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As the dawn of a new age comes into our lives there becomes a flood of information as well. Some represent the true potential of the internet, to provide useful information to use as a tool to improve our lives. We would like to share a few of our favorite links and websites we visit regularly. This is a time when it makes sense to gather the best of the best tools and help you to expand your knowledge. "Knowledge is Power, be more powerful"
Established in 1931, the nonprofit Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is the world's foremost authority in gemology.
GIA's mission is to ensure the public trust in gems and jewelry by upholding the highest standards of integrity, academics, science, and professionalism through education, research, laboratory services, and instrument development.
EGL USA is one of the world's premier independent gemological laboratories. For over 25 years it has offered the fine jewelry trade and consumers accurate, reliable gemstone identification and professional certification to validate their gemstone purchases.
The EGL USA Group is comprised of four North American labs that have built a reputation for:
Exceptional, innovative service
The fastest service of any major gemological laboratory
The largest variety of gemological services
Education for the jewelry trade and consumers
Internet accessible certificate verification and Account Status
As mankind's oldest financial institution, pawnbroking carries on a tradition with a rich history. Pawnbroking can be traced back at least 3,000 years to ancient China, and has been found in the earliest written histories of Greek and Roman civilizations.
During the Middle Ages, certain usury laws imposed by the church prohibited the charging of interest on loans, thus limiting pawnbroking to people who had religious beliefs outside of the church. Out of economic necessity, and because of problems in the banking system, pawnshops made a resurgence in later years. The House of the Lombards operated pawnshops throughout Europe. They even counted royalty, such as King Edward III of England, among their clientele during the 14th century. The symbol of the Lombards' operations was the three gold balls that still remains the trademark of pawnshops.