Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

What does it take to become a gemologist????

Status
Not open for further replies. Please create a new topic or request for this thread to be opened.

Charmed

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 9, 2003
Messages
112
I am looking into gemology as a second career to being a licensed school psychologist due to my great interest and love of jewelry. Since this forum is full of knowledgable professionals in the field, could someone please explain the process. Do you need to take courses or can you just study for the exam? Any information is greatly appreciated!!!
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
Check out the GIA at www.gia.org. You have to take classes and tests to become a GIA graduate gemologist. I am on my first class and we'll see how far my interest takes me. The classes are between $300-1000 depending on what you take. I think that I read it takes 8 classes to get your GIA gemologist degree, some are virtual/distance ed and some are on-site at their campuses around the states.

If you want to just get some hands on training, you can also work part time for a jewelry store or volunteer. That is what I am considering doing locally..while I am slowly taking the classes. While I am happy with my career in marketing right now, I do love the world of gems and it's a fun hobby.

Good luck!!
 

Charmed

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 9, 2003
Messages
112
Thank you so much Mara for your helpful insight. Good luck to you!!!!!! I will check it out!
 

DiamondExpert

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 15, 2003
Messages
1,245
Just make sure you can afford the cost...you can study all you want and take all the exams, but you get nothing from GIA until you have paid up in full!
 

dimonbob

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Dec 12, 2000
Messages
670
Gary - Did you really expect to take the GIA courses and not pay for them and get a diploma?
Yes, the GIA courses are expensive but its like any other advanced study. You have to register, pay the tuition, study, pass the exams and then you get your diploma.

I know Mara said 8 classes, I think she means courses. I would recommend starting out with the easiest course which happens to be the Diamond Course. You can knock out a lesson a day with ease and go from there.
Have fun because it is.
 

Yupi

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 8, 2003
Messages
74
I know GIA has already divided its full GG diploma into two large course: The diamond course and colored stones course and theoretically you need to complete two to become a fully qualified gemologist. And the costs for two courses charged in HK is about USD10,000, the diamond course alone accounts for about USD60,000. This price is not including exam fees (I think).
 

dimonbob

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Dec 12, 2000
Messages
670
As a GIA Alumni I get all kinds of brochures from GIA.
Today I received the 2003 tuition information:

Gemologist Program - $3590
Includes Diamonds program & Colored Stones program

Diamonds Program - $1195
Includes Diamond Essentials & Diamonds & Diamond Grading courses

Colored Stones Program - $2395
Includes Colored Stones Essentials, Colored Stones, and Gem Identification courses

Accredited Jewelry Professional Program (A.J.P.) $895
Includes Jewelry Essentials, Colored Stones Essentials, and Diamonds Essentials

The tuition above is payment in full before you start the program. They also have a 3 payment program and a monthly payment program.

You can do the whole program at home, in class or in cyberspace.

I did the program 30 years ago and it cost about the same. You can't say that for many things these days.

It was and is well worth it.
 

Richard Sherwood

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 25, 2002
Messages
4,924
The main thing it takes to finish is discipline. When I took the distance education (which now can be done over the internet), the drop-out rates on students who had launched out to get their GG degree was 75%.

It's not that the courses are that hard, it's just that you have to discipline yourself to work on them everyday. Most distance education students get their GG in about three years. It took me four, as I was married, raising young kids, and working three jobs. I worked as a jewelry salesperson during the day, cooked in a pizza restaurant in the evenings, and worked third shift security at a retirement home on the weekends.

After I finished the diamond courses, I got promoted to assistant manager of one of the stores in the seven store firm I worked for, and then was promoted to manager after getting the GG. Along the way I was able to drop the extra jobs, and started to make decent money. Now I'm self employed and making better money than most college grads. There's definitely a future in the gem business if you have the right ingredient of personality characteristics and knowledge.

They're great courses, and a lot of fun. You'll learn more than you ever thought there was to know about diamonds and colored stones. I highly recommend them.
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
Actually DB on the course materials I have it says that to complete all and get your GG license, you must do a few of the classes at a center closest to you. So you can't do the entire thing online...and the final tests need to be supervised in a center as well. That is the only downside for me...as I would do all virtual if I could. The closest center to me is Carlsbad, CA which is around a 5 hour drive I think? You can do the first diamond course completely virtually but I think in the 2nd diamond course you need to go in for a few labs etc also.
 

Richard Sherwood

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 25, 2002
Messages
4,924
Mara, they've got what they call "traveling classes" which go all over the US to let people fulfill the labs they need to do in order to get the diplomas. Additional cost, of course.

I bet there's some which come closer to you than the Carlsbad campus. No?
 

fire&ice

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
7,828
Silly question - Do you need good eyes? I mean not a "good eye" - but literally good eyes. I am nearsighted & w/ correction I am farsighted.

Also, I have heard that it was about 10k - from my jeweler who took the course. If I recall correctly, his mobile "lab" was about 10k. Then...do you have to add the master stones?

