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Calling budding Gemologists!

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Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Yesterday we took our diamond into the independent appraiser we chose (referred by Pricescope), and after a short chat and reliquishment of the stone and my pair of diamond earrings to her for appraisal..my boyfriend brings up my 'diamond obsession'. I thought he was going to ask another question about the appraisal, instead he says..'well you know Mara has learned alot in her quest for this stone' etc..and then proceeds to ask if I can further my knowledge by taking a class or two in gemology or diamonds.

The appraiser was surprised and so was I! I had no idea he was going to ask this. It was quite funny, but somewhat embarassing as I felt a little put on the spot though I don't really know why. So she gave us some information and a GIA class list that she had just received, and suggested I sign up for a class or two or the entire Diamond program! The prices aren't too bad, and my other half said he would get me a a few classes or the program for V-Day if I was interested.

Anyhow, my question to the other obsessed diamond hunters on this forum is...in saturating yourself with diamond knowledge in the hunt for the perfect stone for yourself or your fiancee, has anyone begun to consider a career in gemology or similar? I already have a career plan/path in Marketing that I have been well set upon for some years now, but I am very much game for broadening my budding diamond knowledge and taking a few classes so I can continue to bore my non-diamond-interested friends with more chatter. Anyone else? ;-)
 

Rook

Shiny_Rock
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Mara,

Yes I too have caught the obsesion with diamonds and gems. Actually my girlfriend has as well. We were both thinking about taking classes and hopefully for a reduced price for both of use. The really odd thing is that both of us have careers ahead that are not related. I am going to practice in tax law real soon, and she is getting a phd. We were thinking of it as more of a hobby than a career change. I guess we are just information geeks. Plus looking at diamonds and gems is much more entertaining than what I do all day.:wavey:
 

golfer

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 7, 2002
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128
It's funny. I've become obsessed with diamonds, too. I am not exactly looking for a new career, I'm a lawyer and do just fine. I don't think I'd go to GIA school, but I've considered getting into the selling business, or perhaps diamond-buying consulting (group buying). The whole market for these tiny rocks just fascinates me, and the economist in me sees a lot of opportunities to make a lot of money.
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
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It's funny you say that you both caught the obsession, Rook, as that is the same with us. At first it was just me, because I have an obsessive nature, so its easy for me to get very involved. I love research of most kinds. But lately, instead of saying 'No more diamond talk', my boyfriend is starting to peek over at the latest diamond book I'm reading to see what it says. We had dinner last nite with some friends, and we talked for about 45 minutes about how fascinating the world of diamond research is. When we left, we even told each other 'I bet we drove them nuts!'. We both have careers in high-tech, so anything we learn (or I learn and then pass to him through brain-mosis) from these classes would be hobby, but you never know..I probably don't want to be in Marketing forever, and he won't want to be in Product Management forever, so it always bears thinking about the future in different terms! :bigsmile:
 

Rook

Shiny_Rock
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We have actually considered GIA distance learning classes, but that would be a couple of years down the road. I don't think money would really matter, as long as the obsession pays for itself. I would really like to cut diamonds and gems. I just think that would be the most rewarding. I work fairly normal 8-5 type hours most of the time so a side hobby really is plausable. Maybe something out from a home office.
 

Rook

Shiny_Rock
Joined
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294
She has always been obsessed with looking at jewelry. It was when I started looking for a ring that got us really thinking. When I started looking for a ring, I had to find out everything I could before I could buy. It is that way with just about everything for me. Then I told her some of what I found out, and then we caught the bug.
 

diamatuer

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 15, 2002
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Rook,
Gemology strikes me as being far less of a pain in the a$$ than tax. And I have a pretty good feeling that Garry and Jonathon are making a better living than me - and hopefully working less.

Anyway, I am thinking about taking courses too. It would be an interesting (and maybe lucrative) hobby.

One more thing, I keep trying to break away from this forum and I can't. It's unbelievable. I purchased my stone over a month ago and I still can't break free - let alone hunting for more information.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

Super_Ideal_Rock
Trade
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Aug 15, 2000
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15,306
Hey hey - i make a good living but stop work (sometimes) to eat and sleep and jog 9although many of those pursuits are full on work planning / biz discussions too.

# breakfast meetings 3-5 a week, and around 14-16 hour days.
20 staff, 2 stores and too much stock - not enough $'s.
 

sylvesterii

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 3, 2002
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295
i am infinately more interested in gemology. i too agree that i think being a cutter would be the most fun. especially to be an 8* cutter. wow. what an honor that would be, i think i could have the commitment to detail, but alas, i have another education staring me in the face...going to grad school for late roman british isles history!!!
 

