Frequently asked questions about SSEF courses

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About SSEF courses

Why take a course at SSEF?

Our courses provide the opportunity for participants to gain specialist knowledge with a large amount of practical experience, and are reputable in the trade. Our advanced courses are unique to our institute and offer a rare opportunity to have instruction from our senior gemmologists.

How long are the courses?

In-person courses range in length from 2 to 10 days. For courses details, see individual course pages.

Which languages are the courses offered in?

Our in-person courses are offered primarily in English, but some of our instructors can also speak German, French, Italian, and/or Chinese. Our Diamond courses can also be exclusively offered in French.

What is the class size?

The maximum class size is 9 participants, other than the Scientific Gemmology course with 6 participants.

What qualifications do I have at the end of the course?

  • Certificate of Attendance: After completing our courses, students will receive a Certificate of Attendance. For the Basic Gemmology and Basic Diamonds courses students will have to pass an exam.

After completing our courses, students will receive a Certificate of Attendance. For the Basic Gemmology and Basic Diamonds courses students will have to pass an exam.

Our courses do not lead to the issuance of a title formally recognized by the government (as university diplomas do, for example). Course participants are not certified gemmologists after completing our courses; however, our courses are reputable in the trade.


Registration and payments

When do I need to register?

You can apply for in-person courses at any time as long as space is available, so the earlier that you apply, the better the chance is that a spot will be available.

When do I need to pay?

Payment is required within 30 days of registration before the course starts.  If payment for the course is not carried out within 30 days of registration, your registration will be cancelled.

What is the cancellation policy?

If you cancel between 1 month and 2 weeks prior to the start of the course you will receive a 50% refund. ·If you cancel less than 2 weeks prior to the start of the course you will not receive any refund.

How can I pay?

Once you have received a confirmation of registration and invoice, payment can be made by either credit card or bank transfer at


Bank Transfer:

Please submit the amount in CHF to the following bank account:

Bank: UBS Switzerland AG, Aeschenvorstadt 1, CH-4002 Basel, Switzerland


IBAN: CH98 0029 2292 60319601G

Bank's clearing no.: 292 account no.: 292-60319601G

Beneficiary: Schweiz. Stiftung für Edelsteinforschung SSEF, Schmiedenplatz 5, 3001 Bern


Bank fees are at your charge. Please make reference to our invoice number with your remitance

Are scholarships available?

No scholarships are available. However, we provide a wide range of free online courses.

Location, schedule, equipment

Location of courses

All courses are held in the course room of the Swiss Gemmological Institute SSEF (Aeschengraben 26, 4051 Basel). SSEF is located within short walking distance from the main Basel SBB train station. By Plane: From Basel-Mulhouse Eurairport you can get a taxi or take the Bus 50 to Basel SBB train station and then walk to SSEF. By Car: Drive to Basel SBB train station and park at the underground parking Aeschen or Centralbahnparking.

What is the course schedule?

All courses begin at 9.00am. The morning session is from 9.00 - 12.00 followed by a one-hour lunch break. The afternoon course session is from 12.00 - 16.00.

What materials do I need to bring?

Pen, pencil, ruler, paper for taking notes. All other material and instruments will be supplied by SSEF. You may also bring along some of your own equipment.

Accomodation and restaurants

Accomodations in Basel

There are several hotels that we can recommend in Basel.


Hotel Nomad (Brunngässlein 8, 4052 Basel -

Hotel The Passage (Steinengraben 51, 4051 Basel -

Basel Youth Hostel (Sankt Alban-Kirchrain 10, 4052 Basel

Teufelhof (Leonhardsgraben 49, 4051 Basel -

Ibis Basel Bahnhof (Margarethenstrasse 33-35, 4053 Basel -

Radisson BLU Hotel (Steinentorstrasse 25, 4051 Basel -

Where can I go to eat lunch?

There are many restaurants, grocery stores (CO-OP, Migros) and take-away options near our office and at the SBB train station.

The closest restaurant to us is Vito  Menü — VITO and an international culinary hall called the Markthalle Markthalle - Foodstände, Frisches, Märkte, Kultur, Begegnung, Produktion, Handwerk, Reparatur, Nachtleben, Umschlag und Gewusel. ( is less than a 10 minute walk away.

What are common tourist attractions in Basel?

Ready to apply for a course?

Want to learn more about our courses? Click here to discover SSEF’s gemmological course options, calendar and prices.