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 Post subject: AIGS correspondence course?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2021 10:09 am 
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I see from the AIGS web site that they are offering a correspondence option for the A.G. class work (at a very attractive price), with a separate 35-day practical course to complete the official certification.

Does anyone have any experience or thoughts on this option? I have difficulty imagining AIGS offering something substandard, but I can't seem to find anything about it beyond AIGS' pages.


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 Post subject: Re: AIGS correspondence course?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2021 12:23 pm 
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Sounds good.
I'd also recommend checking out the digital download for Handbook of Gemmology


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 Post subject: Re: AIGS correspondence course?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2021 9:37 am 
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Barbra Voltaire, FGG wrote:
Sounds good.
I'd also recommend checking out the digital download for Handbook of Gemmology


Thanks for the vote of confidence. I know AIGS has a good reputation, but the dearth of information outside their own pages raised some uncertainty.

(And I did get the Handbook a while ago when I started looking into gemology again as it seemed a universally recommended title; the newest books I have otherwise are the second edition of Hurlbut and Kammerling's Gemology and Wise's Secrets of the Gem Trade. How things have changed.)


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 Post subject: Re: AIGS correspondence course?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2021 7:04 pm 
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Are you interested in having credentials after your name or identification skils?


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 Post subject: Re: AIGS correspondence course?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2021 11:01 am 
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Barbra Voltaire, FGG wrote:
Are you interested in having credentials after your name or identification skils?


It's a bit of an odd case.

My graduate work back in the 1990s was in optical mineralogy. The application of that specific knowledge to gemology has left me, returning to the science twenty-five or so years on, in rather a curious place: I am comfortable, if a bit out of practice now, with the principles and tools on the optics side; and of course conversant with the usual methods of determinative mineralogy (hardness, streak, lustre, specific gravity, etc.).

I acknowledge my present limits: I see gaps in my knowledge of organic gems, grading, enhancements/treatments, and the current state of the trade in general. (Diamonds were never a particular interest, but I know an understanding of them is necessary to a well-rounded gemological education.) I would like to fill those gaps. Of course, one can never acquire a "complete" knowledge of an evolving subject, but an approximation can be made.

I know that much of this can be gained from books and fora like this one, but I find that an "externally" structured approach helps keep me on track and not disappearing down the optical rabbit hole when looking to address specific shortcomings.

Should it eventually bring me additional post-nominal letters, that's fine - but not the end goal at this time.


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 Post subject: Re: AIGS correspondence course?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2021 11:59 am 
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Gotcha.
AIGS sounds like a good option for that.
Do you have your instruments already?
Polariscope
Refractometer
Balanceand SG set up
Scope
Hand Held Spectroscope, like OPL


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 Post subject: Re: AIGS correspondence course?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2021 4:22 pm 
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Barbra Voltaire, FGG wrote:
Gotcha.
AIGS sounds like a good option for that.
Do you have your instruments already?

Most of them. :)
Quote:
Polariscope

I have one I built years ago from a couple of photographic polarizing filters, and the folding model Gem-A sells (as I thought it quite a clever idea). Quartz wedge, mica and gypsum plates.
Quote:
Refractometer

Yes.
Quote:
Balance and SG set up

Yes.
Quote:
Scope

Need to find one for gem work. I have a few: an older binoc (down on the bench in the shop for general use, no darkfield); Nikon polarizing; and a 1943 Zeiss metallurgical microscope. I don't mind buying second-hand - so long as parts/bulbs are available! - as I used to maintain/repair/"tune" petrographic microscopes. Any recommendations? For new I'd been considering Meiji as a good balance of quality/features/cost.
Quote:
Hand Held Spectroscope, like OPL

Both diffraction grating and prism.


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