Sarah Kitley-Spencer, IJL Marketing Manager, spends a day at Gem-A

Sarah Kitley-Spencer, IJL Marketing Manager, spends a day at Gem-A

I have worked on International Jewellery London since 2010 and I have a real passion for gemstones – which girl doesn’t! I’m always amazed at the dazzling stones I see within jewellery or loose at the show!

Gem-A, which began as a Gemmological Committee of the National Association of Goldsmiths, first introduced a gemmology qualification in 1908 in order to encourage jewellers to understand the gems they were selling and to identify the fakes. Now, with the variety of gemstones encountered on the market and the diversity of treatments, synthetics and imitations, an internationally recognised qualification in gemmology is essential for any professional jeweller or gem dealer.

I’ve always wanted to know more but never had the opportunity too. I was fortunate enough to be invited to a Gemmology Workshop hosted by the Gemmological Association of Great Britain a couple of weeks ago.  How I look at precious stones has changed forever.

The talented Gemmologist, Gem-A Head Tutor and International speaker Claire Mitchell took us through our paces and covered an outstanding amount of information in one day. What Claire doesn’t know about gemstones and gemmology isn’t worth knowing. Wow!

You can see why their  prestigious Gemmology and Diamonds Diplomas, taught around the world, are now globally recognized as qualifications of the highest status. Within the first ten minutes, I was hooked!

From the four c’s when grading diamonds to the diverse colours of rubies and sapphires we were treated to an exclusive day of gemmology. Armed with our own light and jewellers loupe we were tasked with grading diamonds. Starting with Clarity and Colour and looking at florescence too we were tasked to work our way through several diamonds and guess their official grade.

There were sighs in the room as we failed to guess the correct grading but shrieks of joy as practice made perfect and we started matching up our grading’s finally. Believe me – it’s quite addictive once you get started.

Before we knew it lunchtime had arrived – where we were treated to a feast of lunchtime bites and cake. The afternoon saw us learn more about the history of Gem-A, rubies, sapphires, aspects of light as well as a background in to the geology of gems, where they’re mined and ethics surrounding their extraction.

Whether a hobby or used to expand your knowledge to use within a workplace Gem-A offer an array of courses providing a flexible path for your education that best suits your location and your lifestyle. Whatever your choice, wherever you live, you can study gemmology with the world’s longest established provider of high-level gem qualifications.

Having spent a day with the team, I’m definitely hooked, thanks for having me Gem-A – I will be back!.

For further information on Gem-A, courses and history visit          IMG_0041

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