Gemology is the science of studying, cutting, and valuing precious stones, but the essence of gemology is in identifying the gemstones. One who works in the field of gemology is called a gemologist, and jewelers and goldsmiths also may be gemologists.
Some collectors and investors may be interested only in gems' monetary value, but to distinguish one gemstone from another, they will need to seek out a gemologist. Gemologists examine gemstones—both discovered raw and synthesized in the laboratory—using microscopes, computerized tools, and other grading instruments.
At its heart, gemology is about identifying gems. Gemologists identify a gemstone by its specific characteristics and properties, such as cut, color, quality, and clarity. Some rubies and garnets, for example, are impossible to distinguish by their appearance, but their underlying physical properties differ considerably. Many people are familiar with a group of criteria that is used in gemology to identify diamonds—the 4Cs of color, clarity, cut, and carat.
In addition to gemologists, the field of gemology contains numerous other professionals, including appraisers, jewelers, lapidaries, metalworkers, and scientists.
Gemologists may become certified as professional appraisers, whose expertise is useful in many other industries, including jewelry sales and investing. Jewelers need to understand gemology to answer their customers’ questions and identify any gems brought to them. Goldsmiths and other metalworkers need specific knowledge about the physical characteristics of gems to create appropriate settings. For example, a setting that would be ideal for a diamond could damage an opal, and the amount of pressure used to set the prongs on a garnet could break a stone of tanzanite.
Lapidaries, or gem cutters, also need special knowledge, as appropriate cutting and polishing techniques vary from gem to gem. What would work well for one gemstone would be a waste of time or even disastrous for another gem. Scientists with degrees in geology, chemistry, and even physics make up the smallest group of gemologists, although they are very influential. Scientists add to gemology's knowledge base by developing new testing techniques and researching new gemstones.
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|Ruling Planet||Sign Ruled||Primary Gem||Secondary Gem|
|3rd Choice||4th Choice|
|Moon||Cancer||Natural Pearl||Tissue Nucleated Pearl||South Sea Pearl||Moonstone|
|Mars||Aries, Scorpio||Red Coral||Carnelian||-||-|
|Mercury||Gemini, Virgo||Emerald||Green Tourmaline||Peridot||-|
|Jupiter||Sagittarius, Pisces||Yellow Sapphire||Yellow Topaz||Citrine||-|
|Venus||Taurus, Libra||Diamond||White Sapphire||Phenakite||White Zircon|
|Saturn||Capricorn, Aquarius||Blue Sapphire||Blue Spinel||Amethyst||-|
|Ketu||-||Chrysoberyl Cat's Eye||-||-||-|