Where to Go Online to Learn about Gems

Posted on March 12, 2020 by Mary Hood | 0 Comments

Where to Go Online to Learn about Gems | Barbara Michelle Jacobs

The jewelry market grows ever more complex, which is why it’s important to be an informed customer—whether you’re shopping online or working directly with a jeweler. The following free online resources can improve your knowledge of gemstones, so you’re ready to make a smart investment when the time comes. Many of these may also be useful if you're a gem collector or professional appraiser.

Where to Go Online to Learn about Gems

Awaken Crystals – Youtube Channel

This channel features tutorials on gemstone and precious metal testing and demonstrates  the practical application of these methods.

Barbara Michelle Jacobs Jewelry Blog

Forgive the self-plug here, but we’ve got a wide variety of reader-friendly articles about gems and the jewelry industry with a focus on conflict-free stones and eco-friendly methods of production. Explore posts like Gem Hardness and Diamonds vs. White Sapphires to brush-up on some gemstone basics.

Barbara Smigel’s Gemology Course

An Emeritus Professor at the College of Southern Nevada, Smigel has made her teaching materials on gemology available to the public.

Canadian Institute of Gemology (CIGEM) – Gemology School

A learning institute for professional gemologist training, the CIGEM is a fantastic resource for individuals interested in pursuing a career in gemology. You may be interested in subscribing to their quarterly newsletter.

Emporia State University – GO340 Gemstones & Gemology

Emporia State University offers 44 lectures and accompanying course notes on topics like gemstone identification and gemstone testing methods.

Farlang Education Center

This database of public domain books on gems is an invaluable resource. The site even offers its own online reader.

Field Gemology - A Travel Blog to the Mysterious Origins of Gemstones

Written by gemstone scholar Vincent Pardieu, this blog is for the reader interested in travel, local mining operations, and the origins of gemstones.

Gem Lab – Gemological Research and Education

Looking for a spectroscopy resource? Check out John Harris’ lessons, reference charts, and illustrations on Gem Lab.

Gem Logic – Youtube Channel

Created by FGAA Gemologist Edward Mendelson, this extensive channel features a compilation of gemology tutorials. Thoughtfully organized playlists make the browsing experience a breeze.

Gemological Institute of America - News & Articles

One of the world’s most trusted resources on gemstones, the GIA site features articles on the latest developments in the industry and a free gem encyclopedia.

Gemology Project Wiki

This non-profit database for gem enthusiasts offers both basic and advanced tutorials on gemstones.

GemSelect.com – Gemstone Information Center

With hundreds of details articles, Gem Select is an expansive resource for information on gems.

Gemstone Magnetism

For all things relating to gemstone magnetism, explore Kirk Feral’s research and reference charts on Gemstone Magnetism.

Gem Val - Reference Values of Gems

Gem Val helps users estimate the value of many kinds of gems using regularly updated pricing data. (Pricing data for certain gems requires a paid subscription, however.) The site also features information on historical prices.

Lotus Gemology

With beautifully illustrated articles, Lotus Gemology provides detailed explanations of various principles in gemology.

Real Gems

This non-profit project features information on collector gemstones.

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History - Geo Gallery

This branch of the Smithsonian Institution provides a stunning photo gallery of gemstones and minerals. Handy search filters allow you to view results by country origins and more.

Starla Turner – Youtube Channel

Starla Turner is an experienced gemology instructor. Her engaging and informative videos may benefit the professional and hobbyist alike.

Stone Group Labs

This site is especially suited for the professional gemologist or gem appraiser. Stone Group Labs offers advanced gemological testing services and global consulting. The site’s “Published Works” section features journal articles relevant to the trade. 

Swedish Gem LAB

Like the Farlang Education Center (see above), the Swedish Gem LAB is full of digitalized, non-copyrighted gemological books, a collection that offers both historical and scientific perspectives on gems.

University of California Berkely - Gems and Gems Materials

Check out this site to access lecture notes and course materials from the department of Earth & Planetary Sciences of UC Berkeley.

The University of Texas at Austin – GEO 347K: Gems & Minerals

This site offers gemology course notes on gemstone types, mining sources, and pricing and valuations—plus you can browse through over 6,000 photos of gemological specimens.

University of Washington ESS 103 Minerals And Gems

Courtesy of the University of Washington, full-length lecture notes and accompanying illustrations on minerals and gems are available to the public.

US Geological Survey

Visit the US Gemological Survey to learn more about the production of gemstones in the United States. You may also want to view their page on Minerals Information, which details the global supply and demand for minerals.

Your Gemologist

This free online gemology school and reference resource offers several engaging tutorials on gemology basics, including lessons on minerals, created and treated gemstones, and jewelry appraisals.

Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments below if there's a resource that should be added to this list!

Photo: Alejandro Escamilla via Unsplash

Posted in gemological institute of america, gemology, gems, gia, online resources

How Are White Diamonds Graded for Color?

Posted on March 14, 2016 by Mary Hood | 0 Comments

According to the GIA, “a chemically pure and structurally perfect diamond has no hue, like a drop of pure water.

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Posted in black diamonds, color, colored diamonds, diamonds, gemological institute of america, GIA, hope diamond

Why Do Diamonds Come in Different Colors?

Posted on June 04, 2015 by Mary Hood | 0 Comments

yellow diamondColored diamonds can occur naturally, but they can also be the result of lab irradiation (i.e. cooking the stones). If you’re in the market for a colored diamond, it’s important to know the difference between the two since the source of the stone’s color may affect its value.

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Posted in black diamonds, colored diamonds, diamonds, gemological institute of america, gems, gemstones, gia, informative

The Ideal Length-to-Width Ratio for Pear Cut Stones

Posted on April 09, 2015 by Mary Hood | 1 Comment

Pears are one of the trickiest cuts to shop for because it can prove challenging to find one with the right length-to-width ratio.

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Posted in Diamonds, fancy cut, fancy cut ratio, gemological institute of america, gems, gemstones, informative, jewelry, length to width ratio, pear cut, pear shaped diamond

Diamonds 101

Posted on December 08, 2011 by Barbara Polinsky | 1 Comment

Every diamond is as unique as the individual that wears it and weighing the pros and cons of a particular stone can be confusing.  Here's a quick overview of the 4C's 

The most identifiable of the four C's and the only grade that humans actually play a role in influencing. The cut of a diamond does not only refer to the shape but the facet design, finish and proportions of the diamond. A diamond that is well cut will radiate light and brilliance because the facet angles are optimum. Vintage diamonds can be an exception to this rule.

The color of a diamond refers to the hue and saturation of the intensity or lack of color in a diamond. Color is graded in shades of yellow, brown and gray and comes from different levels of nitrogen below the surface of the earth; little to no nitrogen produces colorless diamonds. High levels of nitrogen produce yellow and brown hues. Color is graded in letter classifications from colorless (D-E-F), near colorless (G-H-I-J) and degrees of yellow and brown (K to Z). Some of the most rare colors occur in fancy, vivid shades of yellow, pink and even blue.

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Posted in 4c's, carat, certification, certs, clarity, color, cut, diamonds, gemological institute of america, gia