Is it possible to learn gemology online? Yes it is, two of the top gemology schools in the world are now offering distance learning options. Perfect for those who work and can’t attend class full time, or are simply too far away from the campus.
There is also a great option for those of us who don’t want to become a gemologist, but simply love gemstones.
The question to ask yourself is what type of gemology certification am I looking for? Some of the options for online study are:
- Graduate Gemologist – Certifications in diamonds, colored stones and pearls. This program is about 26 weeks full time on campus. However, learning gemology online allows you to go at your own pace.
- Accredited Jewelry Professional – This gives jewelry sales people the essential knowledge they require in order to converse with customers intelligently.
- Registered Gemologist Appraiser – A combination of gemology education and the insurance appraisal process.
Gemology Courses Online
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) – With campuses all over the world, this prestigious school offers the study of gemology online at a considerable discount to the on-site version.
Enrollment can be done at any time and gemology courses start right away without waiting. You will be partnered with a personal instructor you can contact whenever needed to support and guide you through the program.
All learning materials, including gems (on loan) are delivered to your door. You also have 24/7 access to the GIA distance learning portal. This means you can log in from Starbucks at 6 am if you want to!
The International School of Gemology (ISG) - This gemology online school was founded in order to afford a greater number of people the opportunity to obtain a gemologist degree. Their gemology courses have an emphasis on the insurance industry. Their Classroom at Home DVD instruction brings the classroom environment into the living room, providing flexibility for the working student.
Their tuition is far lower than that of the GIA, and some students have also professed the education to be superior. However, generally speaking the GIA credentials are considered more prestigious and thus more valuable. The IGS currently has 1800 students spanning 55 nations.
Gemology For The Rest of Us
International Gem Society (IGS) – This is an option for the rest of us who love gemstones, but are not necessarily interested in becoming a gemologist. If you join the IGS (currently $59 a year), you have access to their gemology online course for free.
They do have a certification program, and yes that is free too! You just pay a $30 fee for test grading. However, if you are truly serious about making a career in gemology, it is far better to get a degree from GIA or the International School of Gemology. These two gemology schools are internationally accepted, while the IGS is considered to be for hobbyists by many people in the industry.