Introduction to emeralds

Start your journey to becoming an emerald expert in this free online course.

This course is also available in French, simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese and Japanese – Click here

Introduction to emeralds

  • What are Emeralds and Green Beryls?
  • Famous Emeralds
  • Explore the World’s Most Expensive Emeralds
  • Is Emerald Fragile?
  • How to Cut an Emerald

Emeralds: origins & formation

  • Emeralds in Different Cultures
  • How do Emeralds Form in Nature?
  • How are Emeralds Found?
  • Can you Tell how Old an Emerald is?
  • When Were Emeralds First Discovered?
  • In Which Countries are Emeralds Found Today?
  • Expedition to Muzo, Colombia: Visiting an Emerald Mine

Synthetics, treatments and imitations

  • How to Know if it’s a Real Emerald
  • What is the Best Cut for an Emerald?
  • What is the Best Colour for an Emerald?
  • How Does Clarity Affect the Value of an Emerald?
  • How to Know if it’s a Synthetic Emerald
  • How to Treat an Emerald?
  • How to Know if an Emerald has been Treated with Oil or Resin

The science of emerald testing

  • How to Tell if it’s an Emerald or Glass
  • How to Tell if it’s a Natural Emerald or Not
  • How to Tell if an Emerald is Treated or Not
  • How to Determine the Geographic Origin of an Emerald
  • Traceability of Emeralds
  • What Instruments are Used to Test Emeralds?

I’ve been working with diamonds for several years, and didn’t really know much about emeralds and coloured gemstones. This course on emeralds gave me lots of information, I know much more now if I have customers asking me about emeralds.


About the courses

  • Self-paced course: access the information you want, when you want it.
  • Test your knowledge about emeralds with a quiz at the end of this course. Please note these are short introductory courses, they are not trade qualifications nor do they give you the possibility of adding letters/credentials after your name.

About your instructor 

SSEF (Swiss Gemmological Institute SSEF) is a non-profit Swiss foundation whose aim it is to further the science of gemstone testing and gemmological training. We are one of the leading gem labs in the world and have scientifically tested many of the world’s most prestigious gemstones.

For more information about emerald testing services — click here to visit our website.

Frequently asked questions

Who is this course for?

  • Access trustworthy information from one of the world’s leading authorities on emeralds.
  • Curious about diamonds and gemstones? Start learning more with this free course.
  • Are you in the gemstone or jewellery trade and you want to gain expert insights on topics such as quality factors of emeralds, how emeralds are treated and where emeralds come from? Then this course is for you.

When does the course start and finish?

The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course – you decide when you and when you finish.

How long do I have access to the course?

How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like – across any and all devices you own.

What this course is NOT:

  • How to buy an emerald
  • How to sell an emerald
  • How to certify an emerald
  • How to value an emerald
  • Learning to design emerald jewellery
  • Knowing what emeralds to invest in
  • How to tell if a emerald is real
  • Learning to identify a synthetic emerald using a loupe