In the movie “Titanic,” the story revolves around a piece of jewelry. The jewelry in question had a dark blue tinge which could be naturally mistaken for a sapphire but was actually a diamond. Although this is just a movie, diamonds that are colored blue do exist in real life and are considered rare stones. This is where Gemologists become very important. Let’s say somebody found a blue colored stone, thinking it was a sapphire, sold it in the black market to cash it in quickly. However, if he could have waited a bit and went to a Gemologist first before selling the stone, he might have gotten a diamond’s price for it. Another thing about prices of gemstones is that different origins fetch different prices even though they are of the same type of stone. This is because there are no exactly the same stone if Gemologists were to argue. The reason of Gemologists is that every stone would have a unique specific gravity, hardness, crystal structure and refractive index. By doing spectroscopic analysis, the origin of a particular gemstone can easily be determined by Gemologists. Origin of the gem matters because prices would depend as certain characteristics of gems are preferred over gems from other places. This is because some places produces less flaws when examined with a microscope or some gems from a particular place exhibit more luster than from other places. For example, a diamond from South Africa is priced higher than a diamond mined from Russia because diamonds from South Africa tend to have less bubbles.
Perhaps, the most important duty of a Gemologist is the ability to detect real from fakes. By employing techniques like looking at a stone’s fluid inclusions or if the stone has traces of heat treatment, the Gemologist could easily pass judgment if indeed the stone in question is real or not. Perhaps, some Gemologists who have been in the business very long can even tell a gem’s value just by looking at it.
Opportunities for Gemologists have increased greatly as synthetic gems such as synthetic moissanite and cubic zirconia are increasingly looking very much like diamonds. Imagine the headlines should Tiffany & Co. gets duped by unscrupulous diamond traders selling them fake diamonds and in turn selling to customers. For sure their reputation would tarnish and nobody would buy from their store anymore. Jewelry makers only defense is to hire Gemologists as no genuine Gemologists would be fooled by synthetic gems.
Those setting their eyes in having Gemologist for a career should look for a good school offering courses in gemology. This course is a bit expensive as enrollees may need to pay for the gems they would be studying.