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Gem and Diamond Workers
SOC Code: 51-9071.06

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

Sample of reported job titles: Diamond Cutter, Diamond Grader, Diamond Picker, Diamond Polisher, Diamond Sawer, Diamond Setter, Facetor, Gemologist, Lapidarist, Quality Control Specialist

Tasks

  • 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.
  • Estimate wholesale and retail value of gems, following pricing guides, market fluctuations, and other relevant economic factors.
  • 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.
  • Advise customers and others on the best use of gems to create attractive jewelry items.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Secure gems or diamonds in holders, chucks, dops, lapidary sticks, or blocks for cutting, polishing, grinding, drilling, or shaping.
  • 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.

Technology Skills

  • Accounting software - Business accounting software
  • Analytical or scientific software - Spectrophotometer analysis software
  • Computer aided design CAD software - GemCad; Jewelry design software
  • Data base user interface and query software - Gem identification databases
  • Internet browser software - Web browser software
  • Inventory management software - Inventory tracking software

Tools Used

  • Angle grinder - Angle grinders
  • Arbors
  • Automatic lathe or chucking machine - Diamond girding lathes
  • Belt sander - Belt sanders
  • Bench refractometers or polarimeters - Bench refractometers
  • Bench vises - Mini bench vises
  • Blow torch - Piezo microtorches
  • Calipers - Digital calipers
  • Conductivity meters - Thermal conductivity testers
  • Cross and straight pein hammer - Cross peen hammers
  • Cutting machines - Cutting laps; Optically magnified facet machines
  • Digital cameras - Digital still cameras
  • Drill vise - Bead drilling vises
  • Engraving machines - Laser engraving tools
  • Faceting laps - Lapidary units; Vibrating laps
  • Faceting machines
  • General tool kits - Jewelers kits
  • Grinders
  • Grinding machines - Sphere machines
  • Grinding or polishing machines - Diamond grinders; Glass bevelers; Glass polishers; Polishing laps
  • Hammers - Chipping hammers; Crack hammers; Jewelers' hammers
  • Hand clamps - Mini hand clamps
  • Hydrometers - Specific gravity liquid sets
  • Jewelry mandrels - Jewelers' mandrels
  • Laboratory balances - Digital balances
  • Loupes - Jewelers' loupes
  • Magnifiers - Handheld magnifiers
  • Mechanical or ultrasonic metal cleaner - Ultrasonic cleaners
  • Micrometers - Digital micrometers
  • Monocular microscopes - Inspection microscopes
  • Picks - Rock picks
  • Polariscopes - Digital polariscopes
  • Power buffers - Polishing wheels
  • Power drills - Gem drills; Mini drills
  • Power saws - Glass cutting saws; Lapidary slitters; Revolving saws; Trim saws
  • Precision file - Precision file sets
  • Pressure or steam cleaners - Steam cleaners
  • Rulers - Precision rulers
  • Saws - Diamond saws; Ring saws
  • Spectrophotometers
  • Tape measures - Precision tape measures
  • Tumblers or polishers - Stone polishers; Vibratory tumblers
  • Ultraviolet UV lamps - Ultraviolet UV lights

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.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Sales and Marketing - Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

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.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

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.
  • Visual Color Discrimination - The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Control Precision - The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Flexibility of Closure - The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Manual Dexterity - The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Visualization - The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.

Interests

  • Interest code: RI
    • 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.
    • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Work Context

  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled - 93% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 88% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 84% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others - 87% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Spend Time Sitting - 87% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Telephone - 91% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls - 87% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks - 76% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Letters and Memos - 79% responded “Every day.”
  • Deal With External Customers - 80% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results
  • Work With Work Group or Team
  • Duration of Typical Work Week - 18% responded “40 hours.”
  • Electronic Mail - 14% responded “Never.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 13% responded “Important.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants - 18% responded “Never.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions - 11% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Time Pressure - 13% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 15% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 15% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions - 23% responded “Never.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable - 12% responded “Every day.”

Education

Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
58%High school diploma or equivalent
19%Bachelor's degree
15%Post-secondary certificate

Work Styles

  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

Work Values

  • Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Independence - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
  • Working Conditions - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $18.25 hourly, $37,960 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 38,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Decline (-2% or lower)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 3,500

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