How & When It Started:

Lucille Esperame-Bocobo, founder of Gemlab Philippines, started in the jewelry industry back in her school days, when pawnshops were not more than 2000 in number nationwide. During summer breaks she helped her mother in the family’s retail and pawnshop business. Her curiosity grew especially on gemstones as she got herself more involved in the trade. Eventually she learned that the trade was so misinformed in a lot of things from terminologies to theories and its applications. At that time it was unfortunate that she couldn’t get herself and her staff the right training because there was no school in Manila that teaches the right principles of gemology and jewelry appraising. Lucille decided to take Gemology in HK and later in the US where she earned her GG (Graduate Gemologist) diploma.

She established Esperame Gem Studio in June of 1986 at Makati Cinema Square, and was later renamed in 1988 as Gemlab Phils., short for Gemological Laboratory Philippines.

She started offering tutorial lessons on pawnshop appraising and operation from 15 hours in 5 days, now known as the JA17 package for 105 hours in 17 half days. She thought of the importance of always improving her curriculum by updating through research and attending seminars outside the country to keep up with technology on new stones and treatments. She also offers tutorial courses in Gemology and Jewelry Design and Jewelry M anufacturing.

The Directress was able to establish Gemlab as the leader in jewelry appraising, gemology and jewelry design education in the Philippines. The school helps address the problems in the pawnshop & jewelry industry by teaching the correct basics of grading and identification to ensure a sound appraisal, to attract more customers and pawners, help sell more, save & protect or increase the business and establish one’s reputation as a trusted professional here and even in the international market.

Gemlab currently offers the following courses:

  • Jewelry Appraising Basic Gemology on Diamonds, Colored Stones & Pearlsand Pawnshop Operation (JA17) (17 days, 105 clock hours)
  • Basics of Gemology on Diamonds: 4C’s Imitations, Treatments & Appraisal, including updates on Moissanite & Fracture-Filled (14days, 70 clock hours)
  • 2 Advanced courses:
    1. Gemology on Diamond Grading Tutorial, GDG, (20 days, 105 clock hours)
    2. Gemology on Colored Stones & Gem Identification Tutorial, GCS, (10days, 84 ½ clock hours)
  • Jewelry Design (3 months, 3x/wk., 87 clock hours)
  • Jewelry Manufacturing (22 days, 66 clock hours)
  • Jewelry Repair and Gold Plating (10 days, 30 clock hours)
  • Fine Gold Plating ( 3 days, 9-10 clock hours)
    - Junior Gemologist Program
    - Basic Stone Setting

The curriculum is aimed at preparing students for the rigorous demands of the market and industry. Our students learn the international standard of grading, identification and techniques that can only be obtained in gemological institutions abroad, particularly in the USA, Europe and their branches in Asia. Our difference is we limit the size of the class to a small number of participants only from 1-2 for tutorial format and 4-8 for the group. Each student must finish all the school’s requirements on lab work, and passing the written and final examinations for skill development.

GEMLAB is the only school which has a laboratory equipped with gem microscopes and lab instruments to study diamonds and gemstones better. This enables students to learn how to grade diamonds and identify stones, their nature and treatments for a sound appraisal.

Each student is given over a hundred jewelry/gem specimens for practical application of the theories learned. During lab work all students are carefully monitored, corrected and timed to ensure their progress.

Gemlab has trained the staff (beginners and trained appraisers alike) of numerous companies in jewelry retail or wholesale, as well as pawnshops and private investors. Our graduates obtain all the necessary information and updates needed to learn or improve on their craft, as well as know the principles of the various kinds of appraisals & work ethics, and are invariably regarded by the public as trusted professionals.

In addition to our educational programs, Gemlab also offers services on Diamond Grading, Gem Identification, Gold Appraisal & Diamond Appraisal.

Unit 405, Tower A, Wack Wack Twin Towers
Wack Wack Road, Mandaluyong City, Philippines -

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Telephone Numbers: (632) 8725-9494, (632) 8725-9494
Tele-Fax Number: (632) 8725-9494
Email Address: