gemological institute of america carlsbad

For top gemology schools in America, Gemological Institute of America ranks as the best which was founded by Robert Shipley in 1929, a graduate of Gemological Association of Great Britain.

Gemological Institute of America (GIA) began operations in 1931 and it’s the most respected and prestigious gem school in America. It has its accreditation with the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges, with two institutions in the US and centers scattered all over 13 countries, with 11 campuses, 9 laboratories and 4 research centers worldwide. Some of the programs offered by the institution includes Graduate of Pearls, Graduate of Diamonds, Graduate Jeweler, Graduate in Colored Stones and Accredited Jewelry Professionals.

Graduates from the institution turn out to be well rounded gemologist with diploma in comprehensive education in gemology gotten from rigorous and knowledge-based training received. Diplomas are also received in jewelry arts. The Applied Jewelry Arts Program diploma covers Jewelry Design, Wax-Carving, Mold-making and Casting.

The Gemological Institute of America is located in Carlsbad, California with a mission to protect dealers of gemstone by maintaining the standard of gemstone quality. The GIA has succeeded in becoming an information center for gem and jewelry for the public and worldwide media outlets. In 1953 the GIA developed its international grading systems and the four C’s (cut, clarity, color and carat weight) as a standard to determine the quality of diamonds and gemstones.

With publication of its magazine, a well-respected magazine, the GIA educates the gem and jewelry industry and general public. In addition to all these, GIA also designs and manufacture equipment for grading, identifying and selling gemstone and diamonds such as 10x eye loupe that was introduced in the early 1930 and other associated equipment like tweezers, gem clothes, microscopes and spectroscopes.

Other institutions that offers gemology are Hodges University, California Institute of Jewelry Training, International Gem Society, Jewelry and Design College, Santiago Canyon College and the list goes on.

Gemological Institute of America grading report

GIA reports represent the highest standard of reliability, consistency and integrity. And now, GIA Report Check is available for all GIA reports, providing you with an additional level of assurance. With Report Check, you can quickly and conveniently confirm that the information on your report matches what is archived in the GIA report database. Grading Reports are meant to provide clarity and explain the quality factors like color, clarity, cut and carat weight.

Most grading reports contain: The 4Cs of diamond quality, The stone’s characteristics and Light performance

The Gemological Institute of America offers Diamond Grading Reports and the GIA Diamond Dossier (a more compact report for diamonds less than 2 carats). As the global authority on diamonds and gemstones, it established the Diamond 4Cs and the International Diamond Grading System in the mid-1950s. To avoid fraudulent GIA reports, all GIA reports contain security features such as a hologram, security screen and microprint lines.

Why GIA?

Being the best institution for gemology in the US, the Gemological Institute of America is a viable option if you’re interested in gemstones, diamond, pearls, colored stones as the institution offer graduate programs in all these. Some of the perceived advantages of the institution includes;

  • Distance learning: With a comprehensive distance learning program, students can earn a diploma in any of the programs of their choice at their own comfort and convenience. The labs in New York and California is also available for its students to practice whatever they have learnt online.
  • Diversity: Almost half of its students are from outside United States. This makes the institute a diverse community, filled with intercultural enriching energy. GIA international student advisors are available to help with the enrollment and admission procedure. Foreign students will need to submit their visa application, English proficiency test, transcripts, student and exchange visitor information system and so on.
  • Availability of GIA career services: The institute is not only interested in training its student but it’s also interested in their post-diploma activities. The GIA career services team is ready to help her students in every step of their professional journey such as career coaching, interview strategies, assistance in writing resume and cover letters, etc.
  • Low cost of tuition/affordability: With a tuition cost of $20,000 – $25,000 per session, GIA is perfect for low income earners.
  • Availability of scholarships.
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Gemstone book of Gemological Institute of America

Some top Gemstone Books used by the Gemological Institute of America includes:

  • Anderson, Basil W. (1990) Gem Testing. Rev. by E. A. Jobbins. 10th ed., Butterworth, London.
  • Bruton, Eric. (1978) Diamonds. 2nd ed. Chilton Book Co., Radnor, PA
  • Davies, Gordon. (1984) Diamond. A. Hilger, Bristol.
  • Field, J.E., ed. (1992) Properties of natural and synthetic diamond. Academic Press, London, New York.
  • Gem Reference Guide (1993). Gemological Institute of America, Santa Monica, CA.
  • Gems & Gemology in Review: Colored Diamonds. (2006) Gemological Institute of America, Carlsbad, CA.
  • Gems & Gemology in Review: Synthetic Diamonds. (2005) Gemological Institute of America, Carlsbad, CA.
  • The GIA Diamond Dictionary (1993) 3rd ed. Gemological Institute of America, Santa Monica, CA.

