Gemmology Courses



Jade Fine Jewellery Expertclass  

“Introduction to Gemmology” Distance Education Courses

C.I.G.’s  gem appreciation courses “Gemstones”, “Diamonds’, “Jewellery, History and Design”, “Pearls, Jade and Opals” and “Gem Identification” are designed for the person who wishes to discover the fascinating world of gems and jewellery. Please download brochure (PDF).

You can start right away by registering on-line for any of the following courses.

Correspondence courses required for “Fine Jewellery Expert (C.I.G.)” certificate

  • GEM 110 GEMSTONES (Gemmology I
  • GEM 120 GEMMOLOGY II (Theory Course)

The Canadian Institute of Gemmology has been approved by the Minister of Employment Workforce Development and Labour as an educational institution; Canadian students are entitled to a tuition tax credit under subsection 118.5(1(a)(ii) of the Income Tax Act (please use your receipt for your claim).


GEM 110 This is a general interest course introducing the basic identifying features of all important gems, including their appearance, special physical and optical characteristics, their occurrence and value factors. Also included is an introduction to diamond and colour gem grading, the use of gemmological instruments to aid identification.

Fee: CAN$ 495 for home-study course (other countries US$ 495 plus US$ 45 shipping)) with text: Guide to Gems and the Gemstone Buying Guide. BONUS: 46 pages booklet “Gem Varieties”. This course has 10 lessons and is only available by correspondence. Certificate upon completion. No pre-requisites. GEM120 Gemmology II complements this course and can be taken concurrently.

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Course Content: 1. Nature of Gemstones (1), Diamonds and Corundum 2. Nature of Gemstones (2), Beryl and organic gems 3. Crystal Structure and Origin of Gems, Opal, Topaz and Jade 4. Gem Cutting and Care, Garnet, Quartz and Spodumene 5.Gemstone Identification (1), Tourmaline, Chrysoberyl and others 6. Gemstone Identification (2), Diamond Grading (1) 7. Gemstone Economics, Markets and Values, Diamond Grading (2) 8. Colour Gem Grading and Appraisals 9. Gem Enhancement and Synthetic Gems 10. Review, Jewellery Manufacture, History and Fashion

Register Online for GEM 110

GEM 120 GEMMOLOGY II (Theory Course)

GEM 120 This theoretical course covers the physical and optical properties of gems such as refraction, reflection, gem crystallography, pleochroism, absorption spectra, etc. It explains the various instruments used in gem identification. The textbook “Gemmology, 3rd edition, 2007” by Peter G. Read follows closely the Gem-A preliminary syllabus exam requirements. Peter Read has prepared answer sheets exclusively for C.I.G. students taking this course.

Fee: CAN$ 445 for home-study course (other countries US$ 445 plus US$ 45 shipping); text-book Gemmology by Peter Reid included. The course contains 12 correspondence lessons with essay type questions. Comprehensive answer sheets will be provided to prepare for the written exam..

Course Type: This course is only available by correspondence. Certificate upon completion. GEM 110 recommended pre-requisite.

Course Content: 1. Gemmology, the science of gem materials 2. Colour, lustre and sheen 3. Crystallography, the science of crystal structure 4. Hardness, fracture, cleavage and parting 5. Specific Gravity 6. Refractive Index and double refraction 7. The optics of polished gemstones 8. Absorption and emission spectra 9. Luminescent and electrical properties of gems 10. Organic gem materials and their simulants 11. Synthetic gemstones 12. Gemstone simulants

Register Online for GEM 120

GEM 130NEW for 2017/18

We have combined GEM 130 Diamonds and GEM 140 Jewellery, History and Design into this new correspondence course GEM 130/140 Diamonds, Jewellery, History and Design.


Students will learn everything they need to know about diamonds. Definition, formation, extraction, and distribution of diamonds. The 4 Cs: carat weight, color, clarity and cut.

