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The Swiss Gemmological Institute SSEF has launched a series of free-of-charge, online courses, entitled “Understanding Gemstones.” With each covering a specific gem, the courses are comprehensive and self-paced by the student, who is able to start and complete them at any time via SSEF’s Internet-based learning platform.

The courses are available in English, French and simplified Chinese. The gems currently covered are diamonds, emeralds, pearls, rubies and sapphires. SSEF plans on adding more gems and languages to the selection of courses in the future.

Each course provides students with an introduction to the selected gem, its history, properties, information about how it is formed, the locations from which it is sourced, treatments that it may be subject to, and, when relevant, its synthetic counterparts.

At the end of each course, students are presented with a quiz, and if they pass are awarded a certificate of completion for that unit.

This new online offering builds on SSEF’s in-person courses, which began more than two decades ago and range from introductory practical gemmology all the way to scientific gemmology. As a non-profit Swiss foundation, SSEF’s mission is to carry out gem research and provide gem education.

“We have the privilege of testing many of the world's most famous and exceptional gemstones, and as a consequence have amassed a vast quantity of knowledge that we would like to make available to the industry and jewellery buying public,” said Dr. Michael S. Krzemnicki, Director of SSEF. “Recent advances in online learning and technology enables us to launch these online courses, to share our knowledge and passion about gemstones, to a wide international audience at no cost to students”.


Come and expand your knowledge and practical gemmological skills at SSEF!

In 2021 we will offer the following courses:

Gem-A Foundation & Diploma Lab Class 26 – 30 April 2021 (contact us for details)

ATC Coloured Stones 05 -09 July 2021
Scientific Gemmology Course SGC 12 – 16 July 2021 (FULLY BOOKED)
Basic Gemmology Course BGC 23 August – 03 September 2021
ATC Small Diamonds 28 – 30 September 2021
Basic Diamond Course 11 – 15 October 2021
ATC Coloured Stones 18 -22 October 2021
ATC Gems & Jewellery 25 – 29 October 2021
Gem-A Foundation & Diploma Lab Class 01 – 05 November 2021 (contact us for details)
ATC Pearls 22 – 23 November 2021
Basic Gemmology Course BGC 29 November – 10 December 2021

Please note that course dates and conditions may change as Covid-19 regulations and recommendations are updated by Swiss authorities. Our utmost priority is the health and safety of course participants and our staff.

Feel free to contact us with any questions you might have about our courses and what you will learn.

In the meantime, follow gemmological updates by SSEF on Instagram, Linkedin, or Twitter !


We continue to offer special conditions on all regular SSEF-Ferrari shuttles until August 31st 2021, as a measure of support for the international gem and jewellery trade.

Up until August 31st, 2021, the Ferrari shuttle to SSEF (Basel) from the following locations will be free of charge up to a declared value of goods of 1 million Swiss Francs.

Europe: Geneva, Paris, London, Italy (only valid for Alessandria, Milan, Rome, Valenza), Monaco, Antwerp, Germany
Asia: Bangkok, Colombo, Hong Kong, Jaipur, Mumbai, Singapore
Americas: New York
Middle East: Dubai, Tel Aviv

For contact information of the local Ferrari offices please see: SSEF-Ferrari Shuttles.

Important note: For goods with a declared value of more than 1 million Swiss Francs, an additional shipping fee of 0.035% is charged for the amount exceeding this limit, based on the declared value. We remind clients of the need to send an order form with shipments.