How to Become a Gemmologist with Gem-A

Studying to become a qualified gemmologist can lead to many rewarding careers.

At Gem-A, we have supported thousands of students who want to advance their gemmological knowledge and secure a world-recognised and industry-respected qualification. The route to becoming a qualified gemmologist with Gem-A starts with the Gemmology Foundation course.

This course provides the most essential information about gemstones, the science of gemmology and handling specimens. It is a vital building block that equips students with scientific understanding of gemstones and the practical skills to handle and identify gemstones.

  Quick Facts: The Gem-A Gemmology Foundation Course

  • Who Can Apply? Everyone from complete beginners, amateur gem collectors and jewellery sales professionals, to jewellery designers and business leaders wishing to expand their knowledge.

  • Study Time: 4, 6 or 9 months

  • Study Method: Online or Accredited Teaching Centre

  • Qualification: Gem-A Level 4 in Gemmology (Ofqual level 4). Graduates can use Cert. GA status on their CV

  • Equipment Provided: Foundation practical workbook; Foundation gem set containing rough and cut specimens; a light source to aid your studies; a portable gem kit containing 10 essential instruments, including a 10x loupe.

Read more detailed information about this course and our entry requirements by downloading the Gemmology Foundation Guide

  What Will I Learn?

  • By the end of the Gem-A Gemmology Foundation course you will be able to identify common gem materials confidently, explain the properties and uses of certain gem materials and apply your knowledge in real world settings.

  • You will be able to handle rough, cut and set gem materials, such as diamond, sapphire, ruby and emerald, as well as organics and a range of treated and imitation gem materials.

  • Through practical training, you will know how to use basic gemmological equipment and report accurately on the various observations and results of tests conducted on gemmological specimens.

  • You will also be able to compare and contrast the features and properties of gem materials, treatments and synthetics in order to distinguish between gemstones.

  How Will I Be Assessed?

Assessed coursework:

4 online assessments


2 examination papers combining theory and practical

Practical Lab Class:

Only applicable to ODL students. Accredited Teaching Centre students will complete this practical element as part of their on-site studies.

For general enquiries, contact the Gem-A Education department on

  How to Study with Gem-A?

With Gem-A, you can apply to study online or in-person at one of our international Accredited Teaching Centres. Choose the route that suits you to discover more information and upcoming course dates.

Those wishing to study at the Gem-A Teaching Centre in London, UK, or via Online Distance Learning can download and complete the application form here. For all other Teaching Centres, please contact your chosen centre directly.

Please note: Non-native English speakers must have an English qualification, e.g. IELTS (Level 7) or TOEFL (score of 95-120), to study with us via our Teaching Centre in London, UK and via Online Distance Learning. Speak to your preferred Accredited Teaching Centre to find out more about entry requirements in your country.

  What Our Students Say

  • I enjoyed every bit of it. I studied it for mainly pleasure and also in the hope I could in some way be involved in the industry… It was certainly challenging but I loved it

    Dayanthi Ratnayake (Colombo, Sri Lanka), Gemmology Foundation ODL student

  • The tutors are all passionate, knowledgeable and friendly. They are keen to help and make study enjoyable. The course materials and guides are top notch and I will certainly be progressing in my studies here — I’ve already seen several courses I’m keen to do

    Lara de-Leuw (Derby, England), Gemmology Foundation ODL student

  • The Foundation lab class is superb; it cements together the practical elements of the Foundation in preparation for the exam

    Jason Kercher (Norwich, England), Gemmology Foundation ODL student

  Next Steps for Gemmology Foundation Graduates

Gemmology Diploma

Once students have successfully completed the Gemmology Foundation course they can apply to complete the Gem-A Gemmology Diploma – our highest qualification for professional gemmologists.

Become FGA Member

Upon completing the Gemmology Diploma, Graduates are eligible to apply to join the Association and become FGA (Fellow of the Gemmological Association) Members.

Further Study

Upon successful completion of the Gem-A Gemmology Foundation, Gemmology Diploma and Diamond Diploma, Graduates can apply to take the BSc in Gemmology & Jewellery Studies.

Read more information about further gemmological study and advancing your career, here.

  Help & Support

For advice and guidance please email or telephone us on +(44) 0207 404 3334 .