Richard Sherwood

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 25, 2002
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4,924
Gemology is fascinating. Simply fascinating.

I've been in the business 23 years, receiving my GG 18 years ago, and still stay up late at night absorbing absolutely fascinating information about this or that gem. It is a lifelong love that never tends to bore.

It's a lot like art. The more you learn about it, the more you appreciate it and the finer your tastes get honed. You really begin to appreciate the rarity, art, and drama of the different stones.

The history of gems is another whole interesting field. Some of these stones have stories to tell that are absolutely spell binding. Did you know that a diamond necklace played a pivotal role in the instigation of the French Revolution?

I would highly recommend gemology as a hobby or profession. I know a pharmacist who got hooked, and then became a student of gemology. Every weekend he haunts the estate sales and pawn shops. Monday morning he sells all his "finds" to the local jewelers. He consistently makes several hundred dollars profit, sometimes more. He says he gets more out of the thrill of it than the money, but the money's nice.

Go for it. You'll never regret it.

Rich, GG
Sarasota Gemological Laboratory
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
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31,003
Speaking of having to research everything before buying, that is definitely me. However, I never quite reach a point of saturation and will literally drive myself nuts learning continuously. When I bought my new couch a year ago, it was about 2 months of research and picture taking as god forbid I bring home the WRONG couch..and there are so many couches out there to look at. I drove my poor boyfriend nuts because of course during a research phase you need a natural outlet for your knowledge (aka him having to listen). So the diamond & ring thing was not any different, but alot more interesting than couch facts! He knew I'd do the appropriate amount of research, and he stepped in and made the decision when I started to exhibit signs of diamond craziness. I actually am starting to dread planning the wedding..as I think my family and friends might have me committed at that point.:devil:
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Oct 30, 2002
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31,003
Rich, thanks for weighing in. I love learning about the history of things, especially pretty baubles. :bigsmile: We considered for a time purchasing an antique engagement ring, I love the older filigree styles of the 1920's. We were actually very close to buying one we fell in love with at a jeweler in Carmel. However, that was when the real research began because we were trying to determine if the deal was good, how to determine the quality of an older stone, etc. The stone itself was from 1930's, mounting was modern in an antique-replica style. We loved the idea that the stone had belonged to others, and read that it was not common for large stones (this was 1.31ct) to be sold around the 1930's, most engagement rings were around .5ctw. So I wondered..does that mean someone of means owned this ring? I wondered what their life was like, where they lived, etc. It interested me very much. Eventually after doing a little more research and finding this forum, I realized that I loved the brilliance of the modern round diamonds over an older European hand-cut diamond, but there's always the future!
 

winyan

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 9, 2003
Messages
1,163
I've got the bug as well, and am considering going to the GIA long distance classes, starting with the colored gemstones. My neighbor is a jeweler, and he graciously offered me the use of his equipment and is gently encouraging my addiction.

I've loved gems/stones since I was a wee one and picked up 'rocks' and kept them in my pockets. My Mother long ago assured me that most of my 'treasures' were petrified dog doo, but I'm not so sure.

*grin* I figure I got at least one real 'treasure' there!

win

 

69gm

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 28, 2003
Messages
287
hi mara,

yes indeed it's been very interesting and informative on my quest for the best diamond i could find. i've always had an interest in diamonds (probably due to the fact that it's my birthstone
). i've learned so much from research and this forum!

i've also looked at what it might take to be a GG. i'm not looking for a career change or anything and it would be mostly as a hobby. however, i found it interesting that there are no independant appraisers here in hawaii (still no takers to move or open a satellite here? rich? rockdoc? dave?) i think this is a disservice to people here. all the GGs seem to work for jewelry stores!

and unlike the GGs here on the forum, i'm not sure how much they've been keeping up. there was one here locally who tried to sell me a stone falling into the famous 60/60 category. he told me that was the ideal when he got his GG and was a firm believer. i guess he uses leeches too!


plus all of my friends know that before making a major purchase i research something to death. i figure that not only helps me but also helps them if they have similar questions. knowledge is power, baby!


just my usual babble...
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Oct 30, 2002
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31,003
Interesting you speak of appraisers...because here in the Bayarea..where you would think SF and surrounding cities would host tons of them..there are only maybe 2-3 I've heard of that are indepdendent. Also only 2 of these are actually recommended to me! So if I wanted to pursue something and go that route, I'm sure this would be a great area for it! Same with Hawaii...as with the booming engagement and wedding biz there, you'd have a large market.

