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 Post subject: Benefit of doing Gem-A programs after getting my GG?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 11:21 pm 
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I was told by the Gem-A reps @ Tucson this year that because I'm a GG I could waive certain Gem-A requirements. For those of you who hold both a GG and an FGA/DGA, do you recommend I do Gem-A as well? I'm enrolled in AiS appraisal classes @ the moment (one of the reasons I opted not to enroll in Gem-A this year).

Nancy


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 Post subject: Re: Benefit of doing Gem-A programs after getting my GG?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 6:08 pm 
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Hello, I hope this finds you well. I was a GG for many years and took the FGA course as a brush up. They did not waive any requirements and pretty much told me that GG's weren't much better than their regular beginning students. They are different from GIA as they only pass about 2/3 of the people who take the initial course and only about half who take the GEMA exam. You may take it over a limited number of times.
Because there was so much time between the GG and the FGA course it was a stunning refresher. I either didn't know or had forgotten much of what I was supposed to know. Their emphasis was strong on the crystal identification part which I don't remember hardly anything from GIA. I think they may be a bit more oriented to people working in the field or a lab than in a store. It is a lot less expensive than GIA because most US students only have the option of home study. You will be assigned a tutor here in the states.
I recommend the course to anyone who wants to make sure they didn't miss anything or as a challenging refresher. There are lots of GG's, and probably a couple hundred FGA's in the US, but not a lot of people hold both ratings.
Getting a GG is a good start, but if you don't keep up you might get stale. The FGA is a good way to keep your brain working. I know lots of people who are GG's who have never done any continuing education and still get to sign with their title.
John Fitzgerald, GG, FGA
Member of Scottish Gemmological Associaton (because I needed some plaid in my resume)

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 Post subject: Re: Benefit of doing Gem-A programs after getting my GG?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 6:27 pm 
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Hi John,

Thank you for your reply! I'm not one of those GGs who doesn't keep up with developments in the world of gemology-IMO if you don't keep up your GG means nothing :) my primary reason for considering Gem-A is because their focus is different-as you mentioned GIA seems more retail oriented while Gem-A is more theoretical. I noticed the price difference too! I'm the GIA Golden Gate Alumni chapter vice-president; our chapter co-president Starla Turner is the Gem-A 'fast track' coordinator here on the west coast. I think after I complete my appraisal training I'll seriously look into getting my FGA. Gem-A will be in Tucson so I can chat with them then.....


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 Post subject: Re: Benefit of doing Gem-A programs after getting my GG?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2014 8:48 pm 
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Nancy- I too have been comparing the GG vs. FGA coursework. The FGA seems more comprehensive and actually more of what I am looking for. Would you be so kind as to share what you learn from the Gem A folks? I will not be able to attend this year. Thanks! Maybe we could be study buddies.

Catherine


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 Post subject: Re: Benefit of doing Gem-A programs after getting my GG?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2014 9:21 pm 
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Hi Catherine,

I'd be happy to share what I learn in Tucson :) I hope to be done with my appraisal courses by mid-year; I'll revisit the question of whether to enroll in Gem-A at that time. I'm picking up Gem-A brochures in Tucson for another friend. If you'd like I can get some for you & mail them when I get back? It would be fun to have a study buddy!

Nancy :)


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 Post subject: Re: Benefit of doing Gem-A programs after getting my GG?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:10 pm 
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Nancy,

I would be very grateful for that. I like their curriculum - appears meatier than the GG and includes pearls.

Yay study buddy! PM after the show and we can chat about what you learned. The only concern I have is that the course materials were criticized elsewhere but they may have been updated to be more useable for the distance students. I have been a member of the UKFGA and USFG. Both fantastic resources as well. They also have great London facilities and inexpensive housing alternatives when you have to sit for exams.

Catherine


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 Post subject: Re: Benefit of doing Gem-A programs after getting my GG?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 5:46 pm 
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Catherine,

Sorry for the delay....it took me a week to start feeling 'human' again after Tucson and its been crazy trying to catch up after being away. I got you a Gem-A catalogue. Please PM me to chat about shipping it .

Nancy :)


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 Post subject: Re: Benefit of doing Gem-A programs after getting my GG?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 6:00 pm 
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Hello Catherine,

What is UKFGA and the other association that you write about?

Thank you.

Brigitte


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 Post subject: Re: Benefit of doing Gem-A programs after getting my GG?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 7:28 pm 
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Catherine-GIA does include pearls-if you complete the pearl grading lab and pearls course you earn your 'Graduate Pearls' credential (which I did while working on my GG because I love pearls).


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 Post subject: Re: Benefit of doing Gem-A programs after getting my GG?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:30 am 
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Hi there,
This is my first post. I am currently in Las Vegas taking the Gem-A practical lab and exam. The final part of the FGA program. I too am a GG and find the Gem-A program much more challenging. Like a prior post mentioned, it is more geared to the science aspect of gemology rather than the retail side. After nearly completing it, I feel much more confident in gem id and using equipment more effectively and efficiently. It is far more difficult though. I welcome it! Especially the theory part. But, there is a reason its more difficult and harder to pass. It accomplishes what it sets out to do and that is to make you a better gemologist. So happy I'm doing it!


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