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International Gem Society's $59 Gold Membership Giveaway

It is important to know as much as possible about the materials you work with.  Knowing what to look for when purchasing a gemstone is a given as its quality affects the price.  Customers who buy gemstone jewelry also expect you to know something about the stones you use.  Yet, many artisans are in the dark about gemstones. Misinformation also abounds.  So getting educated about gemstones is a good thing.

You could consult gemology books.  Or check out various websites to learn more.  One such site is the Internation Gem Society  (IGS) which was founded in 1998 by Don Clark, an International Master Gemologist and master gemcutter.

Their general reference library is well stocked with all sorts of information including a gemstone encyclopedia, jewelry styles and inspirations, the art of lapidary, a quick look at antique jewelry and jewelry history and so on.  Did you know lapidarists use color wheels too?

They also offer appraisal services which are not based on the size of the gemstone.  Members - which include both professionals as well as gemstone enthusiasts - can participate in their forum to discuss their favorite topic and help each other.

Where the site really shines is the section on gemstone values. But this is only open to paying members. Gold memberships includes other premium content as well as a marketplace and discounts for appraisal services.

They also have a certification program where you can take both written and practical exams on gemology.  This certification was specifically developed for those who lack the resources (time and/or money) or the inclination to take the full Graduate Gemology degree and training programs offered by such organizations as the Gemology Institute of America.

Aquamarine (Picture Source)
This site mainly focuses on  gemstone properties in terms of availability and use as lapidary materials. Take aquamarine for example.  Did you know aquamarine comes out of the ground with greenish tints? Heat treament - a very common practice - turns them blue which is the color many people associated with this gemstone. But the IGS says a more educated public now appreciates the greener varieties becaue they know these are unheated aquamarine gemstones.  They also warn about an irradiated version called the Maxixe aquamarine, which has an unstable  very deep blue color.

Note that the IGS does not include the fascinating (to me) history and folklore of the gemstones. So you might like to read my past post about Aquamarine: The Mariner's Gemstone.

I also noticed the IGS did not mention the toxicity of real cinnabar (mercury sulfide) - a small point because the material is rarely available.  The cinnabar beads we buy today for jewelry making are actually wooden pieces with a layer of red resin on top.  The Chinese once used the vividly red cinnabar pigment in their carved lacquerware. Mining for cinnabar was a particularly cruel form of capital punishment long ago.  (See Cinnabar - Why Fake is Better).

The IGS is giving away a $59 Gold Membership which is valid for 1 year. Artisans who work with gemstones or sell them will find it useful.

If you would like to win this membership, please make a comment below. Make sure you leave contact info if you do not have an online shop or blog.

Subscribers need to click on the post title to come to my actual blog. Scroll down and enter your comment. Pick Name/URL. If you don't have a store or blog, leave the URL blank.

This giveaway is international.

Extra entries if you become or are a blog subscriber or follower etc. If you also do shout outs about this giveaway, those will count as additional entries too! Please say so in the comments.

It ends in a week's time at 6 pm EST Monday, May 11, 2015. I will pick the winner randomly and announce the results on May 18 . So be sure to leave a contact email if you don't have an online link or make sure you come back and check! Otherwise I will redraw in a week. Good luck!

Before You Go:
Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips 


  1. oh please choose me! i'm known for using unusual or not often seen gemstones, and could bore you to tears with where my stones were mined, cut, etc. as well as any mythology associated with a particular stone. but i can't afford to take the GIA courses and some type of certification would really help me.

  2. This is a prize I'd love to win, the Gemmology Society courses here are beyond my budget at the moment I follow you both on Facebook and twitter, subscribe to your blog and your mailing list too- as well as I think on Linked in....

  3. I find it very interesting to learn about the different types/colors of gemstones. It is so true that people usually associated a gemstone with only one color. I know I was surprised to see all the colors available for stones. I hope you will give more links to the folklore associated with stones. I love reading stories like that.

  4. What a fantastic opportunity Pearl!!! I've been doing lapidary and have a basic knowledge, but would SO love to "fill in the blanks"! So glad you mentioned Cinnabar, also Malachite. The GIA is the BEST source for IMPORTANT info that can actually harm us!!!

  5. Wow, this is a fantastic chance to learn even more about the Rocks and gems I love so very much. The more I learn the more I need to find out...and the more I understand there is so much I do Not Know yet. This would be a wonderful chance for me to learn and share. Would love to win!. Subscriber and follower.

  6. Would love this! A friend of mine is teaching me how to cut stones so this would definitely help me out tremendously. Thank you so much for the chance to win!

  7. I am beginning to educate my customers (and myself!) so this would be wonderful to win! *Fingers crossed!* I will be sharing this via my social media channels too :) @dawnhilldesigns

  8. I would LOVE to win this!What an awesome prize!!I am blog subscriber and as well as facebook fan! Shared on Twitter, Facebook and G+

  9. What an amazing offer! I like to use gems in my art and knowing more about them would be such a benefit!

    Great offer Pearl!

  10. This would be ideal for me! As I stock & sell a range of crystals, minerals and gems, and occasionally I get a piece that I can't identify n then spend hours going through my books and websites trying to match up-would be so helpful to learn more about exactly the best ways to identify and isolate! Please please pick me!! I can be contacted at

  11. this is so cool would love to win this!!!

  12. The info on Cinnabar was fascinating. I never realized it was toxic in its "real" form but it's not a gemstone that I use. This is a great giveaway. Thanks for the opportunity.


  13. Sounds very interesting ! I would love to win this.

  14. Tamera Vance ttangles@yahoo.comMay 4, 2015 at 2:15 PM I would adore winning this! Ty!

  15. This looks a tho you are publishing a much needed journal on the properties of minerals and gemstones. I'd love to sample a free year's subscription.

  16. Thank you for making a wonderful resource available to one lucky person. Fingers crossed for me!

  17. What a neat giveaway. I'm all about learning as much as I can. What a great resource.
    I already subscribe to your blog.
    Thanks for the chance to win.

  18. Thanks for the info and how awesome it would be to win a free membership

  19. I could learn a lot from this.

  20. Blog Follower Inoreader(RSS)

  21. My love of gem stones was fostered by my father when I was a young girl. He took me to the Maricopa County Gem Museum and my first love was Tigerseye.

    I enjoy using various gem stones as cabachons in my bead work and learn the many characteristics of each stone. Thank you for showing us this site.

  22. Hi Pearl,
    I am a lapidarist that needs more info on gemstones! Even in the raw most are out of my price range so there hasn't been a real need. I just want to expand my knowledge base! :-)
    Blog follower and Facebook shout out!:-)

  23. I would love to know more about gemstones. Some of the folklore that goes with them is really fascinating. The use of gemstones for healing is also another area of intreege. I did not know that Cinnabar was toxic.

  24. Hi Pearl,
    Thanks for giving us this opportunity, much appreciated. I was actually looking in to a local mineral society fee last month. Have to save up to join. :)
    I am always seeking to expand my knowledge base to improve my skills as an artist and jeweler. The benefits of a membership would be put to good use.

    Thank you,
    Rebecca Brooks of

    Not sure if I am double posting, the preview button refreshes page and removes comment.

  25. Hi Pearl
    Thanks again for a wonderful giveaway. I have really got into gemstones in the last few years, so this will be invaluable to me educationally as well as enjoyable.
    Best wishes

  26. Those gems are amazing!!

  27. I think it's funny how the comments go thru the roof only on giveaway blog post pages hmm LOL wink

    1. Yup. That is what happens every single time! Chuckle!

  28. What a fabulous giveaway! This would really be an incredible thing to win. Contact me at: Positive thinking can't hurt.


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