Certification Course Syllabus

The IGS gemology course is a self-study program. There are no time requirements.  You can study at your own pace. All of the information you need is on our website.

Step II: Advanced Gemology

This is the most technical section of our gemology course. Although this information is preliminary to the Practical Gemology articles, don’t hesitate to jump to the lessons on using the instruments in Step III. Gaining experience with gemological tools will help you with these advanced lessons.

Step III: Practical Gemology

Next, we recommend some articles of a practical nature. They focus on how to use gem identification instruments and conduct tests. These tools and tests take time to master. Take one instrument or procedure at a time and master it before moving on to the next one.

See the articles
  1. The Dichroscope
  2. The Microscope: A Guide for Gemologists
  3. The Spectroscope
  4. Refractometer Guide, Part 1: Refractive Index Testing
  5. Refractometer Guide, Part 2: Cabochon Testing
  6. Refractometer Guide, Part 3: Determining Optic Character and Recognizing Optic Effects
  7. Specific Gravity Testing Part 1: Definitions
  8. Specific Gravity Testing Part 2: Using a Balance Scale or a Hanneman Specific Gravity Scale
  9. Specific Gravity Testing Part 3: Calculating Specific Gravity With An Electronic Scale
  10. Specific Gravity Testing Part 4: Refining Your Specific Gravity Testing Techniques
  11. Specific Gravity Testing Part 5: Using Heavy Liquids
  12. Polariscope Guide, Part 1: Testing Gemstone Refraction
  13. Polariscope Guide, Part 2: Testing For Optic Figure and Sign
  14. Polariscope Guide, Part 3: Testing For Gemstone Twinning, Dichroism, and Crystal Strain
  15. How to Build a Home Gemology Laboratory
  16. How to Test for Diffusion Treated Gems
  17. Ultraviolet Testing and Gemstone Identification
  18. Gemstone Magnetism: The Forgotten Property
  19. Destructive Gemstone Tests: Scratch Testing
  20. Destructive Gemstone Tests: Streak Testing
  21. Destructive Gemstone Tests: Hot Point Testing
  22. Destructive Gemstone Tests: Acid Testing
  23. Destructive Gemstone Tests: Dye Testing
  24. The Art And Science of Identifying Gemstones
  25. Disclosing Enhancements: A Gemologist’s Guide
  26. Gemology Cheat Sheets
  27. Difficult Gemstone Separations
  28. Gemstone Examination Lesson
  29. Gemstone Visual Examination Quizzes
  30. Buying Gems: Test Your Identification Skills
  31. Gemstone Identification Quizzes: Testing Procedures

Step IV: Gem Grading

So far, you’ve been studying gem identification. Now you’re ready to learn gemstone grading. The information in these articles is critical for properly describing and valuing gems. You’ll start with general information useful for grading all gemstones. Next, you’ll learn how to grade colored gemstones. Finally, diamonds and opals have special qualities that require their own grading procedures.

Step V: Advanced Gem Information

Once you understand gemstone properties, you’ll learn to distinguish natural from synthetic gems and to identify unique gemstones. Our Gem Listings are written in simple language and are intended for the novice.  You can also consult our handy reference charts. This is the last step in gem identification.

Step VI: Appraising

You’ve learned how gems differ from one another, how to identify them, and what properties determine their value.  Now you’ll apply what you’ve learned.  Actual jewelry appraisal is fairly simple after mastering gem identification and grading.

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