On the list of things I want to do in my life, attending GIA school is one of them. If you are not familiar with GIA school it is the the school to go to learn about gemology and the jewelry arts. I would love to learn more about diamonds, gems, and all the science part of the jewelry world. So I always find it interesting to ask people how they liked GIA school as part of my research. Enter Olivia of the blog and instagram account of the moniker The Clear Cut. This babe and GIA school grad; has an amazing job at an extremely well know jewelry company. So we got in touch to learn a little more about her experiance at GIA school, current job in the jewelry business, and of course love of diamonds.
Why did you decide to go to GIA school?
I grew up around gems and jewelry my entire life. My father is the fourth generation in my family of diamond cutters and dealers that started in Antwerp Belgium. My mother and father ran an antique jewelry business together for most of my life. So jewelry has always ran in my blood! After graduating NYU with a major in media and communications, I was still searching for something I felt truly passionate about. My parents encouraged me to try the GIA Graduate Gemologist program to see if that is something I would be interested in. I started a week after I graduated college and instantly fell in love.
What was the best part of school?
There were so many amazing things about GIA. First of all, the instructors were all so passionate and helpful. You could really tell they loved what they did and wanted to guide everyone to a successful career in the industry. It was also so amazing to work so closely with classmates from all over the world and from all facets to the jewelry industry.
What was the most important thing you learned at GIA school?
GIA really made me a big believer in trade schools and becoming an expert in a specific skill. Being able to grade diamonds and identify colored gemstones is a skill I can use in many roles and aspects of the jewelry industry. I also fundamentally believe that the relationships I developed while I was there will be a big part of my life and career.
Tell us about your current job?
I currently work at one of the largest diamond wholesalers in NYC, J. Birnbach Jewelry. I am the production manager and main gemologist. My responsibilities include managing all jewelry projects (sourcing, scheduling, QA, repairs), and calculating full production costs for pieces and archiving finished product information. I assist in the design of custom pieces for private clients, retail stores, and stock pieces. I also help with diamond grading for stones that are being considered for purchase and handle some private client sales.
How do you use what you learned at school in the job you have now?
I used what I learned at GIA everyday at my job. The main skill I use is diamond grading, which I constantly use to look at stones being considered for purchase, finding matched pairs for jewelry pieces, and ensuring that our inventory is always correct and up to date. I also use a lot of my diamond knowledge when I am assisting and educating private clients with their diamond purchases (usually for engagement rings).
You also a have a blog? Tell us a little about that and what people can find there?
After working with a few clients for engagement rings, I quickly realized that many people my age didn’t know the first thing about buying a diamond. There is also so much technical and confusing information out there that it can be daunting and overwhelming to sort through it. I launch my blog, The Clear Cut, early this year in hopes of providing honest and expert advice to millennials interested in diamonds and jewelry. I try to break down all the technical aspects of buying a diamond in a transparent and easy to understand method.
Where do you see your career going long term?
My ultimate long term goal would be to have my own business in the jewelry industry. Right now I’m not exactly sure what that would be. What I do know is that I never want to stop learning, growing, and advancing my expertise.