 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
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31,003
Ooooh Brazil and using my kboxing skills at the same time? 'Show me the money or ...!' Perfect!
 

mike04456

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 20, 2002
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1,441
Intriguing idea. If I didn't already have a job, a mortgage, a wife, a 3-year-old, and another kid on the way, I might consider it. Think you could find work for a brown-belt ex-Navy lawyer/gemologist?
What are the rules about bringing firearms into Brazil?
 

pelepup

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 5, 2003
Messages
24
I've always been interested in jewelry, antiques, collectibles. It's the treasure hunter in me. Several years ago, my dad faxed me an ad for gemology classes at the local institute, that I'd never heard of. He even offered to pay for part of it. I wasn't sure it was a good school and I was trying to make a go of my law practice. (I got my license and just hung out my shingle.) Well, I didn't take up my dad's offer. At the time I lived in San Diego, and the local school was the GIA. I didn't realize that it was THE school of gemology until I moved away. Now, I'm no longer practicing law and am looking for a new career. Perhaps gemology?? Who knows, as chances are, we are moving to another state soon. I wish there was a way of putting together my education and passions - biology, law, art, antiques, jewelry and drama!!! Any thoughts????
 

Ginny

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 13, 2003
Messages
19
Hi Mara!
I've always been a little magpie. I'm an RN, and on many days when my job really kicks my butt I dream about doing something else like examining sparkly gems. In fact I really did have a dream about it a few weeks ago! But that wouldn't have anything to do with spending hours on this forum looking at the sparklies, now would it?!? What, me, obsessed? Nah.


Virginia
 

wassiji

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 25, 2003
Messages
3
My Father owns a jewelry store in San Francisco - I have been working with him for years part-time - through high school...and only 2 years ago did I decide to work with him full-time and take the GIA diamond grading course and it was terrific - I felt like an astronomer looking through a telescope into whole new worlds - absolutely spectacular! My interest in gems has increased since then and when I have more time I plan on taking the precious gems course through GIA as well...
In my opinion, GIA is THE ONLY way to go...Being in the business myself, I would say it is by far the most reputable in schools and certification...
BJ
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
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31,003
----------------
On 6/25/2003 9:41:42 PM Furthermore wrote:

Besides, Mara can surely handle 30 desperadoes armed with sharpened dops, can`t you ? ;-))))

--------------------

Maybe with LawGem aka Mr Brown Belt around!!!

Furthermore, your posts are always a study in concentration, as it takes me about 10 minutes to pore through each one of them to be sure I am getting all the hidden points, humor, etc. My brain always hurts when I'm done. Too late for this!! I'm going to eat!
 

mike04456

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 20, 2002
Messages
1,441
.450 Nitro, eh? I'll see if I can track down my old Barrett Light .50.


In truth, I'd love to go down and hang out in Brazil for a while, starting with the gem fields in Minas Gerais (with a stop in Rio on the way). I've dealt with a few people down there and they're all fun to talk to. And any nation as soccer-mad as Brazil can't be all bad.

Mara, I'm actually a few years (post-parenthood) out of practice but there's only so much damage (to people, anyway) one can do with a dop.
 

RockDoc

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2000
Messages
2,509
Advice for those wanting to become gemologists.

I am not trying to discourage anyone, but there's a lot more to consider besides doing the GIA courses.

The curiculum that GIA teaches is not COMPLETE. Once you earn your GG, you are ready only to BEGIN!

You will need experience, and a lot more study, which you probably will need to do yourself.

Then you will need the lab equipment. Microscope, polariscope, refractometer, diamond color comparison set, leveridge guage, and a lot more items. ( See Gem instruments site to get an idea of the products and costs).

I certainly encourage anyone, before working in the profession or advising consumers to get the education, and then get the more advanced experience.

GIA is certainly a worthwhile start... but those considering this should realize that it does take a fairly substancial investment in both time, further learning, and experience to do it right.


Rockdoc
 

fire&ice

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
7,828
----------------
On 6/25/2003 3:54:50 PM pelepup wrote:

I wish there was a way of putting together my education and passions - biology, law, art, antiques, jewelry and drama!!! Any thoughts????
----------------
Auction law. I'm not kidding. Maine Antique Digest has a regular feature on Auction Law by an attorney who is also an auctioneer.
 

mike04456

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 20, 2002
Messages
1,441

----------------
On 6/26/2003 1:57:50 PM RockDoc wrote:
The curiculum that GIA teaches is not COMPLETE. Once you earn your GG, you are ready only to BEGIN!

----------------
As someone who earned his GG somewhat more recently than Rockdoc, let me concur wholeheartedly with this. It's not until you complete all the coursework that you realize how little you actually know. And while there are other courses besides GIA's, there is nothing like a masters or doctorate in gemology (mineralogy, yes, but that's a whole different story). What else you learn is up to you.

Oh, and the instruments, yes. To do what Furthermore is talking about, you're going to need, at the very least, one of these:

http://www.gia.edu/geminstrument/myProducts.cfm?CFID=1844867&CFTOKEN=99654859&productID=134&display=detail&categoryID=8&name=Portables&filterFor=

...the briefcase gem lab, a mere $2,995. Or, if you're really serious, one of these:

http://www.gia.edu/geminstrument/myProducts.cfm?CFID=1844877&CFTOKEN=68190130&productID=6&display=detail&categoryID=8&name=Portables&filterFor=

...the full-size portable gem lab, which will set you back a paltry $7,995.

So, Mara, you've still got a ways to go before joining Furthermore in Brazil. But one must have goal s, after all.
 

winyan

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 9, 2003
Messages
1,163
Thanks LawGem, those links led me right to the GIA distance courses, so I found out the 1st Colored stones class is $349. I can afford that!...well, in a month or two!

I know there's more than just one class, but for $349, I can afford to do this!

win

 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
Nothing shall defeat me in my pursuit of Brazil and (furthermore?) gemology. Well..maybe lack of funds..until we get married at least and throw our thousands of dollars at the Hawaiian hula dancers. My little first class will have to tide me over til then, oh and now I get the GIA alumni magazine too..woo hoo.
 

mike04456

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 20, 2002
Messages
1,441

----------------
On 6/26/2003 4
1:46 PM Furthermore wrote:
Worth noting here -

Some buyers ask, "OK, will the seller supply his own gemological tools for us to use ?"

Unwise indeed is the buyer who uses them. ;-))))Golden rule - take your own. Always.

Any thoughts on what a fair daily rate is for a travelling gemologist, Lawgem and Rockdoc ???

Best regards
Furthermore

----------------
Babes in the woods, those. Please tell you don't get a lot of buyers who are that naive?

Were I to do something like that, I think I would charge a minimum of $300/day plus expenses. Rockdoc would surely be more.
 

RockDoc

Ideal_Rock
Joined
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2,509
Furthermore

I go to Brazil occasionally. Actually I get my medical and dental work there.
In fact I just returned from Brazil about 3 months ago.


I haven't been to Minas Gerais yet, as it is really a long trip from Londrina, which is where I stay when there.

What is very interesting is that unless you are dealing with those who have wealth in Brazil ( a very small cross section of the population ) you really would have a hard time making a living.

I notice that most engaged women there are wearing engagment rings with center stones that are very small... 0.10 - 0.15 carat.

There are a few people who have some larger stones, but employees there just don't make that much.

Tough to make a living. Sao Paulo and Rio have some people that have the money, but if the consumer can afford a decent quality and size stone, they are afraid of the crime factor.

Jewelry displayed at the retailers feature very small diamonds... maybe some larger colored stones, but the jewelry stores there don't have the level of goods offered in many other countries.

Brazil is a great place for eating out. Especially in Londrina.. ( one of the major university cities). I took 8 people for Chuhascarria dinner and the bill was about $ 50.00 US. This is for all the meat you can eat... sirloin, ham, lamb, duck, ribs, filet mignon and much more. In fact the waiters come with more meat so often, you have to chase them away to have a chance to eat what is already piled up on your plate.

Rockdoc
 

Richard Sherwood

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 25, 2002
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4,924
-----------
I go to Brazil occasionally. Actually I get my
medical and dental work there.
-----------

Hey, that's interesting RockDoc. How do you find the standard of work there?

My wife and I have been going to Mexico recently for medical treatment, and have been amazed at the standard of care, and the low cost. It actually blew me away, to be truthful.

I've been checking into the dental treatment for a friend of mine who needs $10,000 worth of dental treatment (US price). I priced it out in Mexico for $900 to $1,200.

How's Brazil compare? How long have you been going there?
What do you think of it in general?
 
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