What it Takes to be a Graduate Gemologist

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Gemologist certificates

Unless you’ve spent some time working with fine jewelry, you probably aren’t familiar with industry titles like graduate gemologist or graduate jeweler. Like any field, titles such as these tell you about a professional’s level of training and his or her area of expertise. At Jeff Johnson & Co., we have several graduate gemologists on our staff. Here’s a closer look at what that means for you, the customer.

What is a Graduate Gemologist?

Simply put, a graduate gemologist is someone who has earned a diploma in gemology. A number of schools teach gemology, and graduates earn different titles based on the school they attend, including the Gemological Institute of America (Graduate Gemologist), the American Gem Society (Certified Gemologist), and the International School of Gemology (Registered Gemologist).

These titles imply a high level of expertise and extensive study in a variety of fields. For example, a Graduate Gemologist (or GG) from the GIA will have completed and passed three labs and five course studies, along with a final examination, to earn his or her title. This education covers:

  • Diamonds and diamond grading
  • Colored stones and colored stones grading
  • Gem identification
  • Equipment and instrumentation
  • Treatments, synthetics and imitations
  • Markets and supply chains

How Gemologists Differ From Jewelers

With this level of education, a GG is able to use the latest equipment to identify and grade literally hundreds of different gemstones. This person is also well versed in the physical properties of these stones, from their formation, to their harvest, cut and final sale.

It’s important to note that a gemologist isn’t necessarily a jeweler—although some are. And while a gemologist is primarily concerned with the identification, grading and often the appraising of gemstones, someone with a Graduate Jeweler (GJ) diploma from the GIA is focused on designing and crafting jewelry. Sometimes referred to as a bench jeweler or a stone setter, a GJ is skilled in the following areas:

  • Crafting and repairing jewelry
  • Setting a variety of stones in different setting configurations and working with gold, platinum and other precious metals
  • Performing a variety of tasks, from resizing and refinishing jewelry to alterations and repairs
  • Applying textured and polished finishes to metals
  • Using fabrication, forging and laser welding techniques

While each discipline requires a high level of skill, knowledge and training, each one also has its own focus and areas of interest. At Jeff Johnson & Co., we’re pleased to have a variety of professionals on our team.

Jeff Johnson & Co. is a full-service jeweler located in Upper Arlington, Ohio. We specialize in custom engagement rings, keepsakes for significant moments, and giving new life to family heirlooms. Our gemologists are trained by the Gemological Institute of America, and they work closely with each customer to ensure that we meet your vision and beyond. Stop by our showroom at 5025 Arlington Centre Blvd. (off Henderson Road), call 614-459-8890, or visit jjandcompany.com. You can also follow us on Facebook at Jeff Johnson & Co.