The science of gemmology is still relatively young, a hybrid of many different scientific disciplines including not only geology, mineralogy, physics and chemistry but also biology, zoology and botany.

This course, developed by the WGF (World Gem Foundation), explores a very select group of gemstones (coral, jet, amber, ivory and pearls), formed through organic processes rather than through geological forces deep within the earth’s surface.

Topics covered include their physical and optical properties, geological formation, chemical composition, varieties and classification, cause of colour, common inclusions and internal characteristics, fluorescence, pearl grading criteria, methods of synthesis, gem identification, common treatments and enhancements, and cleaning and care instructions.

Who should take this course

This course is aimed at the curious who wish to know more about the world of gemstones, and at students wishing to become professional gemologists: Career Gemmologists or Coloured Gemstones Professionals.

Professional gemologists wishing to update their knowledge in the field of organic gems are also welcome.

Format and update course

This course is available online, with a digital version only.

As for all WGF courses:

  • The photos of gems available on this course are rewarded for their high quality.
  • Your access to the courses in digital version is acquired for life.
  • The WGF makes an update every two years. Each student receives this update for life and free of charge, and thus remains up to date with the latest developments in the world of gemmology.


There is no prerequisite for this course.

Language and schedules

The course is presented in English.

It is also available in French. If you want to register in this language, please go to the French page of the course: Matière organiques.

If you wish to take this course in Spanish, please contact us at

This course is only available online in digital version. You start and finish this course whenever you want.

How to register

Online, by mail or by phone at 514 844-0024. Registration for courses in French has to be done on the French version of the page.

Once registered, you will receive your student access code for the digital version of the courses.

No tutoring is planned for this course. However, if you feel the need for further explanations, you can contact us at for a request for individual tutoring by one of the school’s teachers. This tutoring can be given at distance or on the EGM premises. The price of this tutoring is not included in the course.

Certificate program

This course includes one online test at the end of the course. Results are available quickly. A certificate is then issued.

This is a ‘General Interest’ course. After completion, students may upgrade to ‘Coloured Gemstones‘ and receive a credit equal to the value of the cost of this course (the cost will be deducted).