DUG: high degree in gemology

itemid107The DUG diploma makes you a true laboratory gemologist. During the courses, you will learn to use lab tools such as infrared, Raman and UV-visible  spectrometers, Scanning Electron Microscopes, etc. These "barbarous" names will soon become familiar, and will help you answer by yourself the main questions of gemology: is this amethyst natural or synthetic? Has this diamond been treated, and by which process? From which mine does this emerald come? 

Below are some items describing the DUG program more in details.

Who can register?

the DUG programis conceived for classical gemologists wishing to learn more on laboratory gemology. You can register if you are graduated of any recognized formation in classical gemology such as those delivered by Gem-A, GIA, AIGS, and many others. Alternately, if you have strong experience in gemstones but no diploma, please contact us for discussion.

No scientific background is required (although this may help).

Registration fee is 5700 euros.

What you will learn and practice

"Theoretical" classes (about half the teaching time) take place in a dedicated room. You will elarn all you need on laboratory techniques: Spectroscopies (UV-Visible, infrared, Raman, luminescence), electron microscopy, chemical analysis and so on. Teaching includes as well more general topics of gemmological interest such as the geological genesis of gems, cristallography (always a favorite!), crystal growth, gem treatments, radioactivty, the origin of color and luminescence.

Lab sessions adress mostly the use of laboratory instruments found in gemology labs worldwide, and confronting these results with those of classical gemology.Most of the time, we make sure YOU do the work, on YOUR own samples. other labseessions adress the study of our collections of rough crystals, wooden models, or gems in their natural matrix.

bannière Ce que vous allez apprendre
Here are some questions that are discussed in classes and lab sessions. Tout know the answer, come take our DUG classes. 

Collections and library

Our gemological collections and librairy are continuously growing for more than 35 years.You can now acess several thousands of gemstones of any kind: some are representative of the gems market, some others are almost unique! Also rather specific, our collections of crystallography (wood models and true crystals) and geology of gemstones specimens. The library contains hundreds of books on as various gemstones as possible, their sources, identification etc.

Our alumni association, CRG (for Centre de Recherche en Gemmologie) is a key contributor to both collections and library growing.

modeles en bois-small2 Hundreds of wood cristallographic models

bruts-small2 Rough crystals collection

roches-small2 Geology of gemstones collection

DUG courses calendar

The DUG program in English is given in one block of 5 weeks. In 2017 this will take place from 6th November to 8th december.

Courses begin on monday morning and end on friday evening, typically 9 a.m. - 12 a.m. and 2 p.m. - 6 p.m. These are 35 hours of teaching per week, which is a lot especially the first week! do not forget to breath and keep calm.

Theoretical courses all happen in a dedicated classroom on the Sciences campus of University of Nantes, room 76 ("salle 76" in French). This class romm is also equipped with classical gemology tools so that you can study your samples outside teaching hours. Pratical courses on laboratory tools (spectrometers and so on) occur in laboratory rooms on the campus, few minutes walk.

Exams take place in a few days in Spring following the courses, that is, Spring 2018. The exact dates will be decided together with the students.

Exams and graduation

The DUG diploma is evaluated through exams divided into modules.

- The DUG diploma is validated for a total note of 50/100.

- Each module is validated for a note above 10/20 (20/40 for Module 2).

- Modules compensate each other. This means that one student can be graduated with notes below 10/20 to some modules, in case the notes in other modules brings the global note above 50/100.

- One validated module (note above 10/20) keeps valid for three years. This means that in case of non graduation, students are allowed to pass again the tests for non-validated modules during the next 3 years in order to get graduated. However, if the student does not respect the calendar and obtains the note zero (0/20) to a module for non-presentation without justification, this blocks any possibility to graduation.




Regular tests

final exam

Module 1,

Bibliographic research memoire


/20 pts

100 %


Module 2,

Experimental research memoire


/20 pts




/20 pts



Module 3

Theoretical gemology


/20 pts



Module 4

Practical gemology


/20 pts



Module 1- written regular tests : the Bibliograhic research memoire is written during the 5 weeks of courses and is evaluated just after the courses. This is a dissertation less than 30 pageson a topic of gemological interest compiling data published in the literature. The topic is choosen in agreement between student and teachers.

Module 2- the aim of this module is to get the student familiar with the use of most gemological laboratory tools, in addition to classical gemology tools; to get results on gemstones; to order the results and present them in a logical and readable manner. The set of gemstones is provided either by the student or by teachers, depending on each case. The results are presented both in a written memoire and in an oral presentation:

Oral exam : Oral presentation of the experimental results obtained by the student. 15 minutes, supported by a slideshow prepared by the student, plus 15 minutes of discussion with the board of examiners.

Written exam: Note on the written Experimental research memoire. This dissertation is less than 30 pages and presents in an ordered manner: an introduction to the type of gemstones examined; the description of the samples; description of methods used; ordered description of the results obtained; a gemological conclusion on all these results. The student is not expected to discover new data on gemstones, nor to confront his results with those of literature. In other terms, this dissertation is not a scientific research memoire, but a technical report aimed to deliver a gemological expertise on a set of gemstones.

Module 3- Theoretical gemology. Knowledge acquired during the courses is regularly tested all along the cursus. Regular tests will take place in weeks 2, 3, 4 and 5. They consist of a series of simple questions on specific points of theoretical gemology developed in the weeks earlier. Each test is typically 30 minutes long, hence answers can be very short (a few keywords for example).
Written exam (1h) : it consists of a series of questions on theoretical gemology teached during the wholed DUG program. Answers are expected longer that during regular tests, with short paragraphs (typically 10 lines) justifying the answers.

Module 4- Practical gemology. As for Module 3, regular tests will take place in weeks 2, 3, 4 and 5. They consist of a series of simple questions on specific points of practical gemology developed in the weeks earlier, in the same format as for Module 3.
Written exam (2h) :you will be provided several folders containing each gemological data (classical gemology data such as density, refraction indices, UV luminescence; chemical analyses, photos, Raman, infrared or UV-visible spectra...) obtained on a gemstone that will not be provided. Based on these results, you will be asked to provide a gemological report indicating the nature of the stone, its natural or synthetic origin, and if it suffered of any treatment. You will have access to all your notes taken during the courses, as if you were working in a gemological laboratory. All other documents, cellphone, computer, internet connexion... are forbidden.

* All exams for Modules 2, 3 and 4 will take place during Spring 2018, at a date that will be decided together between teachers and students.

* The choice of topics and gemstones for Modules 1 and 2 (bibliographic and experimental research) is often an enthousiastic step. This will take place during the very first days of the DUG courses, during week 1. If ever writing a memoire seems difficult for you, please be confident and request some help to your teachers: we will teach you how to get appropriate literature, how to organize results, how to manage paragraphs in your dissertation and so on. No worry: our aim is the same as yours, that you get graduated of the DUG diploma!

Job opportunities


Some students following the DUG program already work in a branch of gemology, mostly jewelry, gemstones business, expertise. Some others wish to enter the gemology world, and many did in the past: some alumni are now (or have been for a while) directors of reknown gemological labs worldwide such as AIGS in Thailand, GGTL in Swizerland and Liechtenstein, Les gemmologistes Associés in Québec...

We constantly keep in contact with "old" and "new" students in order to favor sucessfull encounters between competent people. This is one of the roles of our alumni association, the CRG (for "Centre de Recherche en Gemmologie" in French).



Additional information