The World of Gemstones at Your Own Pace

11

Lessons

50+

Videos

Certificate

Ofqual Level 2

English

Language

GemIntro by Gem-A is an online-only short course by the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A) that provides the fundamentals of gemmology to elevate your knowledge. Start learning today for just £220 with six months’ access to our online platform.

What is GemIntro?

Watch the video about our beginner’s level gemmology course that’s purely online.

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Learning Path

In this first chapter we’ll explore what gemmology is, its history, and how gems become precious in the first place. We’ll also take a look at modern gemmology and how contemporary laboratories are equipped.

Here, we’ll take a closer look at gems, gemstones, the materials that make them up and how we can determine their quality.

In this chapter we will begin to break down the differences between natural and artificial gems, and explore how we can differentiate between substances produced in the earth, and synthetic ones produced in the laboratory.

Here, we begin to explore the unique properties of gems including their hardness, propensity to fracture or cleave, and their dimensions and weights.

In chapter five, we will begin to explore how we can observe gems. This ranges from looking with the naked eye using our hands, to using special lights under a microscope. We’ll also take a look at how to clean and handle small gemstones.

Here, we will begin to explore the complicated interactions between gemstones and light. This will include looking at colour, lustre, and the various optical effects that become apparent when illuminating gems.

In this chapter we take a much closer look at gems and explore their internal worlds. This includes identifying various inclusions within the gem material and identifying the origin of the stones – be it natural or synthetic.

Here, we take a look at how the appearance and durability of gems can be improved using methods such as heat or irradiation, oil and resin, or coating the stone in other materials.

In chapter nine we begin to explore the basics of cutting, setting and faceting stones. We’ll take a look at the various methods and forms of gem cutting and, in particular, more contemporary styles and techniques of doing so.

In this chapter we follow the journey of gems from mine to market, exploring the geology of gems and the effects and processes associated with mining. We’ll also consider how we determine the value of gems, and look at how stones can be traced back to a place of origin.

Finally, we’ll take a look at the lore of gemstones and explore some of the traditional properties attributed to them, including their believed medicinal uses and function as birthstones.

There is a mini quiz at the end of each chapter to test your knowledge and as you move through the course you will gradually unlock gemstones for additional reading and interesting facts on select gem materials. By the end of the course, you will have collected 32 gemstones for you to read about as you learn more about gemmology. Finally, after completing all the chapters and the gemstones you will be able to take the final assessment – and once passed you will be able to download and print off your certificate to keep. Once successfully completed you will have a level 2 qualification accredited by Ofqual.  

GemIntro Overview

Welcome to GemIntro by Gem-A! We are pleased to announce this new, short course by the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A) which has been educating people about gems and gemmology longer than any other organisation worldwide. Recognised for its Industry leading Diplomas leading to Fellowship of the Association, this course is designed to give a broad introduction to the wonderful world of gems and gemmology.

Gemintro by Gem-A is designed for anyone seeking to start and progress their career in gemmology. Covering a broad range of topics and issues, with successful completion,  you will understand how gemmology is applied in many areas of the gemmological industries which includes retail, manufacture, jewellery design, and mining to name a few. Gemintro is also perfect for gemstone enthusiasts who want to understand more about this exciting, beautiful, and diverse world.

Completing GemIntro Will Help You:

GemIntro Syllabus

The syllabus for our online-only gemmology course has been especially developed by leading experts to equip you with the best possible beginner’s gemstone knowledge. It offers a comprehensive grounding in gemmology terms, techniques, and ideas, and provides a launchpad for further study, including the Gem-A Gemmology Foundation course.

There are 11 chapters to work through with lots of videos and interactive content covering topics including gemmology, gem materials, observation, identification, cutting, mine to market, science and geology, lore and so much more. There is a mini quiz at the end of each chapter to test your knowledge and as you move through the course you will gradually unlock gemstones for additional reading and interesting facts on select gem materials. By the end of the course, you will have collected 32 gemstones for you to read about as you learn more about gemmology. Finally, after completing all the chapters and the gemstones you will be able to take the final assessment – and once passed you will be able to download and print off your certificate to keep. Once successfully completed you will have a level 2 qualification accredited by Ofqual.  

Course Topics

Chapters 1-4

1. Gemmology

In this first chapter we will explore what gemmology is, its history, and how gems become precious in the first place. We will also look at how gemmology has advanced, including how contemporary laboratories are equipped.

At the end of chapter 1 students should:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of what a gem material is
  • Understand the purpose of gemmology and gem testing
  • Understand the role of gemmological laboratories
  • 1. Gemmology

    1.0 Welcome
    1.1 How gems become precious
    1.2 A brief history of Gemmology
    1.3 What is Gemmology
    1.4 Modern Gemmology
    1.5 Gemmological laboratories
    Quick quiz
    30mins + 5videos
    Get started

    2. Gems & Gemstones

    Here, we will take a closer look at gems, gemstones, the materials that make them up and how we can determine their quality.

