Some members have questioned the parts of our gemology test that differ from their Gemological Institute of America (GIA) references. We have the greatest respect for the GIA. No organization has done more for advancing knowledge and raising standards of professionalism in gemology. They are also continuing their contributions to gemology with their excellent laboratory and publications.

While we have the utmost respect for the GIA, they are not the final word on all things gem related. Over 1,000 minerals have been fashioned as gems, but the GIA only teaches about the 100 or so that are most likely to appear in jewelry. That leaves us with a real world situation of people owning gems that the majority of Graduate Gemologists are unable to identify. There is an additional problem that many textbooks offer conflicting information. One must realize that gemology is still a young science. Books from the 1950’s will show a narrower range of values for a particular gem than those printed in this century. That is because more gems, with a larger range of values, have been tested during the ensuing time period.  One must also realize that there are dozens of laboratories doing gemological research. It…