With 20 grading labs across North America, Europe, South Asia, East Asia and the Middle East, the 45-year-old, based in Antwerp, Belgium International Institute of Gemmology (IGI) grades more gemstones and finished jewelry in more cities than any other such organization. As a gemological research link, gemstone grading; issuing grading and educational reports, IGI serves clients ranging from global jewelry brands to individual jewelry owners, while its 14 gemological institutes train and certify graduate gemologists in various locations. Today, reinforcing its reputation as a leader in its field for 45 years, IGI is launching a new interactive online series of IGI eLearning courses.
These courses feature lessons designed to educate people who sell fine diamond jewelry, as well as those who want to learn more about the nature, styles, and substances of naturally mined diamonds as well as lab-grown diamonds. Specifically, IGI is offering a new free online course “How to Buy a Diamond” for consumers, as well as six new online courses on natural and lab-grown diamonds priced at $50.00 each.
These courses are titled: carat weight, Color, Clarity, To cut, Laboratory diamonds and The history of the natural diamond. (People can also choose to register for all six at once for the discounted rate of $250.00). It should be noted here that it is relatively rare for such valuable training in gemology to be so readily and widely available. With a digital device, an internet connection, funds for all six courses, as well as the willingness to take all six paid courses or the free diamond course, jewelry knowledge upgrades are easily within reach of millions of people.
According to Avi Levy, President of IGI’s North American Division, IGI’s free online “How to Buy a Diamond” course was created to educate and empower consumers who are purchasing fine diamond jewelry for the first time. “Many people who want to buy diamond jewelry are at a disadvantage because they don’t know the essential facts and nuances that can explain a diamond’s perceived beauty, gemological quality, and market value,” notes Levy. “Although many people take the time to research diamonds before buying, their attempts can be hindered by online misinformation, unqualified or misinformed sellers, or inaccurate marketing claims.”
To help consumers navigate these potential scenarios, “We designed IGI’s ‘How to Buy a Diamond’ online course to demystify diamonds and empower the public through audio-visual learning,” says John Pollard, Senior Director of IGI education. “The moving images and video are accompanied by text bullet-enhanced narration,” Pollard continues. “The course’s smooth, upbeat soundtrack gets things moving while the color palette is conducive to learning.”
Designed for a high school reading level, the free course takes less than 45 minutes and each section ends with an interactive question. If the user answers incorrectly, they are redirected to the start of this section, so they have another chance to answer. There is a 12 question quiz at the end which is passed with a score of 80% or more. Pollard says, “Those who pass the quiz walk away with diamond facts and clear action plans that can help them buy diamond jewelry with confidence and new expertise.”
In addition to designing e-learning courses, tutorials, seminars and webinars for IGI clients across all industries, including major luxury brands, Pollard has consulted for diamond producers, grading labs and vendors in North America, Europe and Asia. Having presented seminars at JCK Las Vegas, the American Gem Society conclave, and trade conferences in Beijing and Shanghai, China, Pollard is constantly working with IGI’s Levy and others to include the most up-to-date facts and figures. most timely and relevant in IGI’s educational offerings. (For brands and jewelers with multiple staff members, IGI also designs brand-specific coaching courses for companies that are committed to training their sales and marketing teams with maximum factual depth, breadth of storytelling and user-friendly news they can use.)
A point of pride for Pollard and Levy is IGI’s penchant for making major diamond news that it can then use to add value and interest to its course materials. For example, in June 2022, IGI carved out a place for itself in the narrative of jewelry history by analyzing and grading a 30.18-carat emerald-cut lab-grown diamond, the largest in the world to date. Produced by the Mumbai-based company Ethereal Green Diamondthis extraordinary stone, dubbed “Pride of India”, is the first lab-polished diamond in the world to exceed 30 carats.
Created by the chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process, “Pride of India” has been classified by IGI as embodying H color, VS2 purity. The raw Type IIa crystal it came from took about four weeks to grow. Ethereal Green Diamond, headquartered in Mumbai, India, has an established reputation for producing large, high quality lab grown diamonds. According to Hirav Anil Virani, Managing Director of Ethereal, “IGI is the largest organization of its kind, having labs all over the world, with an impeccable team focused on the customer and improving technologies and equipment. This gives us the confidence to certify our diamonds at IGI. »
Regarding the six diamond courses which cost $50.00 each or the six course package which totals $250.00, Pollard comments, “Whether you are a first-time buyer or a long-time jewelry lover, these courses interactive courses cover the topics diamond buyers find most important. important when making high-value decisions. As lab-grown diamonds become more prevalent in jewelry designs, brick-and-mortar stores, and luxury websites,” Pollard ventures, “neutral, evidence-based education, such as than that offered by IGI, has never been so timely. Consumers and those working in the jewelry, fashion, and luxury industries seek the most reliable and up-to-date information on the nature and relative values of different types of lab-grown diamonds. The production and worldwide prevalence of lab-grown diamonds appears to be increasing exponentially year on year. At JCK Las Vegas, the world’s largest jewelry show, held in June 20222, more than 17,000 attendees from 130 countries met more than 80 exhibitors in the lab-grown diamond section.
As a veteran jewelry journalist Jennifer Hebner note: “JCK’s synthetic diamond division has proliferated in recent years. Almost every retailer I spoke to at JCK this year was looking for lab-grown diamonds to stock in their store. I still don’t see them used much in finished lines, but retailers are definitely looking at them for the bridal category as center stones. Observations such as these seem to suggest that the IGI will be providing training on lab-grown diamonds for the foreseeable future. In the meantime, as ongoing COVID outbreaks are occurring all over the world, IGI’s other eLearning courses are perfectly suited and ideally scheduled for a global audience of individuals seeking to gain professional online gemology training. first class.