    Students should have a basic understanding

  • of the main factors that define a material as being of gem quality
  • of what contributes to the value of a gem material
  • 2. Gems and Gemstones

    2.0 Gems, gemstones and gem materials
    2.1 Gem quality: beauty, rarity and durability
    2.2 Value factors
    Quick quiz
    25mins + 5videos
    Get started

    3. Gem Materials

    In this chapter we will begin to break down the differences between natural and artificial gems and explore how we can differentiate between natural gem materials and synthetic materials produced in the laboratory.

    At the end of chapter 3 students should:

  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of the definitions of different types of gem materials.
  • 3. Gem materials

    3.0 Natural substances
    3.1 Artificial products
    3.1.1 Synthetic stones
    3.1.2 Composite stones
    3.1.3 Other artificial products
    Quick quiz
    15mins + 5videos
    Get started

    4. Gem Properties

    Here, we begin to explore the unique properties of gems including their hardness, propensity to fracture or cleave, and their dimensions and weights.

    At the end of chapter 4 students should:

  • understand the basic concept of what a crystal is
  • understand the difference between hardness and toughness, and the two types of breakages (fracture and cleavage)
  • 4. Gem properties

    4.0 Gem properties
    4.1 Hardness and toughness
    4.2 Fracture and cleavage
    4.3 Dimensions and weight
    Quick quiz
    20mins + 5videos
    Get started
    Chapters 5-8

    5. Gem Observation

    Correct gem observation is a very important part of gemmology, and we will begin to explore how to observe gems. This ranges from looking with our own eyes through to using simple equipment and correct lighting. We will also look at how to clean and handle gemstones.

    At the end of chapter 5 students should understand:

  • how to handle and care for gems and gem-set jewellery, and some of the cleaning techniques that may be used
  • the significance of observation by eye and the use of a loupe.
  • the different ways of using light when observing a gem with the loupe or under the microscope
  • 5. Gem observation

    5.0 Gem observation
    5.1 Handling and cleaning gem materials
    5.2 Under the naked eye
    5.2.1 What can you see?
    5.2.2 Tweezers
    5.3 Using light
    5.4 The microscope
    Quick quiz
    25mins + 5videos
    Get started

    6. Gemstones & Light

    Here, we will begin to explore the complicated interactions between gemstones and light. This will include looking at colour, lustre, and the various optical effects that become apparent when illuminating certain gems and gemstones.

    At the end of chapter 6 students should:

  • demonstrate a basic understanding of what light is and how it behaves in relation to gems
  • demonstrate a basic understanding of transparency, and lustre in gems
  • have a basic understanding of gems showing optical effects
  • 6. Gemstones and light

    6.0 Gemstones and light
    6.1 Light-related properties
    6.1.1 Lustre
    6.1.2 Diamonds and colourless gems
    6.1.3 Optical effects
    6.1.4 Opaque gems
    6.2 More on colour
    6.2.1 Seeing more than one colour
    6.3 Colour change
    6.4 Salesroom
    Quick quiz
    Get started

    7. More on Magnification

    Let us take a much closer look at gems and explore their internal worlds. This includes identifying various inclusions within gem materials through to seeking evidence in identifying the origin of gems and gemstones – be it natural or synthetic.

    At the end of chapter 7 students should:

  • understand how magnification can be used to view surface and internal characteristics of a gem material
  • have a basic understanding of how inclusions can help to determine the nature of a gem
  • 7. More on magnification

    7.0 More on magnification
    7.1 The internal world of gems – inclusions
    7.1.1 Detecting synthetic gems
    7.1.2 Origin determination
    Quick quiz
    10mins + 3videos
    Get started

    8. Improving the Appearance or Durability of Gems

    Here, we look at treatments, what methods are used to improve the appearance and durability of gems through utilising oil and resins, coating stones and applying heat or irradiation.

    At the end of chapter 8 students should:

  • understand the basic ways in which treatments can be used to enhance gems
  • 8. Improving the appearance or durability of gems

    8.0 Improving the appearance or durability of gems
    8.1 Heat or irradiation
    8.2 Oil, resin and other filings
    8.3 Coating
    8.4 An old practice
    Quick quiz
    30mins + 5videos
    Get started
    Chapters 9-11

    9. Cutting and Setting

    In chapter nine we begin to explore the basics of cutting, setting, and faceting stones. We will look at the various methods and forms of gem cutting and more contemporary styles, fashioning, and techniques.

    At the end of chapter 9 students should:

  • have a basic understanding of gem cutting and the factors cutters might need to consider
  • have a basic understanding of facetted and non-faceted cutting styles
  • 9. Cutting and setting

    9.0 Cutting and setting
    9.1 Gem cutting
    9.2 Faceting
    9.2.1 Cutting factors
    9.3 Other forms of cutting
    9.4 New styles and techniques
    9.5 Setting
    Quick quiz
    25mins + 5videos
    Get started

    10. From Mine to Market

    In this chapter we follow the journey of gems from mine to market, exploring the geology of gems and importance of disclosure from mine to consumer. We will also consider how we determine the value of gems and look at how stones may be traced back to a place of origin.

    At the end of chapter 10 students should:

  • have a basic understanding of the geology of gem formation
  • have an understanding of the mining process and the gemstone pipeline
  • understand some of the factors that can influence the value of a gem
  • 10. From mine to market

    10.0 From mine to market
    10.1 The geology of gems
    10.2 Mining effects
    10.3 Mining processes
    10.4 The value of gems
    10.5 Traceability
    Quick quiz
    20mins + 5videos
    Get started

    11. The Lore of Gemstones

    Finally, we will look at the lore of gemstones and explore some of the traditional properties attributed to them, including their believed medicinal uses and function as birthstones.

    At the end of chapter 11 students should:

  • have an understanding of some traditional properties attributed to gemstones, including birthstones
  • 11. The lore of Gemstones

    11.0 The lore of gemstones
    11.1 Birthstones
    11.2 Gems as medicine
    Quick quiz
    5 mins + 2 videos
    Get started

    The Gemstones

    Further reading on 32 gem and gemstone categories are available on successful completion of each chapter including agate, alexandrite, amber and copal, aquamarine, carnelian, coral, cubic zirconia, diamond, emerald, garnet, glass, iolite, jade, lapis lazuli, opal, pearl, peridot, quartz (citrine, rock crystal, amethyst), ruby, sapphire, spinel, tanzanite, topaz, tourmaline, turquoise and zircon.

    At the end of The Gemstones students should

  • have a basic understanding of some common gem materials found on the market, including natural, artificial and synthetic materials.
  • learn some interesting gemstone facts pertaining to their history, lore, use in jewellery and care.
  • develop a basic understanding of distinctive characteristics for some common gem materials
  • 32 Gemstones

    Agate, Alexandrite, Amber and Copal, Amethyst, Aquamarine, Beryl group, Biogenic gems, Carnelian, Citrine, Coral, Corundum, Cubic Zirconia, Diamond, Emerald, Garnet, Glass, Iolite, Jade, Lapis Lazuli, Opal, Pearls, Peridot, Quartz, Rock crystal, Ruby, Sapphire, Spinel, Tanzanite, Topaz, Tourmaline, Turquoise, Zircon
    Get started

    Final assessment

    There is a mini quiz at the end of each chapter to test your knowledge and as you move through the course you will gradually unlock gemstones for additional reading and interesting facts on select gem materials. By the end of the course, you will have collected 32 gemstones for you to read about as you learn more about gemmology. Finally, after completing all the chapters and the gemstones you will be able to take the final assessment – and once passed you will be able to download and print off your certificate to keep. Once successfully completed you will have a level 2 qualification accredited by Ofqual.  

    At the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of the principles of gemmology
  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of identifying properties of common gem materials
  • Results and grades

    The pass grade for the final assessment is 80%. Students achieving less than 80% may retake the assessment until they achieve the 80% pass mark.

    A Level 2 Award in GemIntro will be awarded to qualifying candidates.
    Get started

    Ready to Get Started?

    Follow the steps below to register for GemIntro by Gem-A and start learning gemmology online, at your own pace!

    Step 1

    Register and start studying online at your own pace with 6 months’ access to the course

    Get started today by using the REGISTER button below

    Step 2

    Login to your GemIntro account and launch the course

    Start with our introduction to gemmology

    Step 3

    Complete chapter quizzes and unlock restricted content

    Check your understanding every step of the way

    Step 4

    Pass the final assessment to access your Level 2 GemIntro Certificate

    You’ll need 80% or more to secure your qualification

    Next steps

    Next steps in Gemmology

    Gemmology Foundation

    Register and start studying online at your own pace with 6 months access to the course.

    Once you have successfully paid for the course, you will receive an email with instructions on how to log in/ reset password etc. To start learning at your own pace, online, simply follow the instructions in the confirmation email or login via https://gemintro.gem-a.com/my-account

    Complete chapter quizzes and unlock restricted content

    Get 80% in the final assessment to print and save your Level 2 GemIntro Certificate

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