How do you become a diamond grader?

Have you ever wondered about how you actually became a diamond grader or a diamond expert?

My road to becoming a diamond expert went through Hong Kong, London and Antwerp.

I have studied at GIA, the Gemological Institut of America both in Hong Kong and in London, and I started studying all the basics about diamonds, how they are formed, where they are found, everything about their chemical composition and so forth. I absolutely earned everything about diamonds.

And then I had an exam on diamond theory. 

Later on, I had lots of lab classes to get to see as many diamonds as possible.

We were 4 in my class, and every morning we were given some diamonds, which we had to examine and classify using the 4 C’s.

  • Carat
  • Clarity
  • Colour
  • Cut.

I spent 3 weeks in lab classes and saw a ton of diamonds.

In the beginning, it is super difficult to get a grip on the diamonds, we have to hold them between tweezers, and they just jumped everywhere. Every time a diamond was lost, we were not allowed to leave the room until the diamond was found. I have to tell you that diamonds can jump far and hide in all places.

We were told not to wear wool or cashmere sweaters, as diamonds could get stuck there, and no open bags were allowed.

Large diamond

White offices

Another fun rule was not to wear anything colourful, as diamonds are so reflective that they will take colour after what you wear. Especially if you are not very experienced. That is also the reason why all diamond offices are white, white, white, and we prefer to examine loose diamonds, as they will take colour after the colour of gold, they are set in.

Several diamonds

After my lab classes, I had an exam and was a certified diamond grader, the exam consisted of 10 diamonds that I had to grade exactly the same way as 3 experienced diamond graders from GIA had graded them before.

But, to classify diamonds and be sure what you see in your loupe takes lots of experience.

Therefore I have been in the diamond district in Antwerpen for years and years, seeing as many diamonds as possible. I will examine every diamond I see and discuss it with the owner.

The diamond business is a wonderful area to work in for years and years, as all experience adds up to your qualifications.

I have been working with diamonds for 17 years now.

And I can still feel that I get better and better.

Ps. after finishing my diamond grading exam, I continued my studies and studied Colored Stones, Gemstone Identification and all about pearls, and finished as a Graduate Gemologist.

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