What is gemology and why is it important to consult with a genuine gemologist?



Jeremy Pinn, owner of Pinns Jewellers situated in Cape Town, is one of less than 20 qualified Gemologists in South Africa. Gemology is the science of dealing with natural and artificial gems and gemstones. It is considered a geoscience and a branch of mineralogy. Some jewellers, such as Jeremy Pinn, are academically trained, and are qualified to identify and evaluate gems.

Gemologists value stones based on a number of factors, including cut, colour, quality and clarity. They study the external structure, the host rock and mineral association, as well as natural and polished colour. Initially, the stone is identified by its colour, refractive index, optical character, specific gravity, and examination of internal characteristics under magnification.

“All of the equipment used to determine the diamond’s best overall end product needs to be done by a professional of high qualification, and if not done correctly, could destroy the value of the gem completely,” says Jeremy.

Non-formally trained gemologists do not compare, as skills that are learnt at a tertiary institute are of highest importance and very necessary in order for them to succeed in this line of work. Being such a rare form of study, it creates even more of an appeal to the consumer. A visit to a gemmologist is definitely an educational and enlightening experience to the client.

Jeremy studied in the USA, at the accredited and renowned Gemological Institute of America (GIA), which is a non-profit institute dedicated to research and education in the field of gemmology and the jewellery arts. Founded in 1931, GIA's mission is to protect all buyers and sellers of gemstones by setting and maintaining the standards used to evaluate gemstone quality. The institute does thorough research in gem identification and diamond grading services and a variety of educational programs. Through its world-renowned library and subject experts, GIA acts as a resource of gem and jewellery information for the trade, the public and worldwide media outlets. Jeremy focused his studies on specialising in engagement rings and jewellery pieces designed with tourists in mind.

As Jeremy’s family has been in the jewellery business for the past 119 years, his talent and passion for jewellery is superior to most competition, specifically within the engagement ring field. His qualification and family-taught skills – which have been passed down the generations – differentiates him as an exceptionally well-educated and experienced gemmologist.