Posted in: General
For those of us who don’t know, what is a Gemologist and what do they do?
Gemology is the study and science of natural and synthetic gemstones. I’m involved with the diamond side of the industry and on a day to day basis I grade and price diamonds.
How did you become a Gemologist and why did you become interested in being one?
I was a rock hound from a young age, often collecting fossils and minerals at our local beach and in rock shops across the country. This hobby naturally developed into a passion for diamonds and gemstones. I used gemology as a way to enter into the jewellery industry in 1982. I studied graduate gemology through the Gemological Institute of America in Los Angeles in 1983 – the first New Zealander to do so.
What makes you one of the most experienced Gemologists in New Zealand?
I guess with time comes experience. It’s my career as well as my hobby and this naturally creates great experience. If you are passionate about something, it’s easy!
What is the number one thing you look for when buying diamonds?
Having looked at thousands (maybe millions!) of diamonds over the years, I can look at a diamond and immediately decide if its suitable for the New Zealand market and whether I would invest my own money into it. It’s all about getting the best diamond for my client’s budget.
Out of the 4 C’s (colour, cut, clarity and carat weight) what is the most important in your opinion?
For me personally, it’s cut. The cut or make is what gives the diamond it’s look and what maximises the fire and brilliance by returning light. Low colour and clarity diamonds can face up really well when the diamond is cut well. Also with fancy shapes it is important I buy well made and well proportioned diamonds.
What excites you about the future of the diamond and jewellery industry in New Zealand?
We are very excited about the new technology that is available to help consumers make the right choice when buying diamonds such as diamond videos and images. This technology allows us to offer a wider range of qualities of diamonds that we wouldn’t be able to physically stock. I like that more and more people (particularly Millennials) are becoming interested in diamond education and their unique qualities before purchasing. The internet means there is so much more information available so you can really make an educated decision.