Discovering the gemology

Some time ago, I followed the course “Discovering the gemology” at the National Institute of Gemology. This training is provided on the Paris and Lyon campuses and takes place over 2 days with 14 hours of face-to-face lessons. So let’s see how it was the gemstone’s journey.

The National Institute of Gemology was founded in 1967 by professionals in gemology to train future gemologists. For half a century, the Institute has perfected a training model that is today recognized both nationally and internationally. Now a member of the CIBJO (The World Jewellery Confederation), the ING is the international leader in French-language education and offers the guarantee of a process of permanent progress.

The program

This training revolves around several distinct themes that allow you to learn to define and recognize key concepts of gemology. We learn what is a gem, an imitation or a synthesis, but also to make the difference between a mineral, an amorphous, crystallized or microcrystallized material. We discover the various characteristics of gems, such as hardness, weight and density, and how to determine them. We learn to recognize the different crystal systems, as well as the raw appearance and possible sizes of gems.

The highlight of this course is the access to the exceptional collection of gemstones which allow you to observe their inclusions under a magnifying glass. Their particularities make it possible to describe the stones and to differentiate natural gems from doublets, imitations or synthetic stones. The discovery of solid, liquid, gaseous inclusions or the various crystallizations was for my part a wonderful exploration in the heart of the complex world of gems.

We studied sapphire, ruby, emerald and diamond in detail. The different qualities, the main deposits, the history, the traditional or modern treatments of these precious stones allowed me to appreciate even more their beauty and rarity. This journey around the trades of colored stones, pearls and diamonds is a unique and enriching experience, perfect for any lover of gemstones.

General informations

This training is short but very compact. It is taught by a gemologist and professional professor in the sector. The theoretical part and the practical part are well balanced and that allows to understand perfectly all the treated points. We had access to the gemologist’s tools such as the magnifying glass, the refractometer, the tweezer, the microscope and educational support was provided to us at the end of the course.

This training is open to adults, students and high school students. Several sessions are organized throughout the year. I strongly advise you to find out more on the website of the National Gemological Institute.

I recommend this training for people who would like to learn the basics of gemmology in order to understand this field applied in jewelry, goldsmith and goldsmithery, but also why not to those who would consider becoming a gemologist. Before starting the long course of study, it allows you to test your sense of observation, your skills in science and technology, and your real appetite for this profession. Personally, I really liked the friendly atmosphere during these two days and the exchanges with the other participants who came from very different backgrounds. I thank our professor Marie-Perle Harment for her availability and her practical advice that I have been able to implement. This strengthened my decision to start studying gemology.