Course Details


7 Units
50 Lessons
Intermediate - Advanced Skill Level

About this course

Learn the fundamentals of diamonds - from optical and physical properties to grading to ethical and legal issues. Learn to identify diamonds from synthetics and diamond simulants. Keep the kit, which includes one natural, jewelry-grade diamond. If you successfully pass the quiz and gem identification test, then you will be an IGS-certified Diamond Specialist.

Who is this course for?

  • Professional Gemologists: sharpen your skills & unlock new opportunities in the diamond industry
  • Hobbyists: discover how to evaluate & purchase diamonds confidently (in 2018 & beyond)
  • Aspiring Gemologists & Jewelry Professionals: learn what you need to know in 8 simple modules

What this course offers

  • Gain a strong foundation on diamonds that will enable you to build your gemology skills
  • Complete the course at your own pace as you balance personal and professional commitments
  • Test your knowledge: To earn the IGS Diamond Specialists certificate, take one 100 question quiz and 1 Practical Exam where you identify the natural diamond from other simulants and synthetics

Why take this course?

A flexible and affordable course from one of the top online gemology schools.

Enroll in the IGS Diamond Specialist course and gain access to the knowledge needed to turn your passion for diamonds into real world skills. Build expertise in 8 core areas — diamond formation, optical and physical properties, tools, simulants and synthetics, grading, colored diamonds, supporting the consumer, and ethical issues—while learning through articles and visuals. This completely online certificate is an affordable platform to build a career in gemology.

Course Roadmap

1

Read the Lessons

2

Written Exam

3

Practical Exam

4

Earn Certificate

Units and Lessons

Introduction to Diamonds and their Properties

To truly understand diamonds, it’s important to understand their properties and how they came to be considered a prized store of value.

Prerequisites: Diamonds aren’t just about the sparkle and flair. There is science involved, too! The first 3 articles are essential for understanding the optical and physical properties of diamonds and how they formed in the Earth.

Diamond Grading Tools

Whether you’re a hobbyist, an aspiring professional, or a seasoned pro, you need the right equipment to identify and grade diamonds. This module describes the lab equipment you’ll need to evaluate a stone.

Prerequisites: Some of the equipment you’ll need for diamond testing is also used to evaluate colored gemstones. This is covered in the first two articles.

Distinguishing Diamonds from Simulants and Synthetics

Although diamonds are unique in some of their optical and physical properties, some gemstones found in nature can simulate the appearance of diamonds. Many times, consumers can’t tell the difference between diamonds and these simulants. Some manufactured materials like cubic zirconia and even glass can imitate diamonds. People have also created synthetic diamonds, which are now attracting widespread attention as less expensive alternatives to mined diamonds. It’s critical to be able to distinguish natural diamonds from simulants and synthetics. (Hint: The Practical Exam focuses on your ability to distinguish diamonds from simulants and synthetics.)

Prerequisites: The first three articles cover major diamond simulants, synthetic diamonds, and high pressure/high temperature (HPHT) treatments.

Grading Diamonds

Everyone has heard of the Four Cs of diamond grading: color, clarity, cut, and carat. However, each of these qualities encompasses a lot of details. You’ll need to dive deeply into those details in order to properly grade a diamond.

Prerequisites: The first eight articles cover the basics of diamond grading.

Understanding Colored Diamonds

It didn’t start with Jennifer Lopez — colored diamonds have been valuable for centuries. Although these buying guides and articles were written for consumers, they contain valuable information that builds on the information you’ve learned from previous modules.

Helping the Consumer Choose a Diamond

If diamonds are more than just a hobby to you, then it’s important to understand the consumer’s options when purchasing or repairing diamonds. These articles explore online diamond buying and how to determine if re-cutting or repairing a diamond is worthwhile.

Prerequisites: In the first three articles, consumers will encounter photos of diamonds described as “brilliant rounds,” “emerald cuts,” “Barions,” and a myriad other names. The next two articles define these and other names for cuts and cutting styles. The third article will help you decide whether or not to recut or repair a customer’s diamond.

