Great, Grand Gigs!

G is for… Gemologist!

Gemology seems to have roots here in San Diego, which is why I’ve chosen it for my G gig. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is headquartered in Carlsbad, just north of San Diego, and is the world’s foremost authority on diamonds, colored stones and pearls.

Hold It (photo credit: Brian Geltner)

The GIA was founded in 1931 as a correspondence school, offering students a way to learn more about gemstones and become certified jewelers. It has since grown into an accredited institution, certifying gemologists the world over.

The school is also home to a museum, which showcases various gems and semi-precious stones in jewelry, sculptures and artifacts. (If you followed my Chicago from A to Z posts last year, you may be interested in this museum, as it is similar to the Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art featured in my Q post.) Although it posts hours from Monday to Friday, 8 AM to 4 PM, the website also indicates that it’s only open to the public by appointment, so be sure to call or email in advance if you’d like to visit.

So what, exactly, do gemologists do? Most are jewelers, which means they sell jewelry to the public. They are all skilled enough to be able to tell you whether your ring is sporting a genuine diamond or a cubic zirconia – or just a piece of glass, for that matter! They can also perform tests that differentiate between one type of stone and another, when it’s difficult or impossible to tell just by looking at them. Gemologists can also be certified appraisers, who can also tell you what the market value of your stones is, which is particularly handy if you’re looking to sell them.

Gemologists may also work in museums or for auction houses, evaluating stones and jewelry for authenticity and appraising them for auction or insurance purposes.

In short, gemologists get to work with precious stones all day long – which is one very cool job indeed!

Further Reading

Related Films

Other Grand Jobs That Start With G

  • Glockenspiel Maker
  • Game Attendant
  • Guardian of the Galaxy (gotcha!)
  • Goldsmith

Want to learn about even more cool jobs?

Pre-order the book, World’s Coolest Jobs, a collection of all the coolest jobs you never knew existed. On sale September 1, 2017.