Gemmology Foundation

Learn more about what you will study on Gem-A’s globally-recognised Gemmology Foundation course.

Become a Gemmologist with Gem-A

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.

Our Gemmology Foundation course is ideal for those keen to get the best start in their gemstone education. If you are passionate about gemstones or simply want to gain an understanding of gemmology to enhance your career in the gem trade, this course is for you.

After completing the Gemmology Foundation, students can go directly into careers in the trade, such as buying, selling or auctioning, but will find it advantageous to their knowledge and professional standing to complete the Gemmology Diploma and apply for Membership of Gem-A, allowing them to use the letters FGA after their names — a symbol of knowledge, excellence and integrity in the trade.

Course Details


4, 6 or 9 Months


From £3,135


Gem-A Level 4 Certificate in Gemmology

Study method

Gem-A London, online or at an Accredited Teaching Centre

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.

Eligibility criteria

Non-native English speakers must have an English qualification, e.g. Academic IELTS (Level 7) or TOEFL (score of 95-120)

Course materials provided

Fully illustrated Foundation course notes; practical workbook; portable instrument kit containing essential tools; and a stone set containing 20 rough and cut study specimens.

If you have any questions regarding the courses, please contact

Read more detailed information about this course by downloading the syllabus above, or visit the Student Resources area where you can find our prospectus and other useful information.


What will I learn?

Once completed you will be able to identify, test and handle a wide variety of gemstones — useful skills if you are handling gems on a daily basis.

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Learn how to identify common gem materials confidently, explain the properties and uses of certain gem materials, and apply your knowledge in real-world settings.

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You will learn how 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.

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On the course, you will learn how to use basic gemmological equipment and report accurately on the various observations and results of tests conducted on gemmological specimens.

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
Gemmology Foundation Alumni

How to Study with Gem-A

We have three different study options for you to choose from, in-person at our London HQ or through one of our Accredited Teaching Centres around the world, or by online distance learning (ODL). Find out more below.

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Study at Gem-A London

Learners based in the UK can choose to study in person at the Gem-A London, situated a stone’s throw away from the world-renowned diamond district.

Gem-A Accredited Teacher Centre Japan

Study at an ATC

Learners around the world can study in person at one of our 40 Accredited Teaching Centres (ATC) found throughout Asia, Europe, America and The Middle East.

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Study Online

Gem-A Online Distance Learning (ODL) enables you to study Gem-A’s Gemmology and Diamond qualifications from home and in your own time, no matter where you are in the world.

Upcoming Gemmology Foundation courses

Use the table below to find an upcoming Gemmology Foundation course on-site at Gem-A London or online delivered by Gem-A.

Code Name Start Date DurationPrice (£) Enquire

Ready to apply?

If you wish to apply by post/email please download our PDF application form and send to our London HQ or email to Make sure to review the Terms and Conditions, as you will need to agree to them when completing the application form.


How will I be assessed?

Gem-A’s mission is to advance the understanding of Gemmology via education, membership, engaging events and an inclusive, diverse, community-driven approach, ensuring accuracy and delivering best practice.


Four online assessments


Two examination papers combining theory and practical

Lab Class

The practical lab class is only applicable to Online Distance Learning students. 

Learn more ->


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What's next?

Once you’ve completed your foundation you can progress through the following routes

Gemmology Foundation

Foundation Certificate Awarded


Gain your level 2 qualification

Gemmology Diploma

Gain your Gemmology Diploma

Eligibility for FGA membership status

FEEG Diploma*

Gain your FEEG Diploma

BSc in Gemmology & Jewellery Studies

Gain your BSc degree awarded by Birmingham City University

*Optional: These courses or classes are not required to become a FGA and/or DGA member, or for applying for the BSC in Gemmology & Jewellery Studies delivered by Birmingham City University.