious and semi-precious stones like diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, rubies and the like for their astrological significance. The splendour, durability and material value of gemstones has always surprised people and has remained a cause of interest for centuries.
However, the art of finding gemstones, grading and evaluating them and processing them for the end user has changed radically. Designs and fashions of jewellery and ornaments undergo a constant change.
What it is about: Gemmology is the science, art and profession of identifying and evaluating gemstones. Gemmologists are taught to classify natural gemstones and check for damage to these stones. In India, this industry is emerging as an important source of employment and has lot of potential for growth.
What do they do: Gemmologists are responsible for conducting a variety of tasks associated with gems. Major tasks include gem assorting and grading, gem evaluation, testing and dealing with rough stones. Other important roles include gem cutting and polishing, providing gemstone consultancy, treatment of raw gem stones and manufacture of artificial gems.
Courses: Several certificate and diploma courses are offered in different areas of gemmology. Bachelors of Fine Arts in Jewellery design; certificate course in coloured gemstone cutting and polishing; certificate course in coloured gemstone identification; certificate course in cut design and analysis; certificate course in grading, cutting, bruiting and polishing; certificate course in hard shape grooving; certificate course in international system of diamond grading; certificate course in jewellery design and machine cast jewellery; certificate course in planning and marketing; diamond grading certificate course; diploma in coloured gemstone cutting and polishing; diploma in diamond processing; diploma in diamond trade management; diploma in gemmology; gem identification certificate course; master’s degree of fine arts in jewellery design; pearl grading, polished diamond grading course and post graduate diploma in diamond technology.
Eligibility: Candidates who have qualified 10+2 or equivalent/higher secondary/senior secondary or equivalent examination from a recognised educational institution can apply for a gemmology degree, diploma or certificate courses. The minimum age requirement is 18 years of age and there is no maximum age limit. Research qualifications in the field are degrees in geology, chemistry or physics. To pursue masters, one must be a graduate in the respective field.
Institutes: Arch Gemmology and Jewellery Institute, Jaipur; Dharmambal Government Polytechnic College for Women, Chennai; Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council, Jaipur; Gemmological Institute of India (GII), Mumbai; Gemstones Artisans Training School, Jaipur; Indian Diamond Institute, Surat; Indian Gemmological Institute (IGI), New Delhi; Indian Institute of Gemmology, New Delhi; Indian Institute of Gems and Jewellery (IIGJ), Mumbai; International Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi; Jewellery Design and Technology Institute (JDTI), Noida; National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad; National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT); St Xavier’s College, Mumbai; The Indian Diamond Institute, Gem and Jewellery EPC, Jaipur; The Jasami Department of Jewellery Design and Manufacture, SNDT University Campus, Mumbai and Vakall’s Academy of Jewellery Design, Mumbai.
Career prospects: Designing, manufacturing, management, research, academic training and professional value analysis are some of the major fields to look for jobs as a gemmologist. An aspirant can also find opportunities in the mining industry, jewellery making and designing units, jewellery shops and showrooms, gem exporting organisations, manufacturers producing gemmological instruments and gem cutting and polishing tools, units specialising in cutting and polishing gemstones, top notch goldsmiths, gem evaluation and testing laboratories, gemstone and precious metal grading and quality certifying agencies, industries manufacturing synthetic or artificial gems and antique and art auction houses.
Costing: A six-day short-term course at the Gemmological Institute of India (GII), Mumbai costs around `25,000. The three and a half month (regular) diploma in gemmology costs close to `72,000. The Indian chapter of the Gemmological Institute of America (GIA) offers the following courses in gemmology: A seven-week graduate diamond diploma costs `2,13,000; 19-week graduate colour stones diploma is `3,78,000; 26-week graduate gemmologist diploma costs `5,71,000 and a nine-week jewellery design certificate is approximately `1,70,000.
Salary: Gemmology and jewellery designing is a profession with great scope. One can get paid extremely well once one’s designs and ideas are appreciated. As a gemmologist, one’s pay scale will largely be governed by one’s qualification in the field and status of one’s employer. A basic course in gemmology can fetch one a salary ranging between `10,000 and `18,000 a month. On the other hand, a higher qualification can help one command `25,000 to `30,000 package.
Skills required: One must have adequate information on the latest trends and technologies in this business. Good communication skills and knowledge of gems in respect of their astrological importance is a must. Keen eyesight, creativity, imagination, aesthetic sense and a sense of colour combination are also necessary. One should be able to spot minute changes in the constitution of different gems and stones. Excellent power of observation, good hand-eye coordination, attention to details and ability to concentrate tremendously are essential traits.
It is a fact that Indian gem cutters and craftsmen are respected and held in high regard all over the world. With the entry of branded gems and jewellery as well as the increased interest in newer designs and westernised styles, job opportunities have increased manifold. If jewellery and other adornments have caught your fancy time and again, then why not make a dazzling career in the field. The right spark and glimmer of gems can take your career graph to new heights.
Sparkle in your career