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Details for Gem and Diamond Workers


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


  • Identify and document stones' clarity characteristics, using plot diagrams.
  • Lap girdles on rough diamonds, using diamond girdling lathes.
  • Regrind drill points, and advance drill cutting points according to specifications for channel depths and shapes.
  • Secure gems or diamonds in holders, chucks, dops, lapidary sticks, or blocks for cutting, polishing, grinding, drilling, or shaping.
  • Split gems along pre-marked lines in order to remove imperfections, using blades and jewelers' hammers.
  • Immerse stones in prescribed chemical solutions to determine specific gravities and key properties of gemstones or substitutes.
  • Lap inner walls of channels, using machines that revolve stones and rotate wires or needles in channels.
  • Assign polish, symmetry, and clarity grades to stones, according to established grading systems.
  • Measure sizes of stones' bore holes and cuts to ensure adherence to specifications, using precision measuring instruments.
  • Regulate the speed of revolutions and reciprocating actions of drilling mechanisms.
  • Replace, true, and sharpen blades, drills, and plates.
  • Select shaping wheels for tasks, and mix and apply abrasives, bort, or polishing compounds.
  • Sort rough diamonds into categories based on shape, size, color, and quality.
  • 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.
  • Bore, lap, and polish holes in industrial diamonds used for dies, using drills, lathes, lapping machines, and hand tools.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Examine gems during processing to ensure accuracy of angles and positions of cuts or bores, using magnifying glasses, loupes, or shadowgraphs.
  • Grind, drill, and finish jewel bearings for use in precision instruments such as compasses and chronometers.
  • Hold stones, gems, dies, or styluses against rotating plates, wheels, saws, or slitters in order to cut, shape, slit, grind, or polish them.
  • Test accuracy of die holes by pulling specified lengths of wire through dies and measuring their resistance, or by taking a series of readings along the lengths of wires, using electronic micrometers.
  • Locate and mark drilling or cutting positions on stones or dies, using diamond chips and power hand tools.
  • Secure stones in metal mountings, using solder.
  • Advise customers and others on the best use of gems to create attractive jewelry items.
  • Dismantle lapping, boring, cutting, polishing, and shaping equipment and machinery in order to clean and lubricate it.
  • Estimate wholesale and retail value of gems, following pricing guides, market fluctuations, and other relevant economic factors.


  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.


  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.


  • Quality Control Analysis - Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.

Related Careers

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  • Jewelers
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  • Prepress Technicians and Workers
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  • Solderers and Brazers
  • Watch Repairers
Wages for this career
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