By the way, if you were me and found yourself running into
difficulty finding grants, loans, etc... to go to GIA, what would
you do? Since I've already got a BA, the U.S. gov doesn't want
to give me any more money unless I am enrolling in a true MA
program. $4,250 is about all I can get in loans from them, but
tuition + living in Carlsbad is expected to run close to $20,000!
I'm not trying to hit you up for a loan , but I would love
Michael, you might consider doing the GG home study. At least
that cuts the CA living expense out of the equation. I did the
home study in 12 months (1 lesson a week). Today you could do it
faster since you can enter the answers to the lesson questions
on-line; you get an immediate grade. You could do at least a
lesson a day. You'd still have to go to CA, NYC or one of the
other locations around the US for the Diamond Grading, Colored
Stone ID & Colored Stone Grading labs.
To do the Colored Stone ID course you'd also need some
equipment, a refractometer, set of heavy liquids, a polariscope &
a dichroscope. A microscope would be nice, but GIA says you can
do the course with a 10X loupe. The refractometer & heavy liquids
are 'buy or borrow' items. You can make the polariscope &
dichroscope from sheets of polaroid filter material.
GIA also has a 'workroom' scheme were you use their equipment to
do the colored stone id lab work at one of their locations.