Online gemstone sales course for consumers

Jewelry consumers who love gemstones can learn more about them and how to make wise purchase decisions in an online educational course geared to entry-level retail sales associates. Developed by the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA), “Selling Colored Gemstones: The Basics” discusses the fundamental nature of colored stones, with a focus on the 13 most commonly encountered gems in jewelry: ruby, sapphire, emerald, amethyst, citrine, garnet, aquamarine, opal, peridot, spinel, tanzanite, topaz, and tourmaline.

This streaming video course, which takes about an hour to complete, discusses the range of colors, shapes, and sizes found in each gem type, as well as their sources, durability, folklore, and symbolism. It also explains how to determine value. Unlike diamonds that have a standard price structure, the sheer variety that exists in colored stones makes it difficult to establish one price range per carat per quality for all gems. But the same Four C’s apply-Color, Clarity, Carat Weight, and Cut. The course examines the significance of such characteristics as hue and tone, natural inclusions, size, and cut in price.

“Because this course was developed to help entry level retail sales associates communicate value in gem-set jewelry, the groundwork covered is consumer-friendly,” says Douglas Hucker, AGTA executive director. “It’s about basic knowledge, not sales hype. The course is geared to build buyer confidence by providing basic information that can help consumers understand the array of options available and how to assess value practically.”

By visiting AGTA’s website at consumers can register to take “Selling Colored Gemstones: The Basics,” which requires free downloadable Real Player to view. Individuals who have broadband Internet access can register and complete the downloadable course online. A CD-ROM is also available for individuals without broadband to complete the course and can be requested by e-mailing or by calling 800-972-1162. This course is available at a cost of $49.95.

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