Gem Identification

In contrast to many programs, this course developed by the WGF (World Gem Foundation) takes a concrete approach to the methods of identifying gems by first grouping them by colour and transparency.

Each gem of the same colour group is characterized according to its refractive index, depending on whether or not it can be measured with a refractometer (maximum 1.80), then according to its single refractive or birefringent character, as well as whether uniaxial, biaxial or non-crystalline. Finally it is determined whether the gem has an optical phenomenon or a specific appearance.

Many topics are covered in this course, including an introduction to gem identification and the tests that are commonly used to identify gems. An in-depth look is taken at each of the ten colour groups (colourless or white, red, pink, orange, yellow, blue, green, violet or purple, brown, black or grey) as well as phenomenon or unusual looking gems. What are the important varieties and species of gems that are commonly found in each colour group? How can we distinguish between gems that are generally confused with each other (aquamarine and blue topaz, emerald and chrome tourmaline, diamond and laboratory-created moissanite) or that have similar physical and optical properties (amethyst and violet scapolite)? Study of all laboratory-created, imitated, processed and enhanced gems found in each colour group.

Who should take this course

This course is aimed at both the curious who wish to know more about the world of gemstones, students wishing to become professional gemmologists, and gemmologists wishing to upgrade or deepen their knowledge.

Course Format and Updates

This course is available:

  •  Online, in digital version
  • Online, in printed version
  • On-site at the EGM (in French)

As with all WGF courses, you benefit from special advantages:

  • Regardless of the formula chosen, the course is always given in digital version.
  • The photos of gems available on this course have been 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 the digital version of this update for life and free of charge, and thus remains up to date with the latest developments in the world of gemmology
  • The online courses are accompanied by individual tutoring.


You must have passed the Advanced Gemmology exam.

However, this course may be of interest to professional gemmologists wishing to update or enrich their knowledge. In this case, please contact the EGM at

If you wish to obtain the Career Gemmologist or Coloured Gemstones Professional diplomas, it is strongly advised to respect the organisation of the courses as indicated in the right-hand column.

Language and schedules

In what concerning the online course, it’s 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: Identification des Gemmes.

If you wish to follow this course in Spanish (digital and distance learning version only), please contact us at

If you choose to take this course online (digital or print version), you can start and finish this course whenever you want. 2 hours of tutoring, which you schedule at your convenience, are offered to accompany you in your learning. If you wish, you can follow these tutoring hours on-site at the EGM (once you have selected your hours, please send us an email at

If you choose to take this course on-site at the EGM, classes are held on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and sometimes Fridays, from 9am to 12pm and from 1pm to 4pm, according to the announced schedule. At that moment, classes on-site are given only in French.


Online course with digital version: $340 CDN + taxes (i.e. $390.92)

The 2 hours of tutoring are included.

Online course with printed version: $425 CDN + taxes (i.e. $488.64)

The 2 hours of tutoring and shipping are included.

Classes on-site (in French): $1500 CDN + taxes (i.e. $1724.63)

How to register

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

Once registered, you will receive your student access code for the digital version of the courses, even if you are taking the courses in person.

If you choose to take the courses at a distance, you will be able to request two hours of tutoring at your convenience. This tutoring is individual, and is provided by one of the EGM teachers. You can sign up for additional tutoring if you wish (fee extra).

Certificate program

The Gem Identification course is sanctioned by an examination. This is done online.

The results are available quickly. In case of failure, a second attempt is allocated, free of charge.

A certificate is issued.

This course is a prerequisite leading to the WGF International Diplomas: Career Gemmologist and Coloured Stone Professional. If you wish to follow these courses, the Advanced Gemmology course is included and does not have to be paid again. The following course should be Diamonds (for Career Gemmologist) or Coloured Gemstones (for Coloured Gemstone Professional).

You will find all the information you need about the WGF courses and the different procedures on the Gem Academy of Canada page.
You can also consult the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the WGF website.