Took the GIA Gemologist Course about five years ago. Very well
presented and most of what you need to know. Was always the
highlight of my week when I went to pick up the pakage with the
next lesson. Then you have all that reference material when you
You could learn all you needed to know from a few good books
without GIA if you have an independent, science minded approach. I
took a BS in research chemistry and only needed a year to get thru
the whole thing. If science is not your thing, you may need the
organization and explaining that GIA provides. It is expensive
when you total it all up. Sending the diamonds back and forth in
the mail was a little bit of a hassle. Don’t forget, you are going
to need all those instruments and they are expensive. If you do
decide to take the plunge, E-mail me and I will give you some
advice about getting the instruments cheaper. Don’t buy from GIA
unless it is just for the window dressing in your store.
Also, when I got to Gem ID, I took a workshop session in Atlanta.
If you have to send all those stones back and forth thru the mail
it will take forever. Check with GIA, they are very helpful, but as
I remember, there are at least ten shipments of stones, and it will
be a week each way with every one, so you have at least five months
right there. If time is not an issue, that would be alright.
You also have to realize that GIA has a party line, and you would
hear different regarding reflectivity meters, CZ masters (although
they have changed their tune on this, I’m told), and visual optics
elsewhere. Visual optics is very useful, you can ID many stones
without instruments or just with a few pocket ones, but GIA doesn’t
teach it as far as I know.
The gemologist credential may be of use to you if you are in the
retail business or are going to do appraisals.
Hope this helps,