Sapphire Specialist Mini Course

Price: $49.95 USD
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Course Details

Beginner 5 Units 22 Lessons

About this Course

Beloved for its celestial blues and violets and exceptional hardness and durability, the sapphire is a long standing favored gemstone. Take an in-depth look at sapphires, from how they form to how to appraise them. Looking to buy or sell a sapphire? Learn how to determine sapphire quality. Every sapphire lover will learn something new in this course.

Who is this course for?

  • Hobbyists: Learn how to evaluate sapphires
  • Consumers: Learn how to choose a sapphire for jewelry
  • Professionals: Think you know sapphires? Test your knowledge!

What this course offers

  • Brand new sapphire articles in our Reference Library, including a recent interview with renowned sapphire expert, Jeffery Bergman
  • Gain specialized knowledge on sapphire that will help you to build your gemology skills
  • Complete the mini-course at your own pace as you balance personal and professional commitments
  • Test your knowledge: To earn the IGS Sapphire Badge, take one 25 question quiz

Why take this course?

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

Enroll in the IGS Sapphire Mini-course and gain specialized knowledge about one of the most popular gemstones. Build expertise in 5 core areas — sapphire formation and properties, fancy and phenomenal sapphires, how to choose a sapphire, distinguishing synthetic and simulant sapphires, and grading sapphires — while learning through articles and visuals. This completely online mini-course is an affordable way to pursue your hobby or build a career in gemology.

Course Roadmap

Read the Lessons
Written Test
Earn Badge

Units and Lessons

Unit 1 - Introduction to Sapphire

Welcome to the wonderful world of sapphire! Sapphires have caught the eye of jewelers and rulers, celebrities and storytellers. In this unit, you’ll learn about sapphire formation, physical properties, and origin. You’ll also learn about the softer side of sapphire symbolism and lore.

See Lessons (7)
Unit 2 - Fancy and Phenomenal Sapphires

Yellows, pinks, and pads, oh my! Sapphires are so much more than their famous blues. In this unit, you’ll learn about sapphire’s fancy colors and special phenomena that occur in some gems: color change and asterism.

See Lessons (5)
Unit 3 - How to Choose a Sapphire

Whether you’re buying one yourself or helping a customer find their perfect stone, buying a sapphire can get complicated. Learn the ins and outs of sapphire quality for engagement rings and other jewelry. Help your customers navigate the compromise between color, clarity, cut, and carat when choosing the right sapphire for their collection.

See Lessons (3)
Unit 4 - Distinguishing Synthetic and Simulant Sapphire

Lab-grown sapphires and sapphire lookalikes are prevalent in today’s market. Distinguishing these from mined gems is essential for any gemologist or jeweler. Learn about synthetic sapphire and blue gemstones that can simulate sapphire.

See Lessons (4)
Unit 5 - Grading Sapphires

The Four Cs of color, clarity, cut, and carat make a great starting point for grading and appraising sapphires, but there are other factors to consider, too. In this unit, you’ll learn how to evaluate a sapphire and write a standard appraisal or identification report. Sapphires commonly receive treatments to enhance their color and clarity. Learn how to identify these processes and how they affect grading.

See Lessons (3)

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 the quiz to earn the Sapphire Badge.

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 earn the Sapphire Badge you must pass the quiz at the end of the course with a score of 87% or better. You may retake the exam an unlimited number of times until you pass.

How is the quiz 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 and quizzes.

How long should it take me to complete the course?

The time it takes you to read all of the material and take the quiz depends on your level of interest, motivation, and time commitment. It can be done in a day, a week, or a month (or longer depending on your schedule!).

How does the IGS Sapphire 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 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 but who do not have the resources to attend GIA.

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Price: $49.95 USD
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