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How to become GIA certified?

Shreya Matta

Shreya Matta

May 27, 2022

GIA (Gemological Institute of America) is the world’s foremost authority on diamonds, colored stones, and pearls. A public benefit, nonprofit institution, GIA is the leading source of knowledge, standards, and education in gems and jewelry.

Across the world, people honor and appreciate the beauty and mystery of gems. Just like the gems being at the heart of this work, the opportunities are infinite, limited only by one’s imagination, passion, and professional skills they need to take one there. GIA’s Career Services brings together employers offering career opportunities, and its professionally trained students and alumni, ranging in experience from entry-level to seasoned management.

It has shaped the gem industry, protected millions of consumers, and taught generations of jewelers and gemologists all over the world since 1931. Through research, education, and unbiased gem grading and analysis, GIA strives to protect the gem and jewelry buying public by setting global quality standards. Comprising over 3,000 employees in 13 countries, GIA is a place of diversity, innovation, creativity, and engagement.

Value of GIA Certification

GIA created standards used in gemstone evaluation around the world by creating the 4Cs of Diamond Quality and the GIA 7 Pearl Value Factors. Fueled by the research done in GIA’s world-class laboratories, the education division translates in-depth knowledge into practical skills to teach and train the next generation of jewelry leaders and professionals. It offers a comprehensive curriculum that prepares you for careers in jewelry design, appraisal, sales, bench jewelry, and much more.

Whether you’re starting a new career or looking to advance your current one, a GIA education is key to opening doors within the industry. One is taught the latest knowledge and time-tested skills using cutting-edge research and technology. Professionalism and integrity are at the heart of all that is done to provide the students with the expertise they need to operate at the highest ethical and professional standards.

GIA credentials are a globally recognized mark of excellence that shows a jewelry professional is equipped for the challenges and opportunities of the ever-evolving gem and jewelry industry.

GIA offers globally recognized programs in gemology and design, and classes in retail sales. The world leader in gem and jewelry education, GIA attracts students from all over the country and the globe. Offering programs and courses in diamonds, colored stones, pearls, and jewelry design, GIA provides knowledge and practical skills to translate the love for gems and jewelry into a rewarding career. GIA offers competitive salaries and exceptional benefits as well as training opportunities to employees all over the globe.

How To Read A GIA Diamond Certificate (Part 1) - YouTube

There are three ways one can enroll in a course/ program, as below

GIA On-Campus Education – Study full-time and earn your professional credential in up to six months. All GIA campuses and locations feature classrooms equipped with the latest tools and equipment, small classes conducive to personalized instruction, and attentive staff dedicated to your success. One can learn practically by working with expert instructors ready to provide guidance and answer questions, and you’ll collaborate with fellow students who share your passion for gems and jewelry.

GIA Distance Education programs are a combination of eLearning courses through our Online Campus and hands-on lab classes at a GIA campus location. One can study the same curriculum as on-campus students but with more flexibility to meet your family and job commitments. The methodologies might vary from the on-campus study, but the result is professionally credentialed and recognized throughout the industry.

Global Campus – Located in many of the world’s top gem trading and jewelry-making centres, each of GIA’s seven global campuses offers students a respected education with a unique perspective on the industry.

GIA Courses in India

In India, the Institute operates a campus in Mumbai and classrooms in New Delhi and Surat. It has additionally reached out to over 180 locations across India providing courses, seminars, and workshops. GIA has trained more than 15,000 professionals in India alone in various programs, as listed below:

  1. Diploma Programs
  • Applied Jewellery Professional Program
  • Graduate Colored Stones Program
  • Graduate Diamonds Program
  • Graduate Gemologist Program
  • Graduate Jeweler Program
  • Graduate Pearls Program
  • Jewelry Design & Technology Program
  1. Certificate Programs – Comprehensive CAD/CAM For Jewelry Certificate, Jewellery Design Certificate
  2. Lab Classes – Colored Stone Grading, Diamond Grading, Gem Identification, Pearl Grading
  3. e-Learning Courses : Essentials with Jewellery, Colored Stones, Diamonds, Diamonds & Diamond Grading,  Gem Identification, Pearls

Bringing industry experience and knowledge, a passion for their craft, and a gift for teaching, GIA instructors are committed to helping you maximize your potential and thrive in the gem and jewelry industry.

GIA Career Paths

Possible Career Paths once you are GIA certified:

  • Appraiser, Auction House Jewelry Specialist, Colored Stone Buyer, Diamond Buyer, Diamond Sorter/Grader
  • Estate Jewelry Dealer, Gemologist, Inventory Control Specialist
  • Jewelry Business Owner, Buyer, Lab, and Research Professional
  • Merchandiser, Pawnbroker, Retailer, Sales Associate, Wholesalers

Diamond Grader Job

A diamond grader is a highly skilled professional who plays a crucial role in the diamond industry. Their primary responsibility is to assess and grade diamonds based on their quality, cut, clarity, and color. This evaluation ensures that diamonds meet industry standards and are accurately priced.

