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Living with diamonds

Choosing the right programmes to enhance knowledge and practical skills are prerequisites to translate one’s passion into a rewarding career

SANJAY KOTHARI | NEW DELHI |

The foremost reason for the existence and advancement of the diamond business is that this shiny piece of stone looks gorgeous as jewellery. Jewels have always been a symbol of prestige and treasure, and diamonds, of course, top the list.
Dealing with diamonds on a daily basis does sound like a glamorous and glitzy job, because this profession indeed provides amazing experiences. Nothing really compares to the thrill and excitement of being able to see a magnificent diamond up close and personal. The eventful history of some of the world’s most famous and dazzling diamonds, however, has always centred on the Indian subcontinent.
Albeit India is one of the earliest known diamond-producing countries, its business was a fragmented cottage sector until three decades ago. Since then, it has evolved into a large-scale, contemporary, mechanised operation. Today, the country has emerged as a major supplier of diamonds for global markets, working with trade bodies at national, regional and local levels to identify their needs and challenges.
Diamond manufacturing has been overlooked as a formal profession for many years. Though it has been an integral part of the global economy and lifestyle, there was a dire need of raising awareness for the same amongst present and future generations to perceive it as a promising profession. Before diamonds find their way into a retail store, numerous individuals are involved in extracting the stones out of the terrain and unravelling their exquisiteness to alter them into delicate pieces of art that patrons appreciate and wear as a sign of prosperity and prestige.
The diamond industry itself has a lot of verticals, from grassroot exploration to rough sales, manufacturing and eventually, retail. From exploration and discovery of the mine to mining, extraction, sorting, manufacturing and finally selling, the industry comprises important job roles to help the process move along smoothly. Furthermore, with book-keeping, administration, maintenance, marketing, information technology, human resource, digital marketing, sales and many other departments, a diamond firm often functions like a small metropolitan.The ultimate goal to bring a masterpiece out of every bit of a diamond requires a lot of manpower. Thus, job prospects are in abundance, but it requires skills and proper training to seize them.
Aspirants considering a career in the industry should be aware that suitable education and training are required to thrive in the real world of diamonds. A thorough understanding of the four Cs — cut, clarity, colour and carat weight — and a worldwide standard devised by the Gemological Institute of America in the 1950s is essential for everyone seeking a career in manufacturing, trade, sales, appraisal or design of diamonds. They are used to determine a diamond’s quality and, as a result, its worth.
The gems and jewellery industry which was, by and large, running offline until hit by the Covid-19 crisis, projected one of the worst hit downturns in the history of mankind. Looking at the current situation, the segment which backs seven per cent of the country’s gross domestic product, witnessed a significant change in business outlook. Amid all the uncertainties, the industry opted for digitalisation as a way to navigate.
It has started valuing technologically advanced infrastructure. And this applies not only to e-commerce and social media presence, but also the use of Artificial Intelligence for manufacturing processes. Therefore, the industry added one more vertical and need of expertise to its fraternity.
Companies are making a space in the world of diamonds through involvement in every stage of the diamond pipeline, from exploration and manufacturing to sales. Recognising the scope and entrepreneurship opportunities in the field, they are envisioning infusing the exceptional standards of professional learning into aspiring individuals.
Our group has laid the foundation of the Entrepreneur Development Programme in South Africa, and KGK Academy in India that aims at the professional development of individuals through institutional programmes of diamond cutting, gemstone grading and jewellery manufacturing processes across different regions of the globe. The major courses allow students to extend their knowledge of diamonds beyond the four Cs, drawing on insights in cut and polished diamond grading, rough diamond grading, designing of planning/marking, valuations for polished and rough diamond, crystallography, weight estimation of yield and repairing, diamond designing on computer machine, identification of synthetics and tools, and knowledge of stress detection, parameters and symmetry.
While selecting courses, one should choose a globally recognised institute for a well-rounded and thorough education. In this case, ones which give exposure to a variety of genuine stones and teach how to detect treatments, simulants and synthetics through technical ideas and hands-on instruction.
More people must opt for a professional journey in this rapidly growing field that substantially contributes to the economy at large. Choosing the right programmes to enhance knowledge and practical skills are prerequisites in order to translate one’s passion for gems and jewellery into a rewarding career.