Wow! We have never had so many “dedicated” gemology students. By that we mean those taking multiple classes or even starting GIA diploma courses. Our Spring classes saw an almost complete turnover of Diamond Grading students into our Gemstone ID course and then to our Gem ID II course. From those classes four NGI graduates were already or about to be enrolled at the G.I.A. (Gemological Institute of America). Having taken our classes, they will be able to utilize NGI equipment and cruise through their studies (saving thousands of dollars in the process) as they complete their G.I.A. Graduate Gemologist program.

Discount Tuition Packages
In 2006, we will bundle multiple classes for discounts so those interested in more than one can get a tuition break. Although our single class rates have finally been raised (still half of G.I.A.’s comparable class), applied discounts make them similar to those of ’05. To obtain these rates you must register for multiple classes as a package.

Registration advice.
Classes are intentionally small so early enrollment is recommended. Several sold out in 2005. Also note that Gemstone Identification II or Gemstone Evaluation courses require taking Gemstone Identification first. Ted’s Tucson Tour requires you to take Gem ID and Gem Evaluation. All of our classes may be viewed at
A couple of newsletters ago we spoke to an instance where laser-inscriptions could lower a diamond’s clarity grade and guess what? A pending sale between a local buyer and Internet jeweler brought us a GIA certified Internally Flawless one carat diamond for verification and value. The diamond checked out to the GIA documentation with one exception – a laser inscription not there at the time of certification had been added by the seller, with their name and ID number on the girdle. Unfortunately, the process used had entered the diamond and was visible at 10X in the face-up position. The diamond now graded VVS and would require re-cutting to bring it back to flawless, potentially making it less than a carat (that’s thousands of dollars). While most inscriptions are not intrusive, this case-in-point shows us the need for caution in such procedures. It also points out the need to have third-party verification before a purchase. Had the buyer not done this, it may have been years before its detection.

Finally, a GIA cut grade for round diamonds. After years of study, computerized modeling techniques and debate, the GIA has announced its new five-grade system for proportion analysis. A lot of science went into this system that looks at angles, percentages and light return so while the chosen nomenclature isn’t too exciting, it is easy to present. It goes Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair and Poor. Their new Facetware™ software can be picked-up on-line to do your own estimates and the Gem Trade Lab will start using the system in 2006. This will not result in any changes at NGL, since these are the terms we have always used!

Many people ask about becoming a Graduate Gemologist (G.G.) through the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), the foremost school for gemology in the industry and creators of most of the gemological systems used in the trade today. Whether studying in residence at GIA’s Carlsbad California campus or through correspondence while staying at home, the processes of diamond grading and gemstone identification with hand’s on training at NGI will set you up for success.

Just ask Audrey Forrest, newly anointed G.G. and former NGI intern– now employed here, assisting in our gemology classes and at the lab, while learning the processes of appraising fine jewelry. As an NGI student, Audrey exercised our offer of studying for the GIA courses using our school equipment. Already knowing the fundamentals, she cruised through her studies with near-perfect scores, becoming a G.G. in well under a year while employed locally by Mill Creek Jewelers.

Over the years, several NGI graduates have gone one to become G.G.’s and found little trouble with the GIA curriculum because they had already learned the tough stuff right here at NGI!

For a small investment, you will gain confidence in the examination of diamonds, their treatments and substitutes and learn to use gem ID equipment such as the refractometer, polariscope, dichroscope, specific gravity liquids and, of course, the microscope. Even if you do not wish to become a G.G., an NGI education pays big dividends for both those in industry and consumers.

Phone: 425.455.0985 | Fax: 425.454.3088 | Office: 10801 Main Street Suite 105 Bellevue, WA 98004
Office Hours: Monday-Thursday 8:30am - 4:00pm, Friday 8:30am - 3:30pm, Closed Saturday and Sunday

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