How to Become a Certified Gemologist

If you have dedicated yourself to a professional career in the jewelry business, you may wish to pursue a Certified Geologist title. The American Gem Society bestows the title to its highest level of members. Certified gemologists may advertise their specialty with a diamond logo near their name in ads and on business cards. Less than 5 percent of jewelers in the country have earned the Certified Gemologist title.

Know that "Certified Geologist" is a title offered by the American Gem Society (AGS) (see Resources below). The title holder must be employed by an American Gem Society Firm Member and must pass an annual recertification exam.

Begin your gemology education with seminars, classes and online courses from a recognized school. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and the International Gem Society (IGS) offer educational programs, as do many colleges and universities (see Resources below).

Find work as a jeweler. In order to eventually qualify as a certified gemologist, you must gain experience in the field.

Earn a "Graduate Gemologist" degree from GIA or a "Professional Gemologist" certification from the IGS (see Resources below). Completion of one of these programs puts you in an excellent position to earn a Certified Gemologist title.

Complete the AGS "Way Course," which is available to AGS members only. The six-lesson home-study course provides the foundation for the principles of ethics, knowledge and consumer protection while defining the AGS Diamond Grading Standards.

Grade two diamonds provided by AGS. Successfully grading the diamonds acts as an exam of sorts for earning the Certified Gemologist title.

Remember to follow recertification procedures every year. The titleholder must maintain a professional and ethical reputation, as well as keep his knowledge up to date. Courses are available to prepare for the recertification exam.


There is no formal gemology certification offered, nor is any certification required to work with gems or become an appraiser. If you are planning to hunt for a job at an insurance company or luxury retailer, you may want to earn some sort of certification, but it does not need to the Certified Gemologist title. A Certified Gemologist and a Certified Gemologist Appraiser are two different titles that require very different skills.

Things You'll Need

  • Membership in American Gem Society
  • Job at an American Gem Society establishment
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