Thursday, January 31, 2013

ISG Registered Gem Dealer

I have completed the course and passed the exam for ISG's Registered Gem Dealer designation.
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In February of 2012 I sent away for the ISG (International School of Gemology) Registered Gem Dealer home study course.

Course Provider: International School of Gemology
Course Name: Registered Gem Dealer
Course Cost: $195.00
Course Description (taken from the provider's website):

"The ISG Registered Gem Dealer program has been specifically designed for those who either are interested in becoming a gemstone dealer, or those who are already in the business and want to learn more about the gemstones they sell. The program comes in two parts: The ISG Registered Gem Dealer Course and the ISG Gem Equipment 101 DVD. Here is the information:
This program consists of a 14 lesson course in gemstone markets, identification, marketing, and market development. It is designed to benefit those new to the business as well as those who have been around a while.
Here is an overview of the course program:
  • Ethics and Ethical Selling
  • Setting up a gem dealer office including recommended equipment
  • Forms, Invoices and Documentation
  • Sources and resources to help your business grow
  • Choosing your specialty
  • Lab reports and a review of the major gem labs
  • Basics of Gem Identification
  • Basics of Diamond Grading
  • Basics of the Identification of Synthetic and Treated Gemstones
  • Review of Gemstones A - L:
  • Review of Gemstones M - Z
  • Competing in a Global Market
  • Setting up your Internet presence
  • Marketing Technique of the Successful Gem Dealer

The Gem Equipment 101 DVD is a special edition of the original education production of the ISG. This DVD is a 1 1/2 hour guide that takes you through all of the gemological equipment and teaches you how to use the equipment. While not a fully gemological education, for those who would like to better understand the gemological equipment and see video of the equipment in action....shot right through the equipment itself, this will be a great learning experience.
We cover real time video footage on How To Use The....:
  • Refractometer
  • Microscope
  • Polariscope
  • Dichroscope
  • Spectroscope
  • Jewelers Loupe
  • Tweezers and hand tools
  • SG Liquids
  • Precious metals testing\
  • And many other items that are important to gem identification.
Please note that this video was originally shot in VHS videotape and has been digitally remastered specifically for this ISG Registered Gem Dealer program as it contains footage that is very difficult to obtain. Some of the diamond grading information is contained in our ISG RG and RGA Program course videos. So this is a must see. It has not been available for several years but we recovered the original master copy and digitally remastered it for this Registered Gem Dealer Program.
All of this is included in your US$195.00 price. There is nothing else to buy and no other fees to pay other than First Class shipping of approximately $6.95.
Upon completion of this course program you will be able to set up and establish a gemstone dealer's office including all aspects of operations.
Certificate of Completion Awarded upon completion. Your name will be listed in the ISG Registered Gem Dealer Directory. You will be able to use the ISG Registered Gem Dealer logo in your business.
Free one year Registered Gem Dealer membership in the World Gem Society. Learn more at
Course Delivery: PDF files via CD that is sent to you. Final Exam is online through the ISG Final Exams system."

My Review:

I watched the 101 Gem Equipment DVD first and loved seeing the different equipment, how they were used, what was seen by each and so on. I didn't realize that gemstone grading and evaluation was so complicated. I also learned that I have a lot more to learn.

Then I started with the lessons. Lesson 1 on ethics was very informative as to what is and has been going on in the gem world as far as fraud. Ethics is pushed a lot in this course.

Lesson 2-6 & 12-14 were directed to setting up and running a gem dealer business. It discussed things that I didn't know about insurance, lab reports and gemological paperwork.

I especially liked the lessons on gem identification and treatments. These 5 lessons had images taken through the gemological equipment and were very nice. I didn't realize how many gemstones there were or that there were so many treatments and ways to create gemstones in a lab.

Overall this course was very useful for someone who wants to learn the basics of the industry and how to get a nice start. This is not an ivy league graduate course that will certify or enable you to grade or evaluate diamonds or gemstones. Think of this as a community collage or vo-tech introductory class.

My guess would be that this course was created to promote a basic understanding of the industry and to promote ethics and ethical practices at a grass roots level. I enjoyed the class and look forward to taking the ISG Registered Gemologist Program or I may skip ahead and just dive into the ISG Registered Gemologist Appraiser Program. One of my goals is to be able to appraise gemstones and jewelry for myself.