Diamond Industry Trends

Consumer awareness of ethical issues involving diamond mining as well as pricing has increased in recent years. Your customers may have some pointed questions for you, and these articles can help you prepare. Like many other industries, the diamond trade is facing major changes due to the internet and social media. How might these changes affect you?

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I be assigned an instructor for the course?

The course is self-study. This means that all of the material is on our website, and the burden is on the student to follow the Syllabus to learn the material.

The benefit of this approach is that each student can learn at his or her own pace, and on his or her own schedule. Students can take as long as they want to complete each exam in the certification process to ensure familiarity and understanding of the material.

Won’t the self-study model be difficult if I’m a beginner?

For beginners we recommend following our structured Syllabus, however you may study the material in any order that suits you.

What is required to pass?

In order to pass the certification process the student must:

  1. Pass 1 100-question written exam with a score of 87% or better. The student may retake the exam an unlimited number of times until he or she passes.
  2. Thereafter, the student must also pass a practical exam which requires identifying 5 stones. We will mail you the gemstones, which will be common to the trade and include natural, enhanced, synthetic, and assembled stones. Deductions will be made for errors, and the applicant must score 87% or better to pass.
  3. When the written and practical tests have been completed with passing scores, the IGS-Certified Diamond Specialist certificate will be awarded.
How are the tests administered?

All examinations are administered via online test-taking software accessed via your password-protected account on the IGS website.

Can I see a sample of the test questions?

Sure! We have some sample gemology questions from the actual IGS Professional Gemologist certification exam. This should give you a sense of the types of questions that we ask in our course exams. Questions cover gemstone formation, optical and physical properties, as well as faceting, grading, and appraising.

How long should it take me to complete the course?

The course is quite involved. This is not a casually created e-course, but rather a very comprehensive overview of some challenging material. Some members with previous gemology or geology experience may complete the course in as little as a few weeks, others may continue chipping away at it after two years. It really depends on your level of interest, motivation, and time commitment.

Can I get a refund if I am not satisfied?

You can get a full refund within 14 days of purchase as long as we have not mailed you the gem kit.

How does the IGS course compare with those offered by the GIA or similar organizations?

The GIA is an excellent organization. Their Graduate Gemologist degree is the most respected credential a person can hold in this industry. If you have the time and money, and are serious about a career in the gem industry, the GG course of study offered by the GIA should be your first choice.

The IGS certification courses were created for everyone else. The founder of IGS and original author of the Professional Gemologist program, Donald Clark, has strong connections with the lapidary community. For years, he listened to amateurs giving inaccurate advice to others. For example, he heard things like: “If your blue stone has an RI of 1.625, then it is topaz, not aquamarine.” Those two properties, color and RI, also belong to tourmaline and a few rare minerals. Blue topaz and blue tourmaline have vastly different values. Not knowing the difference can be costly, in terms of both money and reputation.

Donald Clark believed that the problem stemmed not from the well-meaning lapidary sharing his incomplete knowledge, but rather that there wasn’t anywhere to learn gem identification, short of taking (what was back then) a $3,000 course. For them, he created IGS. It is dedicated to all the gem cutters, collectors, jewelers, and others wanting to know more about gems. The Professional Gemologist program was also created for those lacking the resources for a GG degree. A typical example would be a person making a midlife career change. This often involves working two jobs for a period, or the time consuming process of starting a new business.

What the IGS certification tells a customer, or potential employer, is that the holder has proven their knowledge of gemology: that they are well versed in its terminology, the properties of various gemstones, how they are valued, and that they possess the skills and knowledge to distinguish one gem from another. But let us be clear: having  a certification from IGS may open doors to a career in gemology. But it is the way an individual presents themselves and his or her actual experience and work ethic that determines success.

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100% Money-back guarantee

Not satisfied with your experience? We’ll refund your course purchase within 14-days of purchase as long as IGS has not yet mailed the gem kit. No questions asked. See FAQ for more details.