5 Things to Consider before Starting the Gem-A Gemmology Foundation Course

Do you have a passion for diamonds, gemstones and the science of gemmology but have no idea where to start? Take a look at our guide to the Gem-A Gemmology Foundation and the things you should consider before taking this highly respected beginner’s gemmology course.

There is no one-size-fits-all student at Gem-A. Some have chosen to study gemmology to enhance their existing careers, while others want to learn completely new skills or follow a lifelong passion for gemstones. No matter the purpose, the Gem-A Gemmology Foundation is where our students start their gemstone journey.

Read more: What Career Paths Can Trained Gemmologists Take?

If you are considering taking the Gem-A Gemmology Foundation course, there are a few helpful things you should know before you start.

Why Choose Gem-A?

Perhaps you are weighing up courses from different gemmology education providers. What makes the Gem-A Gemmology Foundation right for you?

Gem-A is the longest-serving provider of gemmological education in the world and, as a result, has strong relationships with leading laboratories, institutions and businesses across the globe. We don’t just want you to know what gemstones look like, we want you to understand them.

Read more: What are the Most Important Gemstone Producing Countries in the World?

We have a global reputation for courses that prioritise both theoretical and practical gemmology. We all know that gemstones are beautiful, but at the end of your Gemmology Foundation course, we want you to be knowledgeable about gemstones on a deeper level. We will also teach you practical skills, such as using hand-held tools and equipment to identify gemstones.

Gem-A education produces skilled gemmologists with an understanding of subject matter that allows them to thrive in professional environments. If you would like this to be you, now’s the time to apply for a Gem-A course!

What will the Gemmology Foundation teach me?

As a passionate beginner, you will want to learn as much as possible, as quickly as possible. The Gem-A Gemmology Foundation is designed to make you feel confident across a broad range of topics and practical skills. For example, when you get to the end of the course, you will be able to identify common gem materials and understand their properties; understand how these properties can impact a gemstone’s use in jewellery making; understand value and price factors, and know how to handle rough, cut and set gem materials. Your education will cover a variety of gemstones, including diamond, sapphire, ruby, emerald, organic materials, treated, synthetic and imitation gems.

Our team of tutors will also make sure you can confidently use gemmological testing equipment and report back on your findings.

The Gem-A Gemmology Foundation Course: 5 Things to Consider Before You Start

You don't need any prior qualifications, but...

To take the Gemmology Foundation you don’t need any prior experience or qualifications, however, you should be aware that this is an academic, science-based course. We believe in training gemmologists and want you to leave the course feeling confident and knowledgeable.


Beyond the classroom

You can study with us via Online Distance Learning (ODL), with one of our Accredited Teaching Centres (ATCs) or at Gem-A HQ in London. The contact time you have with our tutors depends on the method of study you choose. Despite this, it is important to remember that passing the Gemmology Foundation course will require additional self-study time for reading course notes, completing online assessments and practising with instruments.

Read more: What Should be in the Ideal Gemmologist’s Toolkit?

We want you to make the most of studying with us, so it is important to consider whether you can dedicate extra time before starting the course.

There are exams and assessments to consider

If the idea of doing an exam brings you out in a cold sweat, you will need to bear in mind that the Gemmology Foundation does require students to complete written examinations and assessments in order to pass. Even if you study via ODL, you will be required to attend a practical lab class and complete the final examination. Find out more about assessments here.

The Gemmology Foundation is only the start of your journey

After completing the Gemmology Foundation there is still lots more to learn, which is why we offer the Gem-A Gemmology Diploma as a next step. Upon completing this course you can apply to become an FGA Member of Gem-A and join a global community of professional gemmologists across the world. Gemmology as a subject is continually evolving and adapting, which means the Gemmology Foundation should be seen as ‘step one’ on your journey!

You can try our Introduction courses first

If you are nervous about diving into the Gemmology Foundation, why not try our ‘Introduction’ one-day workshops, including Introduction to Gemmology and Introduction to Practical Gemmology. These workshops offer a first look at Gem-A education and could help you decide if the Gemmology Foundation is right for you.

If you can’t make it to London, you could enrol in GemIntro, our short online course. This will allow you to dip your toe into the world of gemmology from the comfort of your own home. 

Read more: Top 5 Most Famous Diamonds for Gemmologists

Do you have questions about the Gem-A Gemmology Foundation? Contact education@gem-a.com to find out whether our course is right for you.

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