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 Post subject: I just wrote this guide to attending GIA for half the price!
PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2016 12:35 am 
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I'm very proud of this article and all the experience that enabled me to write it. I must especially thank GemologyOnline which answered so many questions along the way!

https://medium.com/@justinkprim/how-to-pay-half-the-price-for-a-gia-gemology-degree-a2fc8b7cd00#.7j9qixlvd

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 Post subject: Re: I just wrote this guide to attending GIA for half the pr
PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2016 1:09 pm 
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Thanks Jason.
I love your review.


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 Post subject: Re: I just wrote this guide to attending GIA for half the pr
PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2016 1:24 pm 
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Jason,

Excellent article!
I tend to be extremely frugal, and your way around going to Carlsbad full time was an inspiration!
You score a full ten points on originality and on a kick ass experience.
I'm envious, as I am at a point in life where I simply don't have huge chunks of time I can take off on sabbatical, and if I did, I'm sure the wife would demand to tag along!
Glad that you were able to take the time off to get through your studies, and that you landed a job in no time.
I think that as time goes on, the perception that the GIA is the only game in town will change.
There are alternatives (as you mentioned), and I believe that the online component of education will only expand.
The bottom line, is that it is all good.
I think it will matter less where you go to school, but what you actually learn.
The problem is that not everyone is highly motivated, or capable of teaching themselves, so talents will vary.

-Tom


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 Post subject: Re: I just wrote this guide to attending GIA for half the pr
PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 2:10 pm 
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I Totally agree. Glad there are different schools and different styles. I don't necessarily think GIA is the best but I recognize what the name means to the industry. I don't plan to stop either. I want GEM-A under my belt too, but let me pay off my GIA bills first :?


(justin)

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 Post subject: Re: I just wrote this guide to attending GIA for half the pr
PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 9:16 pm 
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Justin,

I think it's fair to say that we will all be learning the rest of our lives, whether we're in school or not.
Each school has something good to offer, and none of them do everything the same way, so each has something the others don't.
I wish you Luck in your career, and your further schooling.
I have to consider what to do next, as well... I've been offered a free ride whichever way I go.
My thinking is to go with the Gem-A FGA. Being frugal, it's the next step, and from what I understand, is the most prestigious worldwide (outside the USA).
Glad I didn't sign up for the E-learning classes this year, as it's been a rough slog this fall.
I still have a few good sized work related projects to get out of the way, and hope to have a bit freer schedule next year.
Oddly enough, if I hadn't been so busy with a major product rollout, I would have been sent to Franklin, NC for a couple of weeks last month. I had a fun time there last year screening unenriched natural soil, and brought back a cool tabular Sapphire crystal still encased in the local mica.

-Tom


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 Post subject: Re: I just wrote this guide to attending GIA for half the pr
PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 10:28 pm 
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Jjust as a general note, almost none of that local material is really local. There is a depressing deficit of knowledge and honesty in a lot of those tourist joints, though they can also be a lot of fun--my favorite has sluice mining, an indoor koi pond and baby goats out back that you can feed.

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 Post subject: Re: I just wrote this guide to attending GIA for half the pr
PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 12:27 am 
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Stephen,

Thanks, I'm well aware of tourist mines... I lived in the Spruce Pine Mining District for a dozen years, so I get how those places work.
As far as I know, Mason's is the only mine in the area that has local gravel: We found several smaller Sapphires and other material, and it was obvious that it was all local.
I simply do not visit tourist mines, unless it's with really young kids, and they get a kick out of "finding" the amethysts, fossils, beryls, and other stuff that couldn't possibly be found together.
Likewise, I've been to Little Pine, dug my own garnets, and gone to various other abandoned mines and prospects, and found stuff that is native to those locations.
I've got a nice collection of Samarskites, Columbites, and other cool pegmatite minerals plus Kyanites and quartz crystals, all found by myself.

-Tom


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 Post subject: Re: I just wrote this guide to attending GIA for half the pr
PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 4:41 am 
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Glad to hear you're familiar with the local landscape--sorry to tell you what you already know. I've occasionally seen experienced people not catch on in some cases.

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 Post subject: Re: I just wrote this guide to attending GIA for half the pr
PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 9:41 am 
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Stephen, it's OK! I appreciate you chiming in: Some people know what the deal is, some don't: I'd MUCH rather you tell me about the local pitfalls, than just staying quiet. You didn't know that I had local knowledge.
One operation really galls me: The guy was the subject of a puff piece about 20 years ago: He made it sound like the hillsides were littered with gems, to the point where desperate people were regularly contacting the local chamber of commerce to ask if they should sell everything they had to move to Mitchell County and make a living gem hunting...
I think it's great when people are able to positively publicize their businesses, but when it goes way over the edge, that's a different story.
He mentioned about how he just happened to be walking along a country road, and kicked this rock: He looked down at it, and it was a $500,000 Sapphire: Really? There is only ONE place locally in the Spruce Pine Mining District where Sapphire and Ruby are found. The dump is right there at the mine, and NOT on a road..
The place is almost a secret, you do NOT go there. It is private property, the owners are armed, and do NOT tolerate trespassers well at all.


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 Post subject: Re: I just wrote this guide to attending GIA for half the pr
PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 12:18 pm 
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One great thing about Gem-A is that if you've looked at GIA prices it seems CHEAP!! I met someone who is doing the FGA right now online and he offered to show me the books this week, just so I can get an idea about how they present the information. I look forward to it! Good luck in your educational endeavors too.

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 Post subject: Re: I just wrote this guide to attending GIA for half the pr
PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 9:55 pm 
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Justin,

Yes... Totally agree with you! The FGA is a fraction of the GG... Again, they are all good.
If you don't mind, let us know what you think of the FGA books/program vs. GIA.
It would be interesting to get your take on this.
And thanks for the best wishes... Right back at you!

-Tom


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 Post subject: Re: I just wrote this guide to attending GIA for half the pr
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 10:32 pm 
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Will do.. Give me a year or so and ill write another article. :mrgreen: I'm very curious about this myself. I know there are a few people on the board that have done both but I haven't seen anyone do a detailed comparison.

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