What Does Gemology Mean?

Written by: Annie Murray

Gemology is the study of gemstone materials.  It is a specialty science that requires great expertise and care for these precious rocks. Gemologists specialize in caring for these materials and analyzing them carefully, often with the help of specific equipment built for the task of examining fine details in gemstones.

what does a gemologist do

How Are Gems Identified?

The process of identifying a gem is done through a sequence of events, performed by the gemologist. This series of events includes identifying through refractive index, spectroscopy, inclusions and specific gravity.

These scientific research methods allow the light and density to be evaluated through the gem, displaying its type and beauty. Once this is done, a value can be attributed to the stone itself.  The study of gemology is, naturally, found throughout the world, but moreso where concentrations of gems can be found.  Your average individual may not be familiar with these locations as such, but gemologists and even those who are more familiar with various gems have a better sense of where the action is.

There are schools, laboratories, and institutes that specialize in identifying gems.  Applying to be a gemologist can be found on www.gia.edu to become inclined in the research and gemstone market.  There are a multitude of gemstones in existence, and here are just some of them.

what does gemology mean

What Are The Different Types Of Gemstones?

Yes, there are many types of gems, which entail different meanings and backgrounds. The birthstones you may have heard of like “emerald” for being born in the month of May, all have a history in the chosen in a special way. Common gemstones include amethyst, aquamarine, garnet, jade, pearls and diamonds.

vintage emerald ring

Girl’s Best Friend

Commonly used for wedding rings, diamonds come in many shapes and sizes. Diamonds can be fake, and there are many ways of testing and identifying the real from the counterfeit diamonds. Self tests you can do on a diamond include the “fog test” it includes the owner blowing on the diamond and seeing if the fog stays or disperses, if it disperses then you know it’s a real diamond. This technique works best on a clean diamond.

0.63 Carat Twisting Infinity Gold and Diamond Split Shank Pave Set Radiant Cut Diamond Engagement Ring (G Color SI1 Clarity)


Issues with artificial diamonds goes on to create a problem in the buyer-seller market, due to the lack of knowledge by some customers. Most of the materials that make up a gem are organic products.

Although the natural elements and organic components make up some gems, the synthetic crystals are also popular and available to buy at a lower price. Each gemstone has natural beauty and specific treatments to enhance this beauty. The value of the gems is decided by the appraisal.

Components like replacement value, insurance value, retail value, wholesale value, or liquidation value are all included in appraising the gems. Gemologists aren’t meant to appraise a gem, rather to study their material and understand their unique components.


Unlike most gemstones, blue sapphires and most other blue stones look lovely in fluorescent lighting. Some gems appear different in shops because of the lighting, this can make them appear more expensive, or luxurious when they are really a counterfeit gem.

The appearance of the gem does not include the gem hardness. The hardness of the gem is determined on a scale to discover how tough the gem is. Diamond is the hardest substance on the scale of absolute hardness; this contributes to its beauty and luster.

To conclude, gemology is a scientific research field that is growing and making it big in the industry. Skilled gemologists are highly trained and sought after to analyze the true and organic materials in gem. Gemology is a gift to society to prove what great materials the earth has provided for us.

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