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Gemology - info and advice please!

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Porridge

Ideal_Rock
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Hey all! This is my first time posting in coloured stones, but I think it's the right place for this post! So I'm fairly new to PS, and am, like everyone here, crazy about diamonds and gems and all things sparkly - but am, as yet, still fairly clueless by PS standards. I love the physics side of it all - I majored in physics for my undergrad and optics was my absolute favourite subject. I think gems are fascinating, and I would love to learn more. I think there are quite a few pro's/semi pro's hanging around this forum? Could you please share your experiences with me? I'll add a list of questions at the end to make what I'm looking for a little clearer, but first here's some background: I'm a final year physical therapy student living in Ireland, so I don't have much time on my hands or access to much in the way of gem education (unless someone knows something about gems and Ireland that I don't?!?) I will be moving to SoCal once I graduate this summer.

So here's what I want to know:

- How did you get interested in diamonds and gemstones?
- Do you have any qualifications in gemology or anything related? If so, what are they?
- Do you work in this area or is it a hobby? What does your work/hobby entail?
- I meant to say "gemology and faceting" in the title. Are there any faceters here? Same questions as above apply to you! (Have been addicted to gemcutter.com for the past few weeks!)

I found a free gemology course through the ACS website given by Barbara Smigel. It looks like a perfect place to start. Has anyone done this course or do you know anything about it? Looks great to me, but I'm a total amateur.

Overload of questions!
Thanks all... Feel free to point me to threads where this stuff has already been answered!

 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
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- How did you get interested in diamonds and gemstones?
I think it''s inborn.


- Do you have any qualifications in gemology or anything related? If so, what are they?
None whatsoever

- Do you work in this area or is it a hobby? What does your work/hobby entail?
Not at all. Sort of like a hobby now.

- I meant to say "gemology and faceting" in the title. Are there any faceters here? Same questions as above apply to you! (Have been addicted to gemcutter.com for the past few weeks!)
Not a cutter but I''m really fascinated by the process.

ACS certainly has a great starter instruction that is free to the public.
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Cool to find someone also interested in physics. My degree is in math, but I like to read about physics, and my husband is an engineer (lots of physics courses there!!). You probably are aware of my avitar as a hypercube projection.

- How did you get interested in diamonds and gemstones? I used to collect rocks as a kid, and the love grew to gems, even as a child. I had a rock tumbler and I had books about rocks and minerals. As I got older, I got $$, so the rest is history!

- Do you have any qualifications in gemology or anything related? If so, what are they? Nope, it''s just a hobby that I love (even though it''s expensive)

- Do you work in this area or is it a hobby? What does your work/hobby entail? Answered in prior question.
 

coatimundi_org

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- How did you get interested in diamonds and gemstones?

I've always been a rock lover. I used to go on trips to the diamond mine in Arkansas when I was a child. I really got into it when I got engaged, and now, I'm in it for life.

- Do you have any qualifications in gemology or anything related? If so, what are they?

I'm a graduate gemologist--recent grad from GIA. I did the on campus full time program. It was a great time.

- Do you work in this area or is it a hobby? What does your work/hobby entail?

I will be working in the industry soon. I just got an offer, and I am poised to accept.



I think Barbara's online course is a great way to begin! Have fun and keep us posted on your progress!
 

zeolite

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- How did you get interested in diamonds and gemstones?
My mother collected gems and jewelry and got me interested.

- Do you have any qualifications in gemology or anything related? If so, what are they?
B.S. in physics. Graduate studies in physics. Gemology degree from GIA. Attended premierTucson (wholesale) gem shows nearly every year for 25 years. Worked as a physicist for large U.S. companies in flat panel display technologies. Somewhere around 5 patents in display optics (3 issued, 3 more in progress).

- Do you work in this area or is it a hobby? What does your work/hobby entail?
Work (recently retired) consisted of tearing liquid crystal displays apart, removing all of the optical components, and replacing them with my optical components(protected by my patents), to make them readable in full, bright sunlight. So my work was optics.

Studied photography at the professional level all of my adult life. This includes color and optics. My picture made the front cover of one national magazine. In another worldwide contest 4500 pictures were submitted, 11 were selected. Mine was one of the final 11.

Sold cut loose and mounted gems stones as a side and paying business for 25 years. I mounted them myself in purchased settings. I bought full casting equipment and made and sold my own designs from the wax model, did the melting, casting, finishing and setting, to the completed jewelry piece.

- I meant to say "gemology and faceting" in the title. Are there any faceters here? Yes. This is also optics. So my work, my photography, and my gems all involve optics.
 

coatimundi_org

Ideal_Rock
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Dec 9, 2007
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Zeolite--I'm so glad you shared your experience--very interesting how your work is all tied to a study of optics. I'm still very much a beginner with much to learn. The G.G. is the tip of hopefully a very vast iceberg. I look forward to reading more of your posts and viewing more of your photos. I'm fairly new to photography too, only been taking photos for a couple of years, so I'm sure I could learn something from you.
 

T L

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I''m just amazed that all these physicists love gems (although, I''m not a physicist, but a lover of physics). Do you think Isaac Newton had a secret gem collection??!!
 

Porridge

Ideal_Rock
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Wow Zeolite, your work sounds fascinating! I love that you came up with a way to see screens in direct sunlight - that is what bugs me the most about my computer! I must look into this...Congratulations on your many achievements.
I veered off track with physics and went into physical therapy, which I really enjoy. However the real reason I veered is because the last year and a half of my B.Sc. was all computer programming and no optics, so I really lost interest (totally rubbish at comp. prog.) But now that I've come across it in another form the old flame is lit. Unfortunately there are no gem shows here in Ireland and a search showed up no lapidarys either
I really think I'd enjoy gem cutting.

Coati I love your posts and your jewelry - can't wait to hear about your new job.

tourmaline I've had a nerdy admiration of your av for a while now
Isaac was definitely a closet gem lover!

chrono thanks for the advice on the ACS course, I'm definitely going to look into it.

Interesting that the there are a number of photographers among us. I dabbled when I was in school, made a pinhole camera and had a little dark room. Didn't go far - I'm missing the artistic streak it requires to be very good.
 

zeolite

Brilliant_Rock
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Aug 13, 2008
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Chrono, TL, until I read your experience, I was sure from your knowledgeable posts, that you both had a degree in gemology!



And coatimundi, your GG shows in your writing also. Ask if you need pointers in gem photography.



Porridge, you may find more stable employment in physical therapy, than in optics. As for faceting clubs, try these:



http://www.usfacetersguild.org/membership.shtml

Membership is not limited to US citizens. The USFG's quarterly newsletter is worth the price of membership.

http://www.ukfcg.org/
 

Porridge

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 27, 2008
Messages
3,269
Good advice zeolite, plus I love the physio. I''m thinking it''s going to turn into a lifelong and time-consuming hobby though
Thanks for the link, I''m off to join right now!
 

chrono

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Date: 3/12/2009 2:31:41 PM
Author: zeolite


Chrono, TL, until I read your experience, I was sure from your knowledgeable posts, that you both had a degree in gemology!

Zeolite,
I'm going to take that as a compliment. Thank you.
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Date: 3/12/2009 2:31:41 PM
Author: zeolite

Chrono, TL, until I read your experience, I was sure from your knowledgeable posts, that you both had a degree in gemology!


Wow, thanks for the compliment, especially from someone as knowlegeable as yourself.
 
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