Saturday, March 17, 2018
fullsizeoutput 3daTsavorite-Quebec . Photo credit- Brad Wilson

Our Mandates -

Education and Communication

The Standard for Excellence in Canadian Gemmology

The Canadian Gemmological Association is a not-for-profit corporation that was established in 1958 to provide a Canadian source for gemmological education and to act as a medium for communication and co-operation among those involved in all aspects of gemmology. Our mandate includes the dissemination of knowledge and information, and the promotion of high ethical and professional standards within the sector.

Formal Education

  • comprehensive professional training programs prepare graduates to participate as gemmologists in the gem and jewellery trade (see Professional Courses).
  • for people interested in a quick, enjoyable look at different aspects of gemmology, short courses provide an overview of gemmology, gem identification or special focus on individual gemmological topics (see General Interest).
  • qualified gemmologists or individuals who have been working in the trade for some time can benefit from advanced "continuing education" style classes intended to build on prior education or keep skills up-to-date (see Advanced Courses).

Public Service and Outreach

Millions of people worldwide buy gems and jewellery, yet know very little about the range of man-made or enhanced stones on the market, or even the best ways to handle and clean their jewellery. In Canada, the CGA offers complimentary gem identification and general commentary at Ontario Gem and Mineral shows. Our goal is to enhance people's enjoyment of gems, and help build confidence in the trade by educating about ethics and standards, and by promoting recognized professional credentials (see Outreach & Shows).


The Canadian Gemmological Association, like other highly-regarded gemmological organizations around the world, grants credentials to candidates who have demonstrated proficiency in the field. In Canada, Fellowship with the Canadian Gemmological Association (FCGmA) is earned by passing standardized qualifying examinations based on the professional gemmology curriculum. Jewellers Vigilance Canada recognizes FCGmA credentials in their Jewellery Appraisal Guidelines, and Canadian Jewellers Association (CJA) accepts the FGmA as one of the membership criteria for the Accredited Appraiser Program-CJA.


Individuals who have qualified for Fellowship with the CGA must activate and maintain their status by renewing membership annually. Members are encouraged to attend monthly meetings and the CGA's annual conferences to stay abreast of news in the field and to keep skills up-to-date.

Gemmologists holding recognized credentials from other gemmological associations are welcomed as Affiliate members, and anyone with an interest in gemmology is invited to join as a General member and participate in CGA events (see Membership).


Guidelines Cover PageRepresenting our members, the CGA acts as a liaison with governments and other industry organizations in setting guidelines for the sale and marketing of diamonds, coloured stones and pearls, and helps to establish guidelines for gem and jewellery appraising in Canada.

To download the latest version of those guidelines from the Jewellers Vigilance website click here. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to open and print this file.

Founded in 1958

The Canadian Gemmological Association was founded in 1958 by Dean S.M. Field. Since its inception, the CGA has provided top-tier training in gemmology to the Canadian community. Programs and activities cater to those already directly involved with, or planning to enter, the gem and jewellery industry, as well as to individuals and hobbyists seeking a better appreciation of gems and possible new career opportunities within gemmology.

Dean SM Field


Strong Roots and a Canadian Identity

The CGA is an offshoot of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (GAGB), the world's oldest gemmological organization. GAGB (now known as Gem-A) fathered similar organizations in several countries.

Dean S.M. Field, founder of the CGA, had been keenly interested in the study of gems since 1929, and had earned his Fellowship with the GAGB in 1955. By 1956, he had entered into an agreement with GAGB to coach their gemmology correspondence courses in Canada, and the first sealed examinations were written at the University of