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Appraising Diamond Jewelry - Is a Graduate Gemologist Qualified to Appraise Jewelry?

Aug 21, 2008
When purchasing diamond jewelry in a jewelry store, antique store, online or elsewhere, some people may simply accept that the gemstone is what it is supposed to be and not really question how it was appraised or who was responsible for the appraisal. Individuals in the jewelry business have various titles associated with the roles in which they play. For the role of appraiser, it is a good thing to ask what qualifies the individual to be an appraiser of diamond jewelry and is a graduate gemologist qualified to appraise jewelry of this type.

What Is a Graduate Gemologist?

The first step to answering the posed question is defining what a graduate gemologist is. A graduate gemologist is an individual who has earned a diploma which has presented them with the knowledge of grading and identifying gemstones. One who has received their education and awarded a diploma naming them a graduate gemologist has learned how to identify and grade gemstones.

There are a variety of schools and institutes which offer gemological training. And individuals who become graduate gemologists after attending the Gemological Institute of America sometimes go on to engage in careers such as jewelry store owner, diamond and gemstone buyers, auction house jewelry specialist, diamond manufacturer and even appraiser.

Does This Knowledge Make a Graduate Gemologist Qualified to Appraise Jewelry?

Even though some individuals who receive a graduate gemologist diploma go on to become appraisers, the public may still question whether the true qualifications are there. In other words, does this knowledge gained in their various gemology courses make them truly qualified to accurately and efficiently grade and put a value on diamonds? The answer to this question is mixed.

Some individuals in the jewelry business feel as if those with a graduate gemologist diploma do have the requisite knowledge to enable them to accurately appraise jewelry. However, others who have been in the jewelry business for many years feel that simply possessing a diploma of this type does not make an individual inherently capable of appraising jewelry.

Should Additional Training in Appraisal Theory and Methodology Be Necessary?

Some may wonder whether or not additional training in appraisal theory and methodology is necessary in addition to being a graduate gemologist. It is important to view both sides of the argument in order to present an answer to this question. Additional training may be a good idea as many diploma programs for becoming a gemologist are general in nature.

As individuals with this type of diploma enter many different occupations within the jewelry field, the range of knowledge gained by a graduate gemologist is large and brief. By obtaining more appraisal theory and methodology information through additional courses and training, the individual will be better prepared to appraise jewelry in an efficient manner.

On the other hand, those who go through the graduate gemologist course are taught the necessary things in order to make their appraisal pursuits highly possible. In their course study, graduate gemologists in training learn how to identify and grade diamonds and colored stones, but not to put a value on them or determine the overall worth of gems and jewelry in general. Therefore, some may feel as if this is more than enough knowledge gained by the graduate gemologist to make his appraisal endeavors quite successful.

In other words, the answer to the question of whether simply being a graduate gemologist provides enough knowledge for the individual doing the appraisal will ultimately be determined by the individual whom you ask.
About the Author
James Greene is a Graduate Gemologist and Master Gemologist Appraiser. James has been in the jewelry and appraisal business for over 25 years and specializes in Insurance and estate appraisals. http://www.diamondmarketwatch.com
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