4.2
19 reviews
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  • High: 5.0
International School of Gemology - Gemologist Appraiser Program

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International School of Gemology - Gemologist Appraiser Program
 
4.2

(based on 19 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (15)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (3)

79%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

No Pros

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

No Best Uses
    • Affiliation:
    • I received a sample (6), I am an employee or otherwise affiliated with the brand (3)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Good value, great program for beginners!

When I considered entering the gemological field, I was seriously initimidated. It is a difficult field to break into, and many programs to become a certified gemologist are tens of thousands of dollars....Read complete review

When I considered entering the gemological field, I was seriously initimidated. It is a difficult field to break into, and many programs to become a certified gemologist are tens of thousands of dollars. I work full-time, and as I was unable at the time to travel to on-site lab classes, I decided to look at distance learning programs. ISG was recommended to me by a jeweler friend (I work in jewelry retail), and I did a lot of research before deciding. More than a year and a half into the program, I've found it to be informative, user-friendly, and a very good value considering I spent less than $3000 dollars on a full set of equipment and the entire coursework.

Although it may seem simplistic at times, sometimes you need a good teacher to break down complicated concepts into simpler terms. I feel that ISG is great for a beginning student, and would be perfect as a supplement to another course if you need the extra certification (GIA is considered industry-standard.)

Overall, a fun and interesting way to get acquainted with gemology!

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

International School of Gemology, Used to be good

If you are looking to enhance your rock collecting hobby this is the course for you. Its all online, no pre reqs needed. Basically all they care about is if your credit card...Read complete review

If you are looking to enhance your rock collecting hobby this is the course for you. Its all online, no pre reqs needed. Basically all they care about is if your credit card works. I had trouble accessing some of the courses on my computer, software can be quite glitchy. There is only one person running it who is friendly, but seems to always be going into different directions. One day everything is okay, then he's ranting about all the people he wants to have sue him. Next he is asking for donations so he can open a Childrens museum and then he's asking for donations so he can send rocks in for testing so he can sue people.
Online course material: Somewhat simple, based at a middle school level. It's well worth the fee if your into this for your hobby. If for a career I would suggest an accredited school with professional instructors.
Venue: Online. They are based in a Childrens museum in a tourist area in Texas
Recommendation: Most of the info from this site can be obtained for free at various other sites or by utilizing a good book on gemology. Not for the career minded. At one time this was a great informative site, but its fizzled away to an instructor angry at the jewelry industry, begging for donations.

Teaching Quality
One person, friendly overall.

Financial Aid
None available as this is not an accredited school

Accreditation
Not accredited

Reviewed by 19 customers

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Wonderful Education Opportunity in Gemology and Appraisal

By 

from Baltimore, MD

Comments about International School of Gemology - Gemologist Appraiser Program:

As an ISG Registered Gemologist Appraiser I found this program to be a wonderful education opportunity in gemology and appraisal. Mr. James was very clear in the requirements of the program for tools and equipment, and the practicals package where the ISG sent diamonds, colored gemstones, created and treated gemstones and pearls to me for grading gave me an excellent opportunity to get hand's-on experience. I now work for a local jewelry store as a jewelry appraiser thanks to my ISG education.

  • Affiliation:
  • I received a sample

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Very Happy with the ISG courses!

By 

from Southwest Washington State

Comments about International School of Gemology - Gemologist Appraiser Program:

I chose to take the ISG Registered Gemologist program as it was very priceworthy and would allow me to get a good "feel" for Gemology without spending upwards of ten grand only to find out that this isn't something that I want to pursue.
I never regretted my decision, and was so pleased with the RG courses that I enrolled in the Registered Gemologist Appraisal study program, which I am now finishing up.
The course material is very good. Understand that a lot of ground is covered: By necessity, you don't go into the depth that other venues might, and it's left to you to continue your studies.
This isn't an issue if you are truly MOTIVATED to learn the material. You are encouraged to use your education at the ISG as a stepping stone to learn more. This isn't a destination, but a stop on the grand journey of greater knowledge. I'm already planning on courses beyond the ISG once I have earned my RGA.
I refute the review from Dorian M: I believe it is spurious. If he was a real student, he would know that Robert James is quite clear in the course material as to the equipment that you need, and what you DON'T need.
Of course the school doesn't supply gem stones! If the school did this, the prices that need to be charged would go up through the ceiling.
Again, if you are truly MOTIVATED, you'll find your own reference stones like many of us do. Robert James mentions how for practice, he bought at least one of every type of stone that he might encounter for the British Gem A exam.
A small set of gems was supplied with the optional equipment package that I bought from the ISG.
I supplemented them with odd lots of unidentified gemstones from Ebay.
Also, I was blessed with a friend whose hobby is to buy gemstones, including many unknown lots of stones, which I've had a ball successfully identifying.
Between all of this, I have gotten substantial practice at identifying stones.
I would gladly recommend the ISG courses!

(0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

Do NOT waste your time or money on this Internet "School"

By 

from New jersey

Comments about International School of Gemology - Gemologist Appraiser Program:

I am a former student who was sadly sucked into the "Affordable Hype" ads. Wonderful free site if you are 13 years old and want to learn about rocks as a hobby. This "degree" only brings blank stares from actual professionals in the industry. When I show my card to potential employers it brings a wide range of remarks. Either a polite little smile followed by silence, or remarks such as "We only accept graduates of actual gemological schools" Currently this school is in process of restructuring again. My feeling is that it is in process of shutting down. Read their website and pull off any free information, but DO NOT put your hard earned dollars into buying into this fabricated "degree" The person who runs the site is pushing his followers to write "Great reviews" everywhere. In my heart of hearts I just can't perpetuate the fantasy.