Sell more and answer customer questions with confidence. Introduction to diamond grading and jewellery fashion.

Course Content: 1. Diamonds. How they are created. 2. The Beauty of Diamonds 3. Weight and Colour of Diamonds. 4. Judging the Clarity of Diamonds. 5. Judging the Cut of Diamonds. 6. Diamond or Imitation? Gold, Platinum. 7. Choosing an Appropriate Style. 8. Choosing a Diamond Ring, Judging Craftmanship.

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This course is a must for all jewellery collectors and enthusiasts. In ten lessons a survey of jewellery from the ancient world to the present day will be taken.

Using the text-books as a visual guide students explore the varied styles, techniques and materials used from ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome to modern times showcasing the development of Western jewellery.

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Introductory Fee: CAN$ 695 for  both home-study courses (free shipping to Canada; other countries US$ 695 plus US$ 55 shipping) with text: “Diamond Handbook” by Renee Newman and “JEWELRY – From Antiquity to the Present” by Clare Phillips. Includes all study materials  and DVD with “Gemmologist’s Guide to Diamonds”, “White Ice – Ekati Diamonds” and “Mystique of Diamonds”. BONUS: 10x triplet loupe

Register Online for GEM 130/140


GEM 150In this intensive practical course you will use basic gem testing equipment necessary to identify natural, imitation and synthetic gemstones and their treatments.

In 10 lab assignments students will identify between 50 and 60 gemstones including synthetic stones. If completed by distance education (Canadian residents only) student must have access to basic gem identification equipment such as refractometer, polariscope, spectroscope,  10x loupe (microscope), etc. Written and practical final exam.

Fee: CAN$ 995 includes textbook “Gem Identification Made Easy”. This course is also available as a four-day work shop.

Study stone sets will be sent by mail (student is responsible for the timely return of gemstones); guidance is available through Skype video tutorial with an instructor. 

Prerequisite: Recommended GEM 110, GEM 120 or equivalent.

Upon completion of this practical course distance education students  (Canadian residents only) must pay a $ 200 exam fee for both written and practical exams to cover special shipping, insurance and administrative cost; this fee does not include any proctoring expense.

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Register Online for GEM 150


GEM 160 In twelve lessons students learn about pearl types and shapes including South Sea, black and freshwater pearls and how to judge luster, thickness and colour. History, occurrence, identification and the evaluation of jade and opal form the second part of this exceptional gemstones course.

Fee: CAN$ 495 for home-study course (other countries US$ 495 plus US$ 55 shipping)) with text The Pearl Buying Guide, Pearl (5th edition), Jade and Opal Gem Series and other study materials.

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Course Type: This course is only available by correspondence. Certificate upon completion and written exam.

Register Online for GEM 160


For more information call (604) 530-8569 or use the contact form at the bottom of the page for an inquiry.

After completion of all five GEM 100 – level  courses the student will receive the “Fine Jewellery Expert (C.I.G.)” wall certificate.

Students can start their course work at any time. Individual courses must be completed within 12 months – the FJE (C.I.G.) program within 3 years; students may apply for extensions but may have to pay additional fees for new text-books and study materials if necessary.

Students with learning disabilities (such as dyslexia) may need a professional tutor and should consult their medical practicioner before registering.

The passing mark for all written exams is 65%, for practical exams 100%. All examination fees are included in the tuition (unless indicated otherwise). The administrative fee for a second written exam is $ 100 and for a practical exam $ 200. Students may attempt to re-write a failed exam two times after paying the required fee within 6 months (after a waiting period of 1 month).

In the Gem Identification course an organic liquid (methylene iodide) saturated with sulfur is being used in conjunction with the refractometer. The school cannot assume any liability for any allergic or medical reactions a student may experience from its use. Please consult your health practitioner.

FOREIGN STUDENTS: We are unable to accommodate foreign students due to government restrictions. We cannot assist in Student Visa applications, work permits and in finding accommodation.