If you possess a strong interest in science and attention to detail, there may be suitable career opportunities for you within a laboratory or quality assurance role. Specifically, you could consider working as a grader in a laboratory or as a quality assurance technician for a wholesaler or manufacturer.

As a grader, you would be responsible for identifying and conducting quality analyses on diamonds and colored gemstones, ensuring they meet the required quality standards.

The role of a quality assurance technician often requires professionals to review and trouble shoot quality and technical issues by performing minute observations of jewelry and gemstones; identifying manufacturing defects and suggesting improvements designed to enhance product quality.

Both roles require exceptional attention to detail and commitment to providing quality analyses and reports.

On the Job

Most graders and quality assurance technicians report that their analytical and decision-making skills are put to extensive use. Grading involves evaluating a gem’s overall appearance and describing it accurately. Identification requires the grader to perform a series of tests on a gem so that its identity – as a ruby, for example – can be confirmed. Quality assurance technicians decide whether a given piece of jewelry lives up to a given standard of workmanship.

Working as a laboratory grader and quality assurance technician, challenges and satisfaction often go together. Developing and maintaining an elevated level of expertise and knowledge is critical for most laboratory professionals and the reward for your efforts is the success of your department and the respect of your peers. People who work in laboratories and quality assurance enjoy the opportunity to investigate gems and jewelry using advanced examination techniques with scientific tools and devices. In fact, for many, the challenge becomes whether to trade the hands-on laboratory work for management opportunities and career advancement.

Growing in the Industry

Laboratory jobs can lead to supervisory or management positions in larger labs or to positions involving training, customer service management, or even research (for graders with degrees in scientific fields). Graders and quality assurance technicians can get the training they need to become appraisers, work for diamond dealers, colored stones, or pearl houses, or even transition into buying or inventory management for a manufacturer or larger retailer.

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Jewelers of America

In 1906, Jewelers of America was founded by jewelers for jewelers, with a desire to advance the professionalism and ethics of the jewelry industry.

Today, we continue that mission and Jewelers of America Members stand as the most trustworthy, informed and professional jewelry businesses within the United States.