Diplomas Program in GIA

  1. Graduate Gemologist Diploma Program: This program is available at the Carlsbad and New York campuses. The diploma will cover;
  • Use of gemological equipment and instrument to identify and grade gemstone.
  • In-depth knowledge with the GIA international grading system and the 4C’s (color, clarity, cut and carat weight).
  • Identifying characteristics of certain stones and knowledge of when advance testing is required.
  • Translating technical knowledge and terms into layman understanding.
  1. Graduate Diamond Diploma Program: also available in the Carlsbad and New York campus. The diploma will cover;
  • Grading diamonds from d-z color range.
  • Detecting diamonds synthetics and when advanced testing is required.
  • Communication with customers regarding diamonds.
  • In-depth analysis with the GIA international grading system and the 4C’s (color, clarity, cut and carat weight).
  1. Graduate Colored Stones Diploma Program: Some of the most popular colored stones are rubies, sapphires, and emerald. This program will enable you succeed in this ever-growing market by providing all round knowledge on colored stones and the factors that affect their value. The diploma will cover;
  • Knowledge about colored stone and the colored stone market.
  • Using gemological instrument and equipment to identify gemstone.
  • Use of GIA colored stone grading system to evaluate the quality of gemstone.
  • Determining how market value affects gem value.
  1. Jewelry Design and Technology Diploma Program: New technologies are changing the way jewelry are designed and manufactured. Learning this skill is essential in the ever-changing market. The diploma will cover;
  • Creating new designs of jewelry using technology.
  • Applying fundamental jewelry design and engineering concepts.
  • Developing portfolio of jewelry design.
  1. Graduate Jeweler Diploma Program: Ever dreamt of making trendy jewelry and remaking antique pieces to something more modern? Then this course is for you. Available at Carlsbad campus, the diploma will cover:
  • Making and repairing jewelry.
  • How to sell variety of precious stones.
  • How to apply textured and polished finishes to jewelry surfaces.
  • Using fabrication and forging techniques for gold, silver and platinum.
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  1. Comprehensive CAD/CAM for Jewelry Certificate Course: Computer aided design and computer aided manufacturing is a necessary skill in the jewelry field. It covers the necessary skill to become a CAD/CAM technician. Available at Carlsbad and New York Campuses, the certificate course will include creating and developing CAD models and distinguishing between various CAD software.


  1. Jewelry Design Certificate Course; is an intensive nine-week certificate course where instructors will teach all the needed skills to become a jewelry designer. Available at Carlsbad and New York campuses, the course will cover;
  • Use of tools, metals and faceted cabochon gemstone and pearl.
  • Illustrating ring and other pieces of jewelry in different ways.

GIA Admission Requirements

  1. All applicants must have a high school diploma or its equivalent or transcripts showing graduation date. This requirement is applicable to both resident and international applicants.
  2. On campus and lab class applicant must be at least 18 years of age, this requirement is applicable to both resident and international applicants.
  3. Applicants for online learning must be at least 16 years with proper approvals and documentation.
  4. English language proficiency is also required for international applicants.
  5. A copy of your passport identification page is also required for resident and international applicants.
  6. Proof of financing to cover a year tuition is required for international applicants.

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GIA Scholarship and Financial Assistance

Federal Student Aid; which is available for on-campus students who qualify for Graduate Gemologist (GG), Graduate Jeweler (GJ), and Jewelry Design & Technology (JDT). Federal Students Aid includes; Pell and SEOG Grants and Direct Student Loans through the US Government, and is available to those eligible full-time on-campus students who are US Citizens or hold US permanent resident status. Federal financial aid is not available for distance education or lab class students.

FSA Citizenship Requirements

A student must be one of the following to be eligible Federal Student Aid:

  • US citizen or national;
  • US permanent resident or an eligible non-citizen; or
  • Citizen of the Freely Associated States: The Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Palau and the Marshall Islands. These students can only receive aid from some of the FSA programs.
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Gemological Institute of America jobs

With over 3,000 employees in 13 countries, GIA offers many exciting career opportunities and the chance to serve the public good. GIA offers competitive salaries and benefits, and training opportunities to its employees. Some openings available in the institute includes:

  • Building/Central Plant Engineer
  • Manager, Social Media
  • Electrical Engineer
  • Director, Global Business Development
  • Teaching Assistant (Gemology, Distance Education)
  • Associate Instructor (Gemology, Distance Education)
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellowship

Get more information on gemological institute of America jobs

Frequently asked questions about GIA

Where do I find an appraiser from the Gemological Institute of America?

GIA does not provide an appraised value for gemstones or jewelry. This service should be performed by an independent appraiser. An appraisal should contain a quality analysis, description, and valuation of the gemstone or jewelry item.

While GIA does not recommend individual appraisers, there are several national appraisal associations and networks that will be able to help you locate an appraiser in your area. Many of these associations require their appraisers to have a GIA Graduate Gemologist diploma (GG), as well as additional appraisal training.  Some association includes

Accredited Gemologists Association (AGA) (U.S. only)

American Gem Society (U.S and Canada)

Certified Gemologist, Certified Gemologist Appraiser, Independent Certified Gemologist Appraiser

American Society of Appraisers (U.S. and International)

Master Gemologist Appraiser

Appraisers Association of America, Inc. (U.S. only)

Appraisers International Society (AIS) (U.S. and International)

Accredited International Valuer, Appraisers International Society Valuer, Appraisers International Society Certified Valuer

What does the Gemological Institute of America have to say about diamond nexus?

The best way to determine if a diamond is real is to take it to a skilled gemologist for evaluation. However, there are also a number of at-home tests you can use to help identify a potential fake. Some of these tests will only be feasible to perform on a loose stone, but others could be done with a diamond that has already been set into a piece of jewelry.

When did the Gemological Institute of America start using cut grades?

In 2005, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) introduced a new diamond cut grading system. This system has become the standard for modern diamond cut grading.

Where is the Gemological Institute of America in Massachusetts?

The GIA is located at 93 Union St, Newton Centre, MA 02459, United States