The purpose of Northwest Gemological Institute (NGI) is to impart skills with immediate benefit to the student through hand’s on instruction in a small group environment. Our intent is to maximize the student’s efforts through intense instruction without unnecessary “fluff”.

Director’s Statement

By staying focused on a small group of students, we can provide more useful and useable information to the individual. Whether a seminar or multi-day workshop, our hands-on approach promotes small group interaction in an intense learning environment. Students are also encouraged to bring their own items to class for discussion. We give students the fundamental tools to take their interests as far as they wish – whether that means becoming a Graduate Gemologist, being more knowledgeable salespeople or better informed consumers.

While we provide corporate training for the jewelry professional, most of our classes have an even mix of people from the trade and general public. I prefer such classes, which offer different perspectives and expose students to the goals and perceptions of others.

I have taught most of the gemology-based courses at NGI since 1982 and always enjoy taking a new group through their paces. While the laboratory offers its own challenges, in teaching there is a special reward in imparting our specialized knowledge to the individual with no previous gemological experience.

One of the pre-requisites I have for our instructors is a passion for true teaching – sharing their expertise in a way that leaves the student glad they took the class and convinced they got their money’s worth. While much of our course material could be stretched out over greater periods of time, we deliberately offer condensed, do-it and use-it type of courses that allows inclusion in one’s busy schedule and makes it the most cost effective in the process.

Ted Irwin, G.G. , I.C.G.A, A.S.G., N.A.J.A.