GIA course disappeared?


Well-known member
Feb 1, 2008
Not sure where to put this and not sure if I should have tried harder to find the information before posting this but have the GIA graduate pearl diploma (or whatever it's called) course disappeared? I looked at the U.K web site and on the schudule for the coming year I could only find the short one day pearl grading course...

Have they updated it yet? If not, is this the reason why you can't do the longer course anymore?
Can I do the long bit (not the pearl grading class) all online? Can't go to the U.S sadly. And is that the new course? I've been terribly ill-informed about the world of pearls and GIA the last two years or so but last time I checked they still hadn't updated it and there were lots of people waiting for them to do so.

Strange how you can't seem to do it in the U.K anymore... I must be missing something.
That's good to hear. I've nothing to do next spring so I'm thinking about taking a course of some sort, always wanted to do this one. Is the information you get in the course hard to find type information or is it the type of information you can find yourself in books?
I'm taking the course now. Nerida helped me to decide. Thanks Narida!
I guess maybe I should try to source information elsewhere, seeing as I only want to take the course for fun.

Nora: What do you think of the course so far?
I'm just finishing the first assignment (background and pearl grading). I still haven taken my first test. That being said, the material is very clear and well organized (a few glitches though). Overall it's aimed more at the newbie than at the affectionados.
Hi Nora, glad you are getting into it! Mervione, it is well worth doing...
It's quite a lot of money for me that I'd rather put towards some pearls I think. I'm sure it's worth doing though, but not right now. I thought the info in the course would be the type of secret insider stuff that's hard to find somewhere else.

Going to university next year and I might do marine biology, I supposed there might be a course about molluscs that could be interesting...

Glad to hear that you're enjoying it. Are the assignments difficult?
Just came back from New York, where I took the "Pearl Grading Lab Class". Somehow I managed to ignore the word "grading" and expected to take part in experiencing the lab facilities we learned about in the GIA pearl course.
I also realized about two minutes before the class started that it was open to all and not only to the graduates of the course. So I ended up quite disappointed.

In fact, the only new detail I learned from the lab (actually more a seminar) instructor was that some Tahitian farmers are growing Tahitian pearls in Japan, in order to gain mirror-like luster. Does anyone here knows more about this?

While in NY, Eli and I walked into the Mikimoto store on 5th Avenue. They had multicolor strands that were mixed SS, Tahitian and FW!!! - but big perfect FW.

They also had several Tahitian strands with a very sharp mirror luster. Were those the "Japanese Tahitian"? Is it possible to grow black-lipped in cold water?

To sum up this day, I met nice people to whom I highly recommended our forum, Eli was allowed to sit in their computer room during the class while it snowed outside, The snow was quit an experience for me, coming from a generally snowless country.
It sounds like you had fun!

Tahitian pearls are only Tahitian pearls if they are grown in French Polynesia. Otherwise they are black South Sea pearls, or black cultured pearls, or Pinctada margaritafera pearls, etc.

I know Tasaki Shinju has been growing smaller-than-average pearls with the P. marg. in the Ryukyu Islands of Japan since the early 1990s, but I've never heard anything about those pearls having higher luster than other Tahitian pearls, and I don't know whether or not they are still growing them - they never produced more than a few thousand pearls at a time. Also, the Ryukyu Islands are in the Southernmost part of Japan - it's tropical there. The shells can't survive in the colder parts of Japan.

It seems like that little bit of information that was new to you is new to everyone AND isn't true.
Jeremy, thanks.
However, that was what the instructor at the GIA pearls grading lab told the class twice.