Happy 2013! I hope your holiday season was a joyful peaceful time spent with family and friends.
Each month as I sit to write this blog I wonder what to talk about. So I think about what I get asked about by people, especially when they find out my occupation. I also wonder, what do I have to say, that others before me haven’t said. However, I realized that just because I may know that information and where to find it, does not mean that the reader of this blog does.
One of the items, I quite often get queried about, are the organizations I belong to-what are they, why do I belong to them and why are they important for my job as an appraiser. Why don’t other jewellery appraisers belong to these organizations? I have decided over the next couple of months to talk about some of these organizations in more detail and why I feel they are important to me and my career. More importantly is why I feel they are important to you the client when looking for a reputable jewellery appraiser.
The first organization I would talk to you about is the Canadian Gemmological Association. This organization is involved in the training of gemmologists (people who identify gems) and have been since it was founded back in 1958 by Dean Field. The CGA is now listed as a Private Career College with the Ontario government and its professional course is taught in Toronto with a 16 week daytime program, a night time 2 year program and the distance education program is being re- structured as I write to meet new government regulations. It is also taught in Vancouver at the Vancouver Community College and in California, USA at the Jewellery Institute. The designation of Fellow of the Canadian Gemmological Association (FCGmA) is earned by writing and passing the organizations professional exams and maintaining a membership with the Association. This is a designation that is known and recognized around the world. Some other gemmolgy organizations are SGA (Scotland), Gem-A (Britain), GIA (USA), as well as organizations in Australia and China.
The Canadian Gemmological Association also offers general interest courses for the hobbyist or people just interested in learning more about gems. There are one and two day courses for gem ID and monthly meetings in Toronto on various subjects for both the hobbyist and the professional.
Since being a graduate in 1989, and whether a member in good standing, a tutor for the distant education students, or a member of the Board of Directors I have found the members involved in the management of this organization are passionate about it. They are always looking forward to where it should lead next, and how to take it to that level while honouring the amazing gemmologists who came before. I am proud to be a part of this organization and always feel privileged that I got to know Dean Field and Don Goodger before they died. I am equally proud to work with the current people involved in the management of this Association.
A jewellery appraiser must be a gemmologist before they can correctly identify the gems of the jewellery industry and thus understand how to value them.
I hope this first installment of Associations has answered some of your questions. If you have more please feel free to contact me.
Karen Howard FCGmA, RMV, CAP-CJA