Gemology’s Community College

The Diamond Council of America (DCA) has released its revised Diamontology course. The 21-lesson salute to diamond knowledge is packed with valuable information for sales staffs, including history, quality grading, selling, and security. The text is well-written and includes beautiful illustrations and photographs.

While most jewelers may not have heard of the Diamond Council of America, it’s been around for more than half a century. The DCA, formerly based in Kansas City, Mo., and now located in Nashville, Tenn., was founded in 1944 as a not-for-profit organization providing education to jewelry sales professionals about diamonds and gems. More than 25,000 retail jewelers have graduated from a DCA course. Today, DCA is represented in 2,000-plus retail jewelry stores and gem suppliers in the United States.

Terry Chandler, former owner/partner of Michelson Jewelers in Paducah, Ky., and president of DCA, explains the organization’s role. “We’re the community college system for everybody else,” he says. “Our course is designed specifically for the new jewelry sales staff recruit in a retail store, so that within four to six months, they can go to the counter and speak intelligently. This is our whole mission.”

Chandler, who’s been in the industry for 21 years, knows how hard it is to get new salespeople up to speed. “If you have someone who’s already good at sales and you don’t get them trained pretty quick, you will never get them trained,” he says. “Their numbers may be good, so the motivation to get them trained is not there. But with training, they could be making twice that much.

“I know that sales are paramount to success,” he adds. “Our course is intense in product knowledge and sales training in order [for students] to be successful. It gives them enough information to know their product, until they are at the store long enough to get them into an advanced course, like GIA or AGS.”

Chandler is pleased with the course redesign by Janice Mack Talcott and Kate Peterson and their team at Performance Concepts. “The new courses were going out the door pretty fast in Orlando,” says Chandler.

The Diamontology course is $115 for DCA members. Single-store membership costs $350. “We’re not trying to be a GIA or an AGS. We’re just here to fill the fundamental basic need for the price.”

DCA’s gem course is being rewritten and should be available early next year.