Professional Jeweler Archive: Learning About Diamonds

September 2001

For Your Staff/Diamond Education


Learning About Diamonds

Our reviewer takes a new Diamontology course – see if it's right for you


The Diamond Council of America’s “Diamontology” course offers a first step for sales associates not quite ready for more academic gemological training. It has three distinct sections.

  • Need to Know – Lessons 2-8 provide fundamental product knowledge used in most diamond sales presentations.
  • Nice to Know – Lessons 9-14 include background information to increase confidence and answers to questions more knowledgeable or experienced customers may ask. This section will help the salesperson enhance the information presented to a customer.
  • Professional Applications – Lessons 15-21 detail guidelines for successful selling and functioning as a member of your store’s professional team. This section is pertinent to jewelry store professionalism and effective diamond presentation.

Self-Tests

Each student takes a series of self-tests at the end of most lessons and then completes four questionnaires that must be submitted to DCA for grading. The questionnaires follow Lessons 2, 8, 14 and 21. A final review revisits the highlights of the course.
DCA has two types of exams: The first is a proctored final of 100 questions; the second is open-book and consists of 150 questions. Stores or individuals may choose the method of testing.

Lesson Plan

1. The First Step: Discussing diamond retailing today, includes an overview of the 4Cs and the FTC Guidelines. This lesson gives a look ahead at the course, tips for study success and a recap of key points.

2. Carat Weight: Explaining how to use weight terms appropriately for customers or professionals, how carefully and precisely diamonds are weighed, why diamond prices vary with size and ethical guidelines for presenting carat weight.

3. Clarity: Defining clarity in easily understood terms, describing your store’s instruments and methods for grading clarity, interpreting diamond clarity grades for customers and explaining clarity’s effect on cost and appearance.

4. Color: Explaining the causes and classifications of diamond color, describing how diamond professionals judge color, interpreting diamond color grades for customers, demonstrating color of diamonds in the normal market range and presenting color’s relationship to value in understandable terms.

5. Cut, Shape and Style: Defining the optical qualities of a diamond’s beauty, describing diamond cuts in understandable terms, distinguishing the different shapes and styles for customers and explaining how shape and style relate to value.

6. Cut Quality: Detailing how cut affects beauty and value, describing professional methods and criteria for evaluating cut and presenting cutting quality to customers.

7. Diamonds: Showing diamond jewelry for various occasions, describing the types and styles of diamond jewelry and explaining the quality of – and materials used – in diamond jewelry.

8. Treatments, Synthetics and Simulants: Defining and describing diamond treatments and their effects, answering questions about synthetic diamonds and simulants, following ethical guidelines for representation and disclosure, and explaining how processes and products can be identified.

9. Formation and Properties: Learning how diamonds form, learning their chemical and crystal nature and using their origin to present the 4Cs to your customer.

10. Deposits and Sources: Explaining how diamonds rise to the surface from deep in the earth, describing the deposits in which diamonds are found and naming today’s leading diamond producers.

11. Discovery and Mining: Discovering and developing deposits of diamonds, describing mining and recovery processes, and illustrating the impact of investment and labor on value.

12. Diamond Cutting: Outlining key factors in planning a cut and describing specific steps, tools and methods used in the cutting process.

13. The Diamond Industry: Describing the flow of diamonds and how various industry sectors operate.

14. The Mystique of Diamonds: Learning how myths and folklore should be presented as a value factor, explaining the origins of diamond occasions and discussing famous people associated with diamonds.

15. Professionalism: Identifying personal traits that will contribute to success, creating your professional appearance and learning to set goals for progressing on your intended career path.

16. Care and Cleaning: Maintaining diamond jewelry.

17. The Selling Process: Establishing stronger relationships with your customers and presenting diamond jewelry more effectively while eliminating common selling obstacles and closing more sales.

18. Tools of the Trade: Using tools such as counter pads and cleaning cloths in the presentation of diamonds to customers, identifying advanced instruments such as a gemological microscope for selling and explaining quality with charts and reports.

19. Customer Service: Presenting the services your store offers, taking in jewelry for repair or appraisal and boosting sales through customer service.

20. Diamond Display: Creating a visual impact that reflects and reinforces your company’s image, linking layout and displays to merchandising strategy, optimizing use of customer traffic patterns, creating effective display designs and organizing display maintenance.

21. Security: Avoiding problems, minimizing risk and loss in unpreventible crimes, and making your store safe and secure.

22. Final Review: Looking back at the lessons, study aids and guidelines for tackling the final exam.

The “Diamontology” course is available to DCA members for $115. To become certified, you must complete the course within one year and maintain an average 78% or better grade on the tests and final exam. If you fall below this grade, the tests must be retaken.

• Diamond Council of America, 3212 West End Ave., Ste. 202, Nashville, TN 37203; (615) 385-5301, fax (615) 385-4955, terry@diamondcouncil.org, www.diamondcouncilofamerica.org.

– by Lorraine M. O’Donnell, A.J.P


Copyright © 2001 by Bond Communications