I think AIGS is the best institution for study in depth gemology especially for colored stones. AIGS has provided the widest range variety of colored stone from around the world for students to study which is just like open the gemstone world for me.
What I appreciate for AIGS are staffs, teachers, and friends. Firstly, staffs here are like family. They are very kind, friendly and helpful with smile all the time which make my 6 months study at AIGS feel so warm. Secondly, teachers are also very kind and be so patience. They are very knowledgeable and well trained in teaching. I like the way they explain complicate topics to be easier to understand in shortly and precisely but so crystal clear. I also like when teachers sincerely share their own real trading experience with inside information about this business to students of what to be aware of. Which make me have better understanding of what's really happens in nowadays worldwide. Lastly, international friends I have met during 6 months are wonderful. They are very friendly and open minded people from everywhere around the world which make me feel so proud of my country and quite surprised how colored stone in Thailand can attract foreigners this much. I really have good international connection from here and most importantly, good friendship that will last forever.
My most favorite part is practicing the stone in the afternoon session in Gem Identification course. It's kind of challenging and exploring new kind of stones that I have never seen before.
The A.G. Program is really helpful and useful for my existing career to have better understanding of the full cycle of jewelry business starting from the mine until end customers.
After I graduated, I really feel more confident in buying and selling gemstones in the real market than before. Right now I know what to look for to identify whether it's natural or synthetic, how to check the variety, how to do grading and pricing for both colored stones and diamond. I also gain more trust from both suppliers and customers.
I have made many good friends and contacts from AIGS. I would say I have contact almost full cycle of jewelry business. Starting from mine owner, gemstone and diamond cutting factory owner, jewelry manufacturer, famous gemstone author, designer, wholesaler & retailer, and end customers. Some are from my own classmates, some are from classmate's friends, and some are from teachers. I think it's the best place to expand the existing contacts in jewelry business.
My plan after the course is to have my own blog, website, and jewelry shop under my name "Charinee Jewelry" as gemologist in order to expand my family business.