Diamond graders use various tools and techniques to examine diamonds, such as microscopes, magnifiers, and colorimeters. They meticulously inspect each diamond, looking for imperfections, inclusions, and any other characteristics that may affect its value. They also evaluate the diamond’s cut to determine its brilliance, fire, and scintillation.

Accuracy and attention to detail are essential qualities for a diamond grader. To excel in this field, they must possess an in-depth knowledge of gemology, enabling them to identify different types of diamonds and their unique characteristics. Moreover, they need to stay updated with industry trends and changes in grading standards.

The work of a diamond grader requires concentration and patience, as they often examine numerous diamonds in a day. They must possess excellent color perception and be able to differentiate subtle variations in hue and tone.

Diamond grading is a critical step in the diamond supply chain, ensuring transparency and trust in the marketplace. Graders work for diamond grading laboratories, jewelry companies, or independently as consultants. Their expertise is highly sought after by diamond traders, retailers, and consumers who rely on accurate grading to make informed purchasing decisions.

So, join one of the world’s most colorful and brilliant industries with an organization that serves the public good by bringing knowledge and objectivity to gems and jewelry.


Diamonds & Diamond Grading

To become GIA certified

Enroll in one of GIA’s accredited courses to earn a globally-recognized diploma or certificate that testifies to your mastery of a chosen subject. There are 4 categories, listed:

  • Research – fuels the laboratory services and empowers us to better serve the jewelry-buying public
  • Laboratory – GIA’s gem grading reports give consumers confidence about the quality of the gems or jewelry they are buying.
  • Education – As the world’s foremost gemology school, it is our goal to inspire and educate the next generation of industry leaders.
  • Corporate – GIA’s corporate teams work seamlessly with research, education, and the laboratory to help the organization connect with the public.


The GIA Graduate Gemologist Program is a prestigious and comprehensive educational program offered by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). It is designed to provide individuals with in-depth knowledge and practical skills in gemology, enabling them to become experts in the field.

The program covers a wide range of topics, including gem identification, grading, and evaluation. Students learn about the different types of gemstones. Learn their properties, and how to identify them using various testing methods and instruments. They also gain an understanding of the factors that affect gemstone quality and value. Factors such as color, clarity, cut, and carat weight.

One of the unique aspects of the program is the hands-on training provided to students. They have access to state-of-the-art gemological equipment and work with a wide variety of gemstones to develop their practical skills. This practical experience is invaluable for aspiring gemologists, as it allows them to apply their knowledge in real-world scenarios.

Upon successful completion of the program, graduates receive the prestigious GIA Graduate Gemologist diploma. This credential is highly recognized and respected in the gem and jewelry industry worldwide. It opens up a wide range of career opportunities. This including working as a gemologist for jewelry retailers, auction houses, gemstone dealers. Even starting their own gemological consulting business.

GIA Course curriculum includes

  • Develop in-depth, hands-on experience with the GIA International Diamond Grading System and the 4Cs (color, clarity, cut, and carat weight)
  • Judge and grade diamonds in the D-to-Z color range by the 4Cs and color
  • Build a knowledge base about colored stones and the colored stone market
  • Identify more than 60 species of gemstones, distinguish natural from laboratory-grown gems, and detect gem treatments
  • Learn diamond identification and grading skills GIA graders use
  • Use gemological equipment & instrumentation effectively to identify gemstones
  • Use the GIA Colored Stone Grading System to evaluate gemstone quality, and characteristics of colored stones – ruby, sapphire, and emerald
  • Identify gemstone characteristics, simulants, treatments, and imitations, and recognize when advanced testing is required
  • Identify gemstones that have been laboratory-grown, treated, or are imitations.
  • Understand how gems follow mining, fashion, and brought to the marketplace
  • Recognize how quality, rarity, and color affect the value
  • Determine how market factors and the supply chains affect gem value

Final Thoughts

Becoming GIA certified requires a series of steps and dedication to the field of gemology. To start, aspiring individuals should research the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and its various programs. GIA offers courses in gemology, jewelry design, and more. We recommend you to enroll in the appropriate GIA program based on career goals.

Attending classes and completing coursework will provide comprehensive knowledge and hands-on experience. After successfully completing the program, individuals can take the corresponding exams to earn their GIA certification. GIA certification has good recognition in the industry. It can open doors to exciting opportunities in the world of gemology and jewelry.

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