Acknowleging gemologists

HI all;

I’d like to take this opportunity to expose my lately broadened view
of gemologists. I began to think of all the thousands of different
stones I’ve seen in my life, and of all the new doctored and phony
stuff hitting the market every day. It’s easy to forget that what I
know about gems I’ve accumulated over decades. What I know about them
I’ve gleaned from gemologists, vendors, books, and those unfortunate
surprises during setting, re-tipping, etc. Guess I just expect anyone
with any certification of any sorts to be an expert right out of the
chute. It’s a somewhat natural mistake, considering how much
frustration we endure from all the “experts” out there who send us
down various merry paths. One has to think way back to the days when
one began to realize how much of one’s “expertise” is the result of
slogging over and through one’s own ignorance to arrive and what I’d
call a useful working knowledge. And I have a hard enough time
convincing my time is worth what I charge for it, even when they see
me at work. Now that must be a measure worse for a gemologist…
people, myself included at times, tend to think an educated opinion
is worth about as much as a casual one. And here on Orchid, we take
for granted all this knowledge that costs us virtually nothing.
Thanks for all of you who gave me input on my sapphire query. If we
didn’t have gemolgists, this industry would be a mess, and most of my
knowlege of gems has probably ultimately originated with a gemologist

David L. Huffman

What a generous response from David Huffman.

When I first did the FGA in London it was possible to give a
definitive opinion on almost every stone with simple hand tools like
a dichroscope and a 10x lens. Everybody taking the Fellowship was in
the trade and had a flow of stones through their hands every day -
so i was possible to look at a specimen and know without testing
what it it was (which led to our tutor purposely trying to mislead

Now, although I’ll give an opinion, my eye is fooled over and over
again so I test much more carefully often insisting that people send
material off to a lab. So many new stones, treatments, synthetics.
So many greedy people who really think they’ve bought a natural,
untreated, cornflower blue sapphire on eBay for $40.

Tony Konrath

Thank you very much for your kind words about Gemologists. The
real-ones are rare in the respect that there are those that ride
their coat-tails and make bad judgments that would give us a
head-ache. If your efforts are to be a good-honest Gemoligist or
Jeweller, your reward will come when you put a smile on your face
just before they close the lid.

Stephen Wyrick, CMBJ

Good topic, actually love this topic !

The FGA and FCGmA (Canadian course held in U.S. at CIJT) are real
quality programs and the use of the hand held instruments and the
study of theory and the details of the crystal systems gives a
gemologist an advantage.

The real problem today is that people do not subscribe to continuing
education, which, in any other profession, is deadly, can you imagine
any intelligent person depending on the they learned
years ago without adding to their knowledge.

Education, education, it is available all over, Tuscon,
professionals present, many times at no charge, JCK also, and then
there is the Midwest shows and the east coast shows. Always
for the asking,

In addition, we schools hold one week specialty classes such as
MasterValuer Jewelry Appraisal workshops with the likes of Richard
Drucker, John Koivula, Don Kay, all experts in several areas, they
present the new findings and new treatments and schemes and news and
all that you need. These classes are held approximately 4 or 5 times
per year, in U.S. and Canada, generally here, in Sacramento twice per
year, Chicago, Toronto, twice per year and Vancouver and Montreal.
Also, in Hong Kong, China, Korea and the UK has special organizations
that present continuing education, including Gem - A at an annual

The gem scientists or today are brilliant. Their study is not unlike
the renown medical and inventive scientists of days gone by.

In October there is a World of Gem Conference in Chicago, prior to
the World of Gems is a MasterValuer 3 day workshop, so there would be
a window of 5 days to study and renew your gem power.

Acknowledging gemologists ! ! ! ! my goodness. A gemologist is a
required participant in any identifying of gems, how much are some
gems valued at? thousands and hundreds of thousands, Big $ $ $ $ $
And if we make mistakes, it costs us Big $ $ $ $ $.

There should be a course in acknowledging gemologists 101, everyone
needs to get it ! ! It should be mandatory, do you realize how
unregulated we are in this industry.

So, dig in your wallets and take more classes. Go to conferences,
Stand tall and take your rightful spot in this industry. Get on the
band wagon for education in the industry and collect your dues for
keeping up to speed.

Go for it, Dee
California Institute of Jewelry Training