  • Affiliation:
  • I am an employee or otherwise affiliated with the brand

(2 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

Avoid this at all costs!

By 

from Oklahoma City, OK

Comments about International School of Gemology - Gemologist Appraiser Program:

I'm working on changing my profession to gemology or a similar field. My previous education includes a BA Degree. I am only writing this review in hopes of preventing anyone else from following my mistake. I am further encouraged to write this review because of the high number of "over-favorable" reviews, obviously generated by design. The ISG is a big waste of money. Here are the main reasons: 1: They don't tell you the actual equipment you will need for the course - and to pass the exams. This is misleading. 2: They don't supply gemstones during the course work for practice. Most professional gemologists will tell you it takes several hundred gemstones to hone your skills before you are ready to take a final test. This requires an additional cost (not disclosed) to buy practice stones. 3: There is little or no feedback during the coursework. This program is run by a single person who is obviously busy with other non-school projects. Many inquiries go unanswered. The bottom line to to find a school that does not just take your money.

  • Affiliation:
  • I am an employee or otherwise affiliated with the brand

(2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Outstanding School

By 

from Texas

Comments about International School of Gemology - Gemologist Appraiser Program:

I am currently a student, completing the Registered Gemologist (RG) program. The course work is demanding and the practical exams and finals are not something to take lightly. Although the course work is demanding, there is an amazing support system with the ISG and the other gemologist to help you along the way.

  • Affiliation:
  • I received a sample

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

One of The Best Decisions I've Made!

By 

from Orlando, FL

Comments about International School of Gemology - Gemologist Appraiser Program:

I took the ISG courses in 2012 to become a Gem Appraiser and have never regretted it. I now own my own Gem Appraisal business and have more business than I can handle. The courses were easy to understand and support was always just a click away with prompt replies from the school. I have enjoyed even more some of the other students and grads of the ISG whom I have relied upon for information at times. A great value and great program all the way around!

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

A Top-Notch Education!

By 

from St. Paul, MN

Comments about International School of Gemology - Gemologist Appraiser Program:

If you are truly interested in learning gemology, but don't want to spend a fortune, I recommend the International School of Gemology. I found the ISG while I was studying for the Graduate Gemologist diploma at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Being a lover of learning, I decided to enroll with the ISG as well. What a great decision! The courses are top-notch; easily on par with the GIA courses. In fact, I learned aspects of gemology that I hadn't learned through GIA — and at a lower price!

Through the International School of Gemology, you can study to be either a Registered Gemologist (my diploma) or go all out and become a Registered Gemologist Appraiser.

The school attracts a great bunch of people and we enjoy a connection I don't think you'll find at the "big-name" schools. Every Tuesday night there is a live chat where lessons are reinforced for the students and up-to-date information about the industry is shared and discussed. At a recent chat many connections in the diamond industry were shared with us. Also, we don't just receive our diplomas and are then left to our own devices ... we must re-certify every two years, and we have unlimited access to all courses and their updates.

As both a Graduate Gemologist (GIA) and a Registered Gemologist (ISG), I can attest to the high-quality education available through the International School of Gemology!

 
5.0

Highly Recommend

By 

from Northlake Illinois

Comments about International School of Gemology - Gemologist Appraiser Program:

I am a graduate of the RGA program and continue to participate in the weekly chat meetings and forum. I researched extensively before signing on as a student several years ago and found the program in terms of content, accessibility for support and affordability to be a the best match for me. The support of the other students and graduates as well as the school itself made my first online study experience great. I admire the continuing efforts of the ISG to keep the students and graduates up to date on the changes in the industry and aware of new gemological information through the chats, forum and updated course accessibility. I highly recommend anyone looking to study gemology take a look at what is offered at the International School of Gemology.

 
5.0

Best money and use of time I ever made!

By 

from Gillette, WY

Comments about International School of Gemology - Gemologist Appraiser Program:

When I decided to continue my education and change career paths my passion lead me to the ISG. I have to work while going to school along with taking care of my family. The internet based program was exactly what I needed to be able to chase my dreams. The RG and RGA classes are very informative and I feel very cutting edge and a leader in the gemology field. The jewelry industry needs what this school is offering, and are starting to endorse the school and the standard it holds to truth and honesty to the consumer, to be reputable business partners to everyone they work with. The very best decision I ever made.

  • Affiliation:
  • I am an employee or otherwise affiliated with the brand
 
5.0

Fantastic School for Business and Personal

By 

from Bend, OR

Comments about International School of Gemology - Gemologist Appraiser Program:

I decided to complete the RGA program at ISG after watching my wife go through the coursework and establish a successful new business with her knowledge. There was about a 2-3 year difference in time between when my wife completed the coursework and when I did. Knowing how much my wife got out of attending the school, I was already sold on the merits of ISG. But one of the things I appreciate most is that the courses are continually updated to contain the latest information, techniques and industry knowledge. ISG didn't just throw together some courses and then sit back and enjoy profits off the same old materials. It was clear they continued to invest a lot of money and time to keep the curriculum fresh and relevant -- both in content and delivery methodology. Even more valuable to me personally, they continue to go well beyond coursework to support us as graduates. We didn't just get a nice piece of paper and a pat on the back on the way out the door. Robert James and his staff are absolutely committed to our ongoing success and growth as professionals. Our decision to invest our hard earned money at ISG is one of the best business and personal decisions we have made. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

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