Chong Han San

Malaysia

Before attending AIGS, I knew nothing about gems and hardly dared walk into a jewelry shop, let alone look at gemstones. I decided to enroll into the Introduction to Colored Gem Stones course just to get a feel of the subject and found it so fascinating that I enrolled for more in-depth studies of Rubies, Sapphires and Jade.  

Anyway, armed with my newly acquired knowledge about colored gem stones, I and my fellow student Nana went to Chantaburi to look for yellow and green sapphires which are mined near there.  We had a fascinating time mingling among the tables of shoppers and the sellers and even bought some gems for ourselves.

 
Looking for yellow and green sapphires in Chantaburi.  Our teacher Sirinee said we did well with our purchase when we returned to Bangkok  and showed her our shopping.   After the Jade Course, we made a short trip to Mandalay.

 

At the Jade Market in Mandalay I was not too savvy.  Back in the hotel I found that the jade bangle I bought was a painted job.  I wouldn't have known what to look for if I had not attended the Jade Course.  Sorry Teacher Patt, next time I'll be more alert but I did remember your warning, "if its cheap, something's not right".

 

I can wax lyrical about how good the courses at AIGS are but the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Its only when we take all we've learned to the market to buy gems that we'll find out whether the School's courses are adequate. And I can say that even at introductory level, what we learned at AIGS had served us well in the gem markets. Now I need to find a chunk of time to return to AIGS again to study more gemology. And there's still that Diamond course I must do.