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Life Long Learner - Gems & Jewellery and Other Stuff

Learning & Classes

A fact about me;  I love taking classes!  I love to learn new things;  whether these classes be one day classes, weekly or university courses. I have had three stints at university studying widely different topics (business, IT, Literature and Health and Social Care) and uncountable classes in all sorts of subjects over the last 37 years.  I think learning things feeds the brain all sorts of new and interesting facts and ideas and then you see what sticks.  For me jewellery has stuck the longest and now I have expanded jewellery into studying gemstones.  This perhaps is an even greater passion.  

Fabricating a ring


I am currently in the process of finishing the Coloured Stone (18month) online course with Gemmological Institute of America (GIA) which takes me through the theory of gemstones.  We learn all sorts of chemistry and physics of the gems, how gems are formed, where on the planet they come from, which ones are best suited for a ring etc.  We also learn how to test them, how they refract light, and how to look at gems under the microscope (yes! I have a microscope! - it’s so cool!). This has required me to go back to some basic chemistry, physics and maths (which I have not looked at since I was 14).  This science  was not remotely interesting to me when I was young.  But now it is very relevant and I keep a periodic table near my armchair.  

Gemmology books

Flush Mounted Rings

Yesterday I did a flush setting class at Meon Valley Studios - a great place to learn jewellery making which I have used in the past.  I have learned this technique some years ago but rarely use it.  However, fun spots of colour are my thing so I am thinking about a batch for Christmas.  What do you think? 

Flush mount ring with 4 blue cz

Cover PHOTO: Opals  - Boulder, Black and Semi Black opals all from Australia