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Gem and Diamond Workers

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Fabricate, finish, or evaluate the quality of gems and diamonds used in jewelry or industrial tools.

    Work Activities
    • Examine gems during processing to ensure accuracy of angles and positions of cuts or bores, using magnifying glasses, loupes, or shadowgraphs.
    • Assign polish, symmetry, and clarity grades to stones, according to established grading systems.
    • Examine diamonds or gems to ascertain the shape, cut, and width of cut stones, or to select the cuts that will result in the biggest, best quality stones.
    • Estimate wholesale and retail value of gems, following pricing guides, market fluctuations, and other relevant economic factors.
    • Immerse stones in prescribed chemical solutions to determine specific gravities and key properties of gemstones or substitutes.
    • Hold stones, gems, dies, or styluses against rotating plates, wheels, saws, or slitters to cut, shape, slit, grind, or polish them.
    • Sort rough diamonds into categories based on shape, size, color, and quality.
    • Examine gem surfaces and internal structures, using polariscopes, refractometers, microscopes, and other optical instruments, to differentiate between stones, to identify rare specimens, or to detect flaws, defects, or peculiarities affecting gem values.
    • Identify and document stones' clarity characteristics, using plot diagrams.
    • Secure gems or diamonds in holders, chucks, dops, lapidary sticks, or blocks for cutting, polishing, grinding, drilling, or shaping.
    • Advise customers and others on the best use of gems to create attractive jewelry items.
    • Locate and mark drilling or cutting positions on stones or dies, using diamond chips and power hand tools.
    • Place stones in clamps on polishing machines and polish facets of stones, using felt-covered or canvas-covered polishing wheels and polishing compounds such as tripoli and rouge.
    • Lap girdles on rough diamonds, using diamond girdling lathes.
    • Measure sizes of stones' bore holes and cuts to ensure adherence to specifications, using precision measuring instruments.
    • Select shaping wheels for tasks, and mix and apply abrasives, bort, or polishing compounds.
    • Split gems along pre-marked lines to remove imperfections, using blades and jewelers' hammers.
    • Regulate the speed of revolutions and reciprocating actions of drilling mechanisms.
    • Replace, true, and sharpen blades, drills, and plates.
    • Secure stones in metal mountings, using solder.
    • Dismantle lapping, boring, cutting, polishing, and shaping equipment and machinery to clean and lubricate it.
    • Regrind drill points, and advance drill cutting points according to specifications for channel depths and shapes.
    Skills
    • Quality Control Analysis

      Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.

    • Active Listening

      Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

    • Speaking

      Talking to others to convey information effectively.

    WorkKeys®
    Applied Math
    4
    Workplace Documents
    4
    Graphic Literacy
    4
    Abilities
    • Near Vision

      The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

    • Finger Dexterity

      The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.

    • Arm-Hand Steadiness

      The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.

    Knowledge
    • Customer and Personal Service

      Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

    • Production and Processing

      Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

    • English Language

      Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

    Career Video
    Additional videos and more information available on CareerOneStop
    Pay
    • Ohio Annual Salary $34,000/yr
    • Typical Salary
    • Ohio Hourly Wage $16.35/hr
    • Typical Hourly Wage
    Ohio Employment Trends
    • Currently Employed 1,150
    • Yearly Projected Openings 110
    Typical Education
    Personality
    Realistic: People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They do well at jobs that need:
    • Integrity
    • Attention to Detail
    • Dependability
    • Persistence
    • Independence
    • Cooperation
    Tools
    • Tumblers or polishers
    • Power saws
    • Hammers
    • Grinding or polishing machines
    • Cutting machines
    Technology
    • Inventory management software
    • Data base user interface and query software
    • Computer aided design CAD software
    • Analytical or scientific software
    • Accounting software
    Tags
    • Apprenticeships are available for this occupation. These programs can help you get hands-on experience and build your skills.