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Comparing the three Gemological school's education

(these are my views and experiences of the schools)

 My diplomes from these schools

Gemological Institute of America

German Gemological Association

Gemological Ass. of Great Britain

Address, tel. and fax numbers

Gemological Institute of America (GIA)   

World Headquarters
The Robert Mouawad Campus
5345 Armada Drive
Carlsbad, California 92008
Tel: 800-421-7250 
Outside the U.S. and Canada:
+1-760-603-4000 + ext. 

German Gemmological Ass.
Prof.-Schlossmacher-Str. 1
55743 Idar-Oberstein
Tel: +49-6781-43011
Telefax +49-6781-41616

Gemmological Association and Gemtesting Laboratory of Great Britain, (GemA) 

27 Greville Str. (Saffron Hill Entrance)  

London EC1N 8TN            

Tel: 020 7404 3334 

Fax 020 7404 8843

Outside England:

 Tel: +44-20 7404 8843

Fax: +44-20 7404 8843 

The programs that I have followed.


Colorstones (includes organics), Gem Identification, Diamonds, Diamond Grading, Color Stone Grading, Jewelry Display, Insurance Replacement Appraising, Counter Sketching.

Extention on campus:

Gem Identification, Diamond Grading, Color Stone Grading  

On campus:

Jewellery Design

Workshops; wax working, jewellery repair, basic and advance gem setting, counter sketching.

On campus

Gemmology, Diamonds, Organics


Gemmology (includes organics), Diamonds

Work shop on campus: Diamond Grading.

Approximate date 

Between 1992-1996


Between 2000 - 2004

Course materials 

Colorstones;  two large files 

Gem Identification; one large file 

Diamonds;  one large file 

Diamond Grading; one large file 

Color Stone Grading; one large file 

Gem Reference Guide

Handbook of gem identification by R. T. Liddicoat, Jr.

Jewellery Design; two large files

Jewelry Display; one large file 

Insurance Replacement Appraising; one  file 

Counter Sketching; one file 

Gemmology; one file   

Diamonds; one file 

Pearls; one file.

The "Tables of gem ID"

Gemmology; three large files  

Diamonds; two large files 

Practical Gem Handbook 

Diamond Grading Manual 


The quality of education



Very very well prepared. Very informative and easy to understand. The course material has a lot of helpfull insets and pictures to make the education fun.

‘The gemstone identification set’ that GIA sends to the correspondant students to practice with the gemstones during the Gem Identification course is invaluable.

Gem Reference Guide is a book that I always carry with me.

The instructors are very very good. Specially  Dr. C. Milicienda who's photo you will see in my Gallery page, is one of the best and patient teachers I have ever studied with. 

The stone collection in school and Idar Oberstein's gem museums are great help with the studies. 

The study material is not as detailed as GIA and GemA. The "Tables of gem ID,  by; Birgit Gunther is very very good.

It is more technical and more difficult to follow  then GIA or DGemG's course material.  But very complete in everyway.

The "Practical Gem Handbook" and Diamond Grading Manual" are very good books for practical work. 

The only minus of the study materials for correspondant students was the lack of the gemstones for practicing.

In the Diamond workshop first of all you learn to grade diamonds without the help of a microscope, only using a 10x triplet loupe. You learn to colour grade diamonds without the help of master stones. 

The help during the course

The study material was so well prepared that I didn't need very much help from the instructors.

As above.

Instructors are very very helpful. They explained everyone of my mistakes on the homework papers very thoroughly which helped with my theory exam. (you can ask the school for old exam questions when you are studying your exam)


I took the exams on campus for correspondance courses of Colored Stones, Gem Identification, and Diamonds and Diamond Grading.  

Finally, Gemology Diploma theory and practical. Gemology Diploma theory exam has contained all Colored Stones, Gem ID, Colour Stone Grading  and Diamonds and Diamond Grading. My grade was 89 on theory exam and I identified all 20 stones in practical exam.  

Theory exams are multiple question.

The other correspondance courses did not require proctored exam.  

The exams followed the courses on campus.

The theory exam was written also was oral.  There was 20 stone identification on practical exam.

My grade was 96 on gemmology. 

I identified all 20 stones in practical exam.


The exams were at set dates on campus.

Diamond practical and theory exams were right after the one week Diamond Grading extention course. Therefore it was easy to get an A on practical.. 

I passed the theory exam with a B.


Although I passed the theory exam in  Diploma,  I failed  Diploma practical exam in January and June 2002 with a C grade.  

Finally I have passed the practical exam in 2004 in January. 

The theory exams are written and not multiple question. 

....... after the exams

They were very very helpful... during and after the exam.

It is customary that you take and identify 10 stones in the morning 10 stones in the afternoon but, I get sick on the stomack when I am very exited. So they gave me one stone at a time so that I can get over my exitement. 

Because I was a foreign student I received the results of the exams before I left the States.

The correct answers to the mistakes is what a student needs after an exam so she or he doesn’t do the same again. This is very good of GIA’s ways or rules. 

Maybe because studying and being in  Idar-Oberstein which has magical powers over me may influence my judgement but I must say that I learned so much from DGemG.


We just celebrated......

In my opinion they should answer this question to be able to do better next time; "what have I done wrong?"  

Also if the results to be known by the students short time after the exams it will leave time to prepare for the next one.

But as a rule they don't. 

Membership etc.

GIA allows you to use GG after your name whether you are a paying member or not. 


To be able to use FGG after your name you have to be a member, and pay your membership fees faithfully. Also every five year to renew your knowledge you have to take a short course and also an exam.  

To be able to use FGA after your name you have to be a member, and pay your membership fees faithfully.

 Fees etc.

On campus (CB/NY/LA): 6 month continuous program (780 hours) $13,995

Distance Education: 

GEM130 Diamond essentials

GEM230 Diamond&Diamond Grading

GEM230L DiamondGrading Lab

GEM120 Colored Stone essential 

GEM220 Colored Stones

GEM220LColored Stones Lab

GEM240 Gem Identification

GEM240L Gem Identification Lab

(Maximum completion time: 63 months maximum) $6,975 ($7,395 International)

What you earn: Graduate Gemologist Diploma, Graduate Diamonds Diploma, Graduate Colored Stones Diploma


Once a year there is tuition in English language.


Euro 5,800.00

GemA  is an excellent school.

They have very strict rules. 

Try to take the few days of  workshop of Coloured stones, because this way you will learn how do they want you to answer the questions. 

Foundation correspondence course £ 993.00
Diploma correspondence course £1356.00 (on completion is granted the FGA title).

Gem Diamond diploma course £1584.00 (on completion is granted the DGA title).

For current prices please visit:

For GIA;

For DGemG;

For GemA; Download the 2010-2011 Prospectus