Olivier Louy M.Sc., A.G.

After working many years as a scientist in the field of earth science I decided to go back to my first passion, jewelry and gems. I was first graduated in the field of watch mechanic in Switzerland and always spent a lot of time gazing at those beautiful pieces of artwork in shop all around the world.
So, I followed different kind of courses in the field of gemology. First in Canada and in some other school as a correspondent student and I won’t say much about them, but in short, hard for me doesn’t mean good… Anyway, I had to look forward to get the right gemology course, and if I had no problems to reach the level in theory, as a scientist with a master specialized in light, I quickly understood that the secret is all about practicing and getting experience with gemstones and there is not much place in the world where you can see and touch and play with thousand and thousand gems in this world. After finishing all certificates, and so on diplomas that are expensive but that give you absolutely nothing else that theoretical knowledge I decided to move for the real challenge as I was interested to be able to buy and sell gemstones and make jewelry too. And until know I had absolutely no education about that matter. Being called gemologist with any diplomas without the proper education is just a scam for me, but that depend of what you want to be in the real world. Nice looking diplomas or efficient in the field?
I know a gemology school that will give you both and even more. A gemology school that gives you a good theoretical background that you can always improve, but before all, a gemology school with an exceptional collection of stones, all naturals, synthetics, treated and imitations you can imagine. There is even more than you have time to see. All the stones you learn about as an example on paper in other school, you’ll see them there in real. All the stones your teachers told you about, but with no specimens to show, you’ll see them in that gemology school. But that is not all; your teachers are people involved in the real world of gemstones for a long time, colored stone as well as diamond. They have a great experience in the field and they really know what it is important for you to know as a future gemologist. I have seen people from other education talking about gemstone form a theoretical point of view but they were totally incompetent when the times came to choose between this ruby and that one because they haven’t been educated in grading for example. This gemology school will teach you about it, and you’ll even learn by yourself quick enough if you are good when the time come to choose between this sapphire or that one for xxx$ per carat. For me being a gemologist was not only the way to recognize a stone, but to know, at least, a little bit about the value of this stone and why and how to analyze it, that is very important for me today.
Be a hard worker in that school and you’ll learn a lot of gem’s secrets. There is not only little corundum to learn about treatments, origins, synthetics, assembled stones but thousand and the same for diamonds. You won’t see two times the same stone. You can play with all the different kind of synthetic emerald, ruby and diamond stimulants and learn about so many different species and varieties. The methodology is very good, a lot better than other gemology schools I followed. That is a good pedagogic approach for people who do not have a good scientific background. Learning about gems is not an easy game!
As your working day at school reach the end, then, you can just dive in the real world of gemstones and test your skills. You are surrounded by shop, gems dealer, jewelry. Expensive one, fake one, synthetics, imitation, treated, everything right under your eyes everyday. You will learn then what’s the real world of gemstones is, and everyday you can make a very good deal and find beautiful gems, and the worse too! Your teachers will tell you how to behave as a professional and you can give them a feedback about your experiences, they will always be helpful and very good to give you any advices about making business in this field. I personally made very good business in trading and in jewelry there, but everyone have to make is way and his proper experience. Following the basic rules teaches in school will help you to make the right choices. Anyway, you can repeat the process every day, it’s like you can learn about gemology 24h per day and there is no other place like this in the world. Be careful of course, bad learning can be expensive too…
After few months, you can even go to the gems market. It’s an amazing place to learn, no microscope, no refractometer, just your eyes, a loupe and a Chelsea filter to rock and role. Then you’ll learn quickly about your knowledge in synthetics, treatments and so on, but also about business. Find the best stones for the best price. You’ll get the point very quickly, with no experience it is hard to succeed, then, you are happy to run back to school to check more about the characteristics of this or this stones and to perform and you need a school that give you the capabilities to do so.
Developing the abilities to make the good analysis takes time; being in the right environment helps a lot too. And if you are not sure about yourself, there is the lab just next door. That is a plus when you want to spend a lot of money on that “Burma no heat ruby” that you are ready to buy.
I could say and give many more nice words about the AIGS and Bangkok where it is nice to stay. I made very good friends there and I’ll keep making business with them I hope for long. In fact, I can’t wait to go back as quick as I can.
If you work hard enough and succeed to all courses you’ll get your certificates and your diplomas. I was awarded with the accredited gemologist “Highest Honors” Diplomas from the AIGS and I would say thank you to P.J. Joseph and Jayesh Patel for their time and for the education they gave me. I hope to be a good ambassador for them in the future.
If you have any questions feel free to contact me, I’ll answer as quick as I can.
I am located in Mexico City and work in a lab for trading, grading and teaching colored stones and diamonds. I hope I can show you in future a picture of some colored stones and diamond I saw already, it's quite amazing...
Sorry for my bad English!