Comparing the ISG to the GIA Education Program

Comparing the ISG to the GIA

If you are searching for online gemology courses or gemology school to study with there is no doubt that you have already reviewed the programs of the Gemological Institute of America. The GIA is the most famous of the gemological education organizations for one reason: money. In 2019 (the latest numbers available) the GIA had revenue of over $265,000,000.00 in tax free income. The GIA spends over $10 million of that tax free revenue on advertising and promotion. The result is an organization that can totally overwhelm every other education organization in the world for market awareness and advertising. But you should ask the question: Does big money make the GIA the best gemological education organization? The answer is no. There are many outstanding education opportunities that are missed simply due to not being able to compete with the GIA for promotional money spent. Therefore, it is important for you to overlook the big money advertising machine of the GIA and compare their actual education program with other schools to make your most informed decision. To that end, we invite you to read the following comparison of our ISG Registered Gemologist Appraiser program to the GIA program. Only then can you make an informed decision on where to place your trust in your future.

Origin of OrganizationGIAISG
Established in 1931 after the founder attended the Gemmological Association of Great Britain as a student.Established 2004 after operating as an Allied Teaching Centre of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain.
Gemological Title BestowedGIAISG
GIA Graduate Gemologist, a registered trademark name of the GIA, not a professional license.Registered Gemologist Appraiser, a trademarked title based on the Registry of qualified appraisers through our licensed insurance industry home: Global Claims Associates.
Cost of Online ProgramGIAISG
$10,600.00 plus requirement to make three weeks travel and expenses to a GIA campus.$2,995.00 total, nothing more. Includes our sending all diamonds, gemstones, and jewelry to you at home.
Recognition of ProgramGIAISG
Accredited by the Distance Education Accreditation Agency, the same agency that accredits gun repair and computer repair schools.Courses have been certified by US state Departments of Insurance. Program recognized by National Association of Jewelry Appraisers and others.
Completeness of ProgramGIAISG
GG Program limited to only diamonds and colored gemstones.RGA Program includes diamonds, colored gemstones, gemology tools and techniques, pearls, watches, created and treated gemstones, damaged jewelry evaluation, and personal property appraisal.
Gem Equipment PackageGIAISG
$1900.00 no microscope included.$1995.00 including a gemological microscope.
Jewelry Appraisal TrainingGIAISG
No.Yes. We are licensed insurance adjusters and educators providing professional jewelry appraisal certification including support after graduation. We have years of experience in the jewelry insurance industry.
Advanced Gem CoursesGIAISG
No.Yes. We offer the world's only Created and Treated Gemstones Course, as well as other courses such as Introduction to Watches not offered by the GIA or anyone.
Title Recertification and SupportGIAISG
No.Yes. Just like all professions we provide a 2 year recertification of title to help our graduates stay current on the latest industry developments, plus we provide the finest graduate support in the industry.
Accredited Better Business BureauGIAISG
No.Yes. The ISG is A+ rated and Accredited by the Better Business Bureau since 2006.

International School of Gemology BBB Business Review

When you compare the two programs, the choice is obvious. The excessive cost of the GIA program does not come with a high-quality program. The lack of formal jewelry appraisal training, the lack of advanced appraisal support courses and programs, and the overall lack of graduate support demonstrates that the lower cost ISG program is superior. We do not have the multi-million-dollar advertising budget, but we do have a superior program at a far lower cost. I invite you to choose one of the ISG program icons below to learn more about our Registered Gemologist Appraiser or Registered Gemologist Programs to start your new carrier or further your existing career in jewelry appraisal.