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The best Jewelry School in the nation?

I was asked today, "Who is the best Jewelry School in the nation?"
So I’m throwing it out there to all of you Orchid folks. Who do we
recommend, and why?


Oh boy, now there’s a question to start a fight. I think it totally
depends on a person’s goals. (Which nation?) Do they want to do
bench work? Do they want to make artsy stuff? How much time and
money do they have?

Who I recommend depends on who I’m talking to. How much can they
spend, how far can they travel and what are their goals.

Elaine Luther
Metalsmith, Certified PMC Instructor
Hard to Find Tools for Metal Clay

My answer to the question of the best jewelry school in the nation
(USA) is the Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts, in San Francisco. I say
this not only from my own experiences there, which date back to 1986,
but equally from the many opinions others have shared with me.

I have referred dozens (at least) of seasoned colleagues, as well as
intermediate and beginning students to Revere. Every single one of
them have afterwards expressed the same degree of praise and
satisfaction with their experiences at the Academy .

I myself still go back for additional workshops whenever possible.

Michael David Sturlin


C’mon…let’s get serious. There are many excellent jewelry schools
in America and I think that it would be a serious breach of logic to
suggest that one is better than all the rest.

I think that this is especially dubious when one says that they
attended such and such school and (therefore) it was the best. How
can you know if you haven’t had other experiences ?. This kind of
logic is one that I hear all the time in my shop when talking with
customers about their medical problems. They invariably say that
their doctor is the best in his field ! Now how in the hell could
they know ?

Furthermore, I’ll bet that each school has weaknesses and strengths.
One might be better at teaching stone setting and another might not
teach it at all. One might have a better physical facility and
another might be a dump. One might be excessively costly and another
might be state supported. One might be located in a congested urban
area, and all the problems that city environment entails, and
another might be in an Idyllic resort setting.

It’s the old apples and oranges thing…they can’t readily be
compared because they are highly individual. Ron Mills, Mills Gem
Company, Los Osos, Ca.

Hi Richard,

Please keep in mind that this is an international forum. We will
have to assume that you are asking about the U.S…in which case, I

Dear everyone, hope you are all set for a happy and prosperous
holiday season.

Without a doubt, we are one of them and there are not very many.=A0
The California Institute of Jewelry Training has been training
jewelers steadily since 1978, over 26 years with consistency in
programs and placement. We started at a time when it was very
difficult to get any recognition because the trade did not feel
anyone could learn to become a jeweler unless it was by the
apprenticeship method.=A0 We battled our way through, and have been a
strong advocate for better wages for jewelers and have been quite
successful.=A0 And the best part, we have made it happen.=A0 We do tra=
excellent jewelers and point them on the path that that they wish to
take from there.

Because of our maintaining a low profile, not a smart thing to do,
it has been speculated that we are a government program and only
train low-income people.=A0 On the contrary, CIJT is authorized by the
federal government to enroll alien, non-immigrant students and our
students come from all over the nation and the world.

And we have never closed our doors but for Christmas vacation and
weekends.=A0 We have classes 5 day a week, 12 months per year since we
started. We are a full time school.

Our staff is also full time and include professionals in jewelry,
gemology, retail sales and appraisal. We have had old masters who
have come out of retirement and stayed with us for several years and
then retired again.=A0 Frank Tischer of Grebetus Sons, John Mode of
Dempseys, Norm Adams and J.D.Bruns.=A0 These guys were the real old
timers, bench, diamond setters, master special order people, they
assisted us in our curriculum and held our hands for many years and
guided our other teachers along the way.=A0 =A0Norm and J.D. have pass=
on and leave great memories with our students. Our students can
depend on and stay in touch with the instructors after they graduate
should they need to ask technical questions. In fact we encourage

We purchased our stand alone building in 1997 after spending =BD
million on rent over the first 20 years of our existence.=A0 We have a
campus of one acre, gated and landscaped. Our students have some of
the finest of classrooms available, airy, light, and big, but very
comfortable.=A0 They include state of the art equipment and a laser
welder, a design studio. When people come to see and tour the
school, they comment on the great feeling it has.

