In whatever field you are undertaking, I believed that it is very important to learn the fundamentals. Even for that matter that you are only an amateur venturing in a new field, it is always learning the basics well that will give you a strong footing and foundation in your future endeavors.
Yes, understand the fundamentals and nothing will be too hard or too complex for you later. Believe me, this is not a 2 nickels worth of advice, it maybe worth a lot to you later when you happen to stumble upon some circumstances (eg, when you are in the gem market buying some rough gems in a far off gem mines) where you need to decide at that moment whether to buy or not to buy, to believe or not to believe or to leave it and go home.
Perhaps if you buy that rough gemstone you may be landed with a big diamond in the rough or an uncut top grade Imperial Jade or a Mogok ruby in matrix and re-sell it later for a handsome profit. Or maybe you might discover later that what you buy is a lemon. For in the mines, you only have a loupe on hand, your instinct and your common sense to guide you. Big risks involved if the stone is pricey, but when you are armed with some fundamentals it is less likely that you take home a lemon.
My first post is “How To Use a Jewelry Loupe”. Nah..putting up this post is like teaching your grandmother how to suck eggs. Plain and simple and any Tom Dick Harry and his dog will know how to handle a loupe when given one.
Mind you, I beg to differ. The first lesson which would-be gemologists learned at the Great Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in New York City where I did my Graduate Gemologist was how to use a loupe.
And these instructors had the unbounded patience and passion to teach you a thing or two about gemology. The time spent was not disproportionate to the lesson learned. It was ingrained in us, like a hot iron rod being seared indelibly into our very learning center of our brain, we acquired the skill of using a loupe like a diamond pro.
Now if you trawl the net there are perhaps many articles teaching you how to use a loupe. Some may ask you to use one eye(most will teach you to open the other ‘dead’ eye) some may explain about aplanatic and chromatic aberration or some may just get into very detailed part of the handling of a loupe. Well that is good then. But I still have to write it up to form part of the initial gemology 101.
And when you are on a buying mission at a Gems Fair then you must use the loupe like a pro. The sellers are all interested in B to B business and if you are a newbie or one retail customer who cannot even handle a loupe properly, chances are the seller may not spend too much time with you, fearing that you are just browsing with no serious intention of buying in bulk.
However, at times one does not need to show one’s skill at handling a loupe, especially when you are buying from a retail mall. Just let the seller takes you as a retail customer and see where the price of his merchandizes fall. Then you know whether the seller is marking up his goods too high for comfort.
So remember, don’t take the fundamentals for granted. If you have not handled a loupe properly in the past then unlearn it. And re-learn the skills again. Surely this will go a long way for you.
I will be writing a number of Gemology 101 posts as fundamentals just to give the uninitiated some background while to a professional it may be boring stuff.
And as I go along I will introduce more serious stuff.
Be prepared that this is not a structured one to lead you on the ABC of learning gemology in that order. But there is always a common thread to tie them in under the Archives.
News & Events of The Jewelry & Gemstones Industry
I plucked out some interesting news from Reuters and other wire services that might interest you and is not reported in your local tabloids. It may be interesting to know why Bulgari, the famous high-end Italian Jeweler House, engaged Juliane Moore for their celebrity ad and Bulgari is diversifying into luxurious hand-bags. Or what is the latest plaything of the filthy rich and famous when they buy a small blue diamond of slightly more than a gram (if in carat number seems bigger) for a couple of million bucks from an auction house. But believe me, these buyers know value when they see one and they are buying the potential investment value of the stone. One or two years later they might make a handsome profit when they re-sell it through these international auction houses.
Other topics may be interest to you though….
Or you tell me what you want to know about the diamond, jade, gemstones, jewelry industry and I can write about it.
A Arthur Lau