How Long Does Gemology School Take?
Gemologists are tasked with analyzing the quality of gemstones like rubies, diamonds, sapphires, emeralds and others. They use special tools like microscopes and grading instruments in order to describe the characteristics of these stones and attest to their quality. If you want a career which would allow you to work with these expensive gems and other finished pieces of jewelry then you will need to obtain training to become a gemologist at a gemology school.
The length of time you’ll spend in gemology school depends on the type of gemology program you’ll be taking. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is one of the widely recognized gemology schools in the United States and provides educational training to aspiring gemologists. One of the programs they offer is the Graduate Gemologist diploma program which lasts for 26 weeks. Upon graduation, students are expected to have comprehensive knowledge of diamonds and colored stones. It can be taken in any of its campuses worldwide, with New York as its home in the United States. Applicants to the program must be at least 18 years old and hold a high school diploma to be admitted.
If you only want to concentrate on grading, buying and selling only diamonds, GIA also offers the Graduate Diamonds diploma program which lasts for seven weeks. They also have the Graduate Colored Stones diploma program which takes 19 weeks to finish. The GIA gives students the option to take their classes on-campus or online. For those who are already working or want to have the flexibility to manage their time, the distance education option is preferred. However, you need to be aware that although the theory can be done on your own anywhere you have a computer and Internet connection, this arrangement also has some in-campus component since the lab classes are offered on-campus.
The International School of Gemology (ISG) is another gemology school that offers gemology courses. Unlike GIA which has actual physical campuses around the world, ISG makes their programs solely available through distance education. For example, ISG offers the comprehensive Registered Gemologist Appraiser diploma program to students who successfully complete the online course. In order to graduate, the student must pass six courses covering watches, diamonds, pearls, colored gemstones, gemology tools and techniques, created and treated gemstones, evaluating damaged jewelry and jewelry insurance appraisal. Most of the students normally complete this program in an average of eight months although ISG gives them two years to finish their studies.
For students who only wish to study gemology and gemstones and not jewelry appraisal, ISG also offers the Registered Gemologist diploma program. Instead of the eight courses covered in the Registered Gemologist Appraiser program, this only requires students to complete four courses which presumably results to a shorter completion time than the average of eight months. For those who can’t finish the program within the two-year time limit, ISG also has a time extension program.
There are some workers who gain their skills without getting formal gemology training but by working with a skilled gemologist and learning the craft through the years. However, many employers prefer to hire those who already possess the knowledge and skills necessary to function in the world of gemology because they would not anymore need to allocate a lot of time for training. This makes going to gemology school highly recommended.