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G.G. programs


#1

Hi Folks,

I’m thinking about making a long-time dream a reality, and
getting my Graduate Gemologist certificate. The obvious
educational institution to consider would be GIA, but are there
any others I should be considering?

Any advice/suggestions from GGs out there would be appreciated!

Dave
Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio
Charlotte, NC (USA)
dave@sebaste.com
http://www.sebaste.com


#2

Dave Try this online course…you will learn more here…

http://www.geology.wisc.edu/~jill/geo306.html

Marty Haske
Adamas Advantage Software: for Gemology, Mineralogy, Inventory
SAS2000 Spectrophotometer Analysis System For Diamond Color Grading,
Diamond Synthetic And Treatment Detection, And General Gemstone ID
Software Demos And Grading Issues
http://www.gis.net/~adamas/
Emai:@Martin_Haske


#3

I believe GIA is the only institution that awards the GG, either
homestudy or classroom. However, The Revere Academy of Jewelry
Arts & Paris TX Juni or College also have gemology programs. The
Gemologic Assoc) of Great Britian & Canada offer a program
leading to

an FGA (Fellow of the Gemmologic Assoc) I think these can be
done homestudy or classroom.

Another Dave


#4
   I'm thinking about making a long-time dream a reality, and
getting my  Graduate Gemologist certificate.  The obvious
educational institution to  consider would be GIA, but are
there any others I should be considering? Any advice/suggestions
from GGs out there would be appreciated!

hi dave, i received my gg in sept of 1985. i took the residence
course. my advice is to carefully weigh what exactly you plan to
use your gg for before shelling out 10 grand. i will not deny i
have benefitted form my education from gia but since my career
direction is in jewelry making rather than gemology i don’t use
the knowledge obtained through the gg course enough to stay
fluent in the vernacular of gems. it is great that no one can
tell me i chipped a diamond and show me a natural crystal face
(salespeople to this quite regularly). i have retained what i
use regularly and have a murky memory of the rest.

you will learn that a doubly refractive gem that is uniaxial has
one extraordinary ray and a biaxial has two. a list of stones
will appear in your mind with these respective characteristics.

believe me, there are very interesting things to learn, but what
are your career goals? at the time i really wanted the
education in gems, but now i wished that i had participated in a
quality college or university metal arts program instead.

best regards,

geo fox


#5
I'm thinking about making a long-time dream a reality, and
getting my  Graduate Gemologist certificate.  The obvious
educational institution to  consider would be GIA, but are there
any others I should be considering?

I just finished all my home study courses from GIA and I am just
waiting for the certificate. I have no idea if I will be using
this knowledge for my business but I am very glad for the
knowledge. Two years ago, after finishing my diamond grading
course, I went to Bailey Banks and Biddle in the Tysons
corner for an interview for jewelry sales position. The
manager of the store who interviewed me for thirty minutes told
me that GIA grads do no know anything about selling diamonds,
they only know about grading diamonds and he would not hire a GG.
I was very surprised since the GIA education reminds you through
each course how important it is to sell the romantic side of the
jewelry business and not get too technical in your sales. The
above is the only negative side I faced, but besides that the
practice I received of taking accurate R.I.s and detecting
synthetic gems has been very helpful. I also became a member of
GIA alumni in my area and they organize excellent classes taught
by GIA teachers. A month ago someone gave me a mixture of cut
gems to identify. When I gave him the results, he was very
surprised that he had some beautiful golden beryl and other
fancy garnets. Currently I am looking for a good company to
hire me(hopefully they will not have anything negative against
the GIA education)so I will get some feeling of pricing of the
gems.

From Surbhi


#6

Darn good advice, George! The resident course is about 3 times
as expensive as the study at home alternative. Then there’s
being away from home for six months and additional living
expenses for the same period. It isn’t a cheap proposition.

On the other hand, the “total immersion” of the resident course,
and the daily interaction with the instructors has got to be
invaluable. I have so many distractions/demands at home, I
don’t know how long it would take me to complete the home
course. I also have to question how my retention would be
compared to the resident course.

Then there’s your question of, “what do you want to do with the
knowledge?” First, is personal knowledge and satisfaction. At
this point I’m somewhat intimidated by faceted stones. I’ve set
a handful as necessary, but I tend to avoid them. I’d like to
feel comfortable using them and buying them so I can elevate my
work to a higher commercial plane.

But, as with you, my main interest is in jewelry making. Maybe
I should just take a good stone setting class (I’ve taken a poor
one). I’ve been thinking about moving into the jewelry field
for a career, but haven’t really pared down my choices about
what kind of job. Sure I’d like to be a gem buyer, but I assume
that requires some sort of professional experience. I could
sell stones for a dealer, but I suspect that’s very much a price
driven commodity market.

Having been an independent jewelry artist for my whole jewelry
"career", I don’t think I have a realistic chance of being
employed as a bench jeweler. A highly qualified apprentice…
maybe. My thought is a G.G. diploma would round out my skill
set and allow me to wear a couple of different hats in a small
operation. Add to that my management and computer experience,
and I think there might be a position/company out there that
needs me. A big part of that question is whether said company
is located in Charlotte, NC!

I’d be interested in your feedback, and that of any commercial
jewelers who may have a perspective on the situation.

Thanks for your input!

Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio
Charlotte, NC (USA)
dave@sebaste.com
http://www.sebaste.com


#7
Bailey Banks and Biddle in the Tysons corner for an
interview for jewelry sales position. The manager of the
store who interviewed me   for thirty minutes told me that GIA
grads do no know anything about selling diamonds, they only
know about grading diamonds and he would not hire a GG. 

Surbhi, I say, stay the heck away from chain stores. The manager
was probably selling shoes last year and doesn’t want to hire
someone who might threaten his or her job. I personaly won’t do
work for stores that are not run by the owner. A good business
owner wants the most qualified person, try successful locally
owned jewelers. Good luck. Mark P.


#8

hi dave, if i were you, i would try out a few weeklong or weekend
intensive gemology classes to get your feet wet and to see if
you would want to go further in your studies. this would
probably alleviate your intimidation by faceted stones. as for
stone setting classes, see ed friedman at revere acadamy. he’s
an extremely gifted, skilled, knowledgeable setter and jeweler
and a no nonsense instructor. i know it is on another coast for
you, but i don’t know what is going on at your coast. revere has
a few gemology, diamond courses as well, but i’ve never taken
them.

residence or home study both have pros and cons. with residence
there is little doubt one will complete the course. and if
you’re not married (or not dead) residence can be, ahem,
invigorating.

i believe, perhaps, that you sell yourself short by saying that
you couldn’t make it as a bench jeweler. bench jewelers come in
all sorts and sizes. i’ve encountered people who have worked as
jewelers for years and wondered why they haven’t figured out how
lousy their work is. and if they have figured it out, why don’t
they stop and sell stock options or something else instead. on
the other hand, i’ve encountered people who just love making
jewelry from the first and are conscientious and talented and
go sell cameras. find a jewelry manufacturer, get a job and
learn all you can and quit, then go to another manufacturer or
co. this could be another type of education. i’ve read that even
in family owned businesses, the children are encouraged to work
for the competition for awhile, then come home to the fold to
work. the point is perseverance and determination will get you
anywhere.

my own career situation is this: for the past ten years i’ve
been doing all types of trade work, custom, setting of all types
of stones and styles, wax work, casting in gold, silver,
platinum. i’ve been regarded as fairly successful, having over 7
trade accounts and employing 3 people. (that includes my wife).
i wasn’t happy with the type of work (85% ring sizing, etc.) so
i let the people go and let them take over 2/3 of the business.
leaving enough business for myself to pay the bills and a little
time to spend with family and more time to start a dreamed about
line. i wouldn’t have been able to do this but for two important
things: (besides a little money in the bank) my wife beleiving
in me and me beleiving in myself and my skills.

hang in there and never stop dong your own work.

best regards,

geo fox