I love to learn. But, I am at a point with my specialty that I am teaching. Of course one continues to learn; but, not at the accelerated speed I like.

One more question. What kind of insurance do you need? Is our safety at risk?
 

Richard Sherwood

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 25, 2002
Messages
4,924
-----------
Silly question - Do you need good eyes? I mean not a "good eye" - but
literally good eyes. I am nearsighted & w/ correction I am farsighted.
-----------

For critical gem work, such as clarity and color grading of diamonds, good eyes are helpful. These could be either good uncorrected vision, or good corrected vision.

For the majority of work, it's not as critical.

-----------
Also, I have heard that it was about 10k - from my jeweler who took
the course. If I recall correctly, his mobile "lab" was about 10k.
Then...do you have to add the master stones?
-----------

It depends on what you're out to do. The major instrument you need is a microscope. You can spend as much money as you want to on one of those. There's adequate ones available in the $500-$900 neighborhood, and then there's a higher caliber of scopes available from $2500 to $6000, with an even higher caliber of scopes available from $8000 to $12,000.

Then a refractometer and polariscope are two essential tools, along with various and assorted less expensive tools and gadgets. You can make a polariscope from a cheap pair of polarized sunglasses (see http://www.yourgemologist.com), or purchase a handy instrument for about $200. I think the refractometers are around $400-$600, depending on the brand you purchase. There's an excellent overview of gemological equipment needed at that site I referred to, along with great gemological info.

You definitely don't have to spend 10k to start out on equipment. As far as master diamond color grading stones, it depends on what you're after. If you think you're going to get into serious buying or appraising, then it might be a worthwhile purchase (they're expensive). Otherwise, a good set of cubic zirconia color grading stones (about $300) should get you by.

-----------
I love to learn. But, I am at a point with my specialty that I am
teaching. Of course one continues to learn; but, not at the
accelerated speed I like.
-----------

That's what's great about the distance education courses. You can take them at your own pace. Fast as a hare, or slow as a tortoise, you still end up at the same destination.

-----------
One more question. What kind of insurance do you need? Is our safety
at risk?
-----------

As a student, no. If you get into the business, yes. If you end up getting an expensive assortment of equipment, you might want to insure it. If you end up getting in the business dealing in expensive gems, you might want to carry insurance against loss.

The safety factor varies according to what end of the business you get in, and your exposure. A mall store salesperson is in far less danger than a road salesman. There definitely is an element of danger though, the closer you get to the "merchandise", particularly if it is liquid, like diamonds and fine colored stones. You have to be careful.
 

fire&ice

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
7,828
Rich, many thanks for your time & detailed advice. YOu gave me some food for thought.
 

dimonbob

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Dec 12, 2000
Messages
670
You can sink a lot of $$$ into gemological "toys". I did the course through correspondence like Rich did. No computers back then. It took me 3 years. I would complete a lesson, mail it in, and get it back in 3 weeks. What a drag! Now you can complete a lesson, on line, and get results right away. Way too cool!

Rich left out the spectrascope with stand. Another expensive "toy" but very handy if you know what you are doing.

I did the Diamond course with a 10x loupe, tweezers and a table guage. I don't know how I did it. I had to get a microscope and all the other equipment when I got into Gem Identification. There is no way to get through that without access to all that equipment.

If you take the GG program in residence, you learn a lot more and you don't have to buy the equipment...Yet!
 

DiamondExpert

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 15, 2003
Messages
1,245
Dbob, I think you misunderstood my message, which was simply - Make sure you can come up with the $ up front.

I also did my GG by distance, and it took me 20 months working a full-time academic position simultaneously.

And I agree, it was great fun! Especially the extensions courses!

Regards,
 

Charmed

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 9, 2003
Messages
112
WOW!!!! Thank you ALL so much for your information!!! I really didn't realize it would be that expensive. I finished grad school in the field of psychology in 2000. It is time for me to go back to school and I thought the career of gemology would be great! I just may need to save some money first or take one course and go from there! So much to learn!!!!!!!! Thank you all!!!!!!!!!! All of your knowledge and insight is so greatly appreciated!!!!
 

winyan

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 9, 2003
Messages
1,163
Hi

I got interested in this topic because I have a friend with a jewelry business across the street from my house, who wants me to take the colored stones course. He offered me use of his equipment. I'm thinking this would make it so easy for me to complete this course.

Any thoughts?

win
 

trichrome

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 9, 2002
Messages
397
To make money in this business, you don't need to follow any courses..
You just need to be a good business man.



Trichrome.
 
Status
Not open for further replies. Please create a new topic or request for this thread to be opened.
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!
    Diamond Prices - January 2021
    Diamond Prices - January 2021
    The Magic of Pink and Blue Diamonds
    The Magic of Pink and Blue Diamonds
    Get the Look: Moira Rose
    Get the Look: Moira Rose

Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.

New posts

Top