William Holland Lapidary School - July 2007

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Welcome to William Holland Lapidary School! Truck not included.

Above you see the entrance to the main building on campus at the William Holland Lapidary School. The lodging is on this floor as you go up the ramp. Once inside, you can go downstairs where the classrooms are.

Beth and Devin took 1 week classes at the William Holland Lapidary School in Young Harris, Georgia in July 2007. Devin took the opal cutting class with Sarah Lee Boyce. Beth took the gem identification course with Mary Lou Kick.

We both gained a tremendous amount of knowledge from our topnotch instructors. We encourage everyone we can to dedicate a week to visiting the school and benefiting from their courses. Even more amazing is that the courses are so inexpensive to take. A one week class, 8 hours each day, including room and board is just $330 per person! Can you imagine any other week long vacation anywhere that includes all your food and lodging and extensive all day long mentoring by a professional in a lapidary field you enjoy for so little? Beth and I felt compelled to put together a lengthy and detailed article about the school so that you will see just how valuable and exciting the experience is.

The opal cutting course taught by Sarah Lee Boyce was very structured and intense. She has over twenty years of experience and she was taught by none other than Dr. Paul Downing, a renown opal expert who has written several books on opals. Sarah has a strong desire to give her students as much training and information as possible in five days. This means you will skip breaks, lunch quickly, and stay as long as you can each day. Then when you know enough, she might let you purchase some of her eye popping and valuable opals she has collected for years. I was not allowed to purchase Lightning Ridge opal to take home. She said I wasn't ready yet! True enough, but it shows you that she wants to make sure you get the most positive experience and best results with opals as you are learning about them.


Sarah Lee Boyce is seated in this picture while explaining opals.

Mary Lou Kick is a GIA graduate gemologist who has certified gems and provided gem cutting services for over 25 years. She is passionate about sharing not only the basics of gem identification but the many exceptions and surprises that rare and exotic gems provide. Once you have the fundamental understanding of the tools, she will inundate you with gems and coaching to help you master the technique. Each day Mary would were a different ring with a fabulous gemstone that she had faceted. I looked forward to seeing what she would have each day to show us!


Mary Lou Kick is foremost in this picture while using a refractometer.

Use the links below to check out other topcis of interest from our trip to the William Holland School.

William Holland Lapidary School - Topics of Interest
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Auction Night
Opal Class
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Gem Identification Tools

Faceting Rough

Gem Scales & Filters
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