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Gemology Courses

Gemology 011 Introductory Colored Stones
Units: 4 | Class hours: 48 lecture/48 Laboratory | Prerequisite: None

Discover the unique qualities of a dazzling array of colored gemstones, and use our full gemological lab to identify stones from our extensive collection. Learn to use a variety of gemological testing instruments, including the gemological microscope, refractometer, polariscope, dichroscope, specific gravity fluids, interference sphere, spectroscope, Chelsea and other assorted filters, short wave and long wave light, and monochromatic light. Topics covered include:

Defining a mineral and a gemstone
Classification by formation
The 6 crystal systems
Physical properties of colored stones
Specific gravity
Groups, species and varieties
The physics of gemstones
The optical qualities of gemstones
Double refraction


Gemology 012 Advanced Colored Stones
Units: 4 | Class hours: 48 lecture/48 Laboratory | Prerequisite: None

Advanced identification, appreciation and evaluation of colored gemstones. Further your understanding of the physical and optical properties of gemstones and achieve mastery of the use of gemological testing equipment to identify an extensive range of natural and synthetic gemstones. Topics covered include:

Color and the transition elements
Absorption spectra
Light phenomena
In-depth information about inclusions
Flame fusion, flux fusion, and other methods of synthesis
Optic Character and sign
Weight estimation
Cutting and polishing
Glass and assembled stones
Pearls and other mineraloids
Wholesale market pricing for major gemstones


Gemology 015 Colored Stones & Diamonds Lab
Units: 1 | Class hours: 48 laboratory total | Previous or concurrent enrollment in another Gemology course Recommended  

Laboratory experience in testing and identification of colored gemstones and/or full grading of diamonds for clarity, color, cut and carat weight. May be repeated.

Instructor: Lothar Vallot

Gemology 020 Diamonds
Units: 4 | Class hours: 96 laboratory total | Prerequisite: None

Find out what makes a diamond so beautiful and why it enjoys its unique status above all other gemstones. This course offers an opportunity to examine several diamonds in a variety of clarity and color ranges close-up. Learn a full range of diamond grading techniques and how to detect treated diamonds and diamond substitutes. Topics covered include:

Physical properties of a diamond
How they are formed and where they are found
Mining and distribution
Diamond cutting
Assessing clarity
Plotting diamonds
Assessing proportions
Estimating carat weight
Grading mounted diamonds
Assessing color
Evaluating cut
Recutting diamonds
How diamonds are priced
Diamond treatments and their identification
Detecting diamond simulants


Gemology 030 Antique and Period Jewelry
Units: 3 | Class hours: 48 lecture total Prerequisite: None

Learn to recognize valuable antique and period jewelry, and become familiar with jewelry styles as far back as the late 18th century. Be able to identify styles, makers, and countries of origin, and accurately assess market value. Topics covered include:

Late Georgian jewelry
Early, mid and late Victorian jewelry
Arts & Crafts jewelry
Art Nouveau jewelry
Edwardian jewelry
Twentieth century fine, costume, and novelty jewelry
American studio artist's jewelry
Contemporary "mainstream" jewelry
Native American Indian and Mexican silver jewelry
Scandinavian jewelry


Gemology 050 Pearls
Units: 3 | Class hours: 48 lecture | Prerequisite: None

Introduction to the history, appreciation, identification and evaluation of natural and cultured pearls. An overview of the world pearl industry and famous pearls. Pearl identification and grading techniques covering the physical and optical properties for judging the luster, surface, shape, color and size of the various types of pearls.