You’ve probably heard the word "gemologist.” Yet, what, exactly, is a gemologist and what do gemologists do? Simply put, a gemologist is someone who assesses and appraises gem stones. That sounds easy enough, right? Not quite.
According to the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, gemologists "analyze, describe, and certify the quality and characteristics of gem stones. After using microscopes, computerized tools, and other grading instruments to examine gem stones or finished pieces of jewelry, they write reports certifying that the items are of a particular quality.” 
In order to perform these detailed and technical tasks, many gemologists are trained through programs such as the Graduate Gemologist program at the Gemological Institute of America. Various local trade schools also offer training programs for gemologists. Through these programs, gemologists learn, among other things, to evaluate gem stones by the "4 C’s”: color, cut, clarity, and carat weight.
Our very own Lesa Catt, Owner of Gold Definitions, is a highly trained and skilled gemologist. Spending the majority of her time at a workbench with a magnifying glass, she uses different tools to carefully and patiently examine and evaluate gem stones. She uses various tools such as gauges, scales, tweezers, cleaners, testers, and lamps to aid in her work of assessing and appraising gem stones. Lesa, like many gemologists, also works hard to stay informed on industry trends, paying attention to the different factors that influence gem stone pricing in a given year.
Because of their training and skills, gemologists are extremely valuable to have as one’s personal jeweler. For example, let’s say that you inherit a gem stone from a loved one. While you might know what kind of gem stone it is, you likely won’t have any clue as to its condition or value. That’s where a gemologist comes in. After taking your gem stone to be assessed and appraised by a gemologist, you’ll know much more about all of its important characteristics. When it comes to gem stones, turning to the expert opinion of a gemologist is a wise choice.