Proposal: Gemology

As per the title, should Gemology be categorized as a science or a profession? From a scientific standpoint it is a geoscience in line with mineralogy but contextually it tends to refer more to a professional field of study and employment.

2 Answers 2


Does it matter? Sure, you need to pick one (and only one) for the Area51 process, but the distinction disappears after launch.

The better question is whether you want to approach the subject from a scientific/academic perspective or a professional perspective.

  • Doesn't really matter much beyond helping people find the topic a bit easier and distinguishing from any other potentially related areas such a lapidary.
    – rjzii
    Jan 4, 2012 at 19:34

Categories in Area 51 serve one purpose; so people who are browsing a proposal will more likely see other proposals they are interested in.

So, when categorizing a proposal, ask yourself this question:

"Which group of followers would most likely be interested in my proposal?"

So look over the proposals in each category. For "Gemology", I think the science buffs (e.g. geoscience, physics, palentology) are more likely to be interested than the professional groups (architecture, dermatology, aviation, medicine).

  • If we look at it from the interest standpoint than the original professional context is likely correct as I've generally only heard the term in the context of jewelery and that professional environment. From a scientific standpoint it's a sub-discipline of mineralogy.
    – rjzii
    Jan 5, 2012 at 18:10
  • @Rob Z: So you think the folks following the 'professional' proposals will more likely be interested in "Gemology" than the folks following the 'Science' proposals? I find that odd. Jan 5, 2012 at 18:30
  • 1
    Cartanio - Like I said, I've seen the term used more in the processional settings than I have heard it in university. Since gemology is pretty much limited to precious gems jewelers tend to be more interested in it than professional scientists.
    – rjzii
    Jan 5, 2012 at 18:33

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