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.

For more info, download the Gem Identification Program brochure:

Is this program for me?

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

You must have passed the Advanced Gemmology examinations.

Professional gemmologists can also upgrade their knowledge with the in-depth approach of this course in the field of gem identification.

How does it work?

This course is available through distance education, with two options:

  • 100% digital
  • Printed material with access to the digital content.

Whatever formula you choose, you will be given an access code that will allow you to access the digital version of the course for life, updated every two years, free of charge.

2 hours of individual tutoring, given by an EGM instructor, are also included in this course. You schedule those tutoring sessions, with online or on-site options, depending on your availability and progress.

In order to help students who choose distance education for their gemmology studies, we offer several gemmology kits ; some that include the instruments required to study gemmology and become a professional; a gem set, made of 40 gemstones carefully selected for their educational value (450 $ taxes inluded), to help you identify gemstones, treatments and lab-grown gems from the comfort of your home. All gems are labelled and your EGM instructor will help you by explaining what to look for in those specific gems, how to identify them, how to name and draw what you saw and how to handle them with tweezers and other instruments.

Language and schedules

The online course is in English, from the educational material to the online test, to your tutoring session.

It is also available in French. If you want to register in this language, please go to: Identification des Gemmes.

Register now for the Gem Identification distance education program and learn gemmology at your own pace.

Tuition fees

Online course with digital version: 340 CAD before tax (i.e. 390.92)

The 2 hours of tutoring are included.

Online course with printed version: 425 CAD before tax (i.e. 488.64)

The 2 hours of tutoring and shipping are included.

How to register

Register online, by mail, by phone at 514 844-0024, or at the EGM (please book an appointment). Registration for courses in French can be done on the French version of the page.

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

Please note that since WGF theory courses are available for a lifetime, the online course fee cannot be refunded once the access codes have been communicated to the student via the internet and the printed documents have been sent. The refund process may be applied to the classroom portion of the fee.

Graduation policy

The Gem Identification course includes one online test.

The results are received instantly after the test is completed. To pass the Gem Identification course and receive your letter of completion, you must pass the test with a 70% score or higher. If you did not reach 70% score, a second attempt will be granted, free of charge.

This course is part of the Career Gemmologist diploma program. If you wish to pursue this program, the following course will be Diamonds.