How Much Does Gemology School Cost?
Going to gemology school is not only an investment in time but in money as well. If you want to learn how to analyze and grade diamonds, colored stones and other gems, you’ll have to be ready to spend not only for tuition and fees but for the necessary tools and materials you need in the profession. Two of the schools in the United States offering gemology programs are the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and the International School of Gemology (ISG).
The comprehensive program for aspiring gemologists offered by the GIA is the Graduate Gemologist diploma program. The cost of tuition and books and materials for this program in their New York campus is $22,670. They also offer other programs, such as the Graduate Diamonds diploma program which has a tuition and fees cost of $6,920 and Graduate Colored Stones which cost $15,750. The cost for their laboratory classes vary depending on the lab class taken. The cost of tuition and fees for the Colored Stone Grading Lab is $1,075 while Diamond Grading Lab and Gem Identification Lab cost $1,625 each. Pearl Grading Lab, meanwhile, costs $315.
GIA also offers students the convenience of taking courses online. Tuition cost for the Colored Stone Essentials course is $165 while Colored Stones is $1,520.Diamond Essentials course costs $165 while the Diamonds & Diamond Grading course is $1,425. Their Gem Identification e-learning course costs $1,655 and their Pearls course costs $570. Students who opt to take the online option will still need to take the lab classes in order to gain practical hands-on knowledge on grading gemstones.
If you want a program that is offered completely online, you can check out the Registered Gemologist program offered by the International School of Gemology. At ISG, this program has a tuition cost of $2,195 inclusive of the gem equipment package. This includes things like polariscope with conoscope, refractometer, RI Liquid, diffraction grating spectroscope, fully corrected 10x professional jeweler’s loupe and others. Without the gem equipment, the cost of tuition is $1,595. For ISG’s Registered Gemologist Appraiser program, the cost of tuition and gem equipment package is $2,695. It is $1,995 without the gem equipment. Compared with the cost at GIA, ISG does offer lower tuition and fees. This is because ISG does not have a brick-and-mortar school and offers their programs completely online which results to reduced expenses for the students.
In the event that you are not yet ready to take the full Registered Gemologist or Registered Gemologist Appraiser program but still want to explore the world of gems, nonetheless, ISG also offers an Introduction to Gemology course which costs $95. Completing the final exam awards you a Certificate of Completion for this course.
You also need to factor in the expenses associated with housing and food while you’re still in gemology school. If you opt to study in-campus in GIA, for example, then you’ll have to consider moving close to the school if you are not living in New York already. There are cost of living calculators online that you can use to determine how much you would need to budget each month for rent, food, travel and other expenses.
Since you don’t have to worry about moving costs and can hold a fulltime job at the same time with the distance learning option, then obtaining your training from an online gemology school may turn out to be cost-effective. You should also look for financial aid opportunities in the school you plan to enroll in. You might be eligible for scholarships or grants which could substantially lower the cost of your gemology education.