Students have their own workstation including bench, hand tools,
torch, flex shaft, the whole works for the time they are here,
generally 6 to 12 months.=A0 The tools are provided by CIJT so no one
goes without.=A0 A visitor to the classroom would think we had 30
people on payroll instead of them being students because they work
at such a diligent pace and hate to take breaks and lunch because
they want to stay at the bench.

We work in all metals including gold and platinum and our programs
are tried and true. They have been consistently tested over these
years; we measure our success by the success of our graduates and
documenting placements.

In 2002, we added a Gemology Residence, world recognized, F.G.A.
program.=A0 As an Allied Teaching Center for the Gemmological
Association of Great Britain, our graduates have sat 4 exams and we
are cooking!=A0 We are teaching the very first students of Diploma
F.G.A. program in the United States.=A0 Classes are on going and we
have the very successful and well known Master Gemologist and
Appraiser, Gregory E. Sherman, formerly education director of
E.G.L., New York, as our lead instructor for these programs.

Late in 2003, we partnered with Sang Ki Kim of the Korean Gemology
Institute in purchase of the late Anna Miller, well-known author and
founder of the Master Valuer jewelry-appraising program and continue
to use her product, keep it updated and work with great graduates
who tutor our home study courses.=A0 Here is another area where we
have great support from the industry. Many successful appraisers
hold the MVP diploma and hold great regard for our program.

Eva Ananiewicz of Tampa has been diligently working with and
assisting us as our distance instructor.=A0 She was closely associated
with Anna over the years and teaches the residence Master Valuer
course at the University of South Florida. Deborah Villepique and
Iris Wilson have recently been positioned as Directors of the
program as well, Deborah in New York and Iris in Sacramento, our

Master Valuer is also taught in Canada at the Ecole’ de Gemmologie
de Montreal Inc. and in Toronto.=A0 Korea has several schools and Hong
Kong and Beijing.

Late 2003, our staff took on the project of consulting for the
Indian Institute of Jewelry.=A0 They had their launch on June 28 this
year and have a full class of jewelry arts students.=A0 They are
teaching our Jewelry Arts program, which we have had in place all
these years and is our flagship course.=A0 You can visit their site at The school opened in June and
they have a full class of jewelry art students and are branching
into the Gemology and Diamond sorting programs are forthcoming, with
computer design and retail sales scheduled in 2005.

Now with this sweet school we have and the exceptional teachers.
this year year, we are adding to our workshop staff. The artists
include Angela Conty, amazing jeweler and gemstone sculpture, she
shows at all the major shows, =A0John Petet, veteran jeweler of 30
years whose textures in jewelry are wonderful and he feels with his
methods, he has added another 20 years of good production to his
career. One might say he is =A0"working smarter, not harder", Marie
Scarpa, well known jewelry weaver and very popular with the
journalists and photographers. She is featured in many trade
publications and has won many awards.=A0 Libby Edson, a newcomer who
does amazing beading with spirit, combines a little yoga with the
beading for creativity.=A0 Now, that is cool.=A0 And last, but not lea=
is Linda Crawford, our very popular enamellist and cloisonn=E9’
artist.=A0 She is going into her 5th year with us as workshop teacher.
We continue to bring in new people all the time and Linda has never
left, she drops in between shows.

Wow, this has been fun, I am tooting our horn, finally.=A0 I love
Orchid and continue to advertise, but just usually read the posts
and move on, stay busy and have not taken the time tooting, much to
my chagrin.=A0 It is good that many of the schools stay posted and up
to date with Orchid; we will see how we can do from now on.=A0

With all this said, yes, we are definitely among the finest jewelry
schools in the nation and the world.

I hope you have taken the time to read all of this, I tried not to
leave anything out and am happy that I took the time to write.=A0

Kind regards,=A0 Dee Rouse Huth, founder of the California Institute
of Jewelry Training, Carmichael, Ca.=A0 suburb of Sacramento, Ca.

Oh, I forgot, we have now the ability to provide student loans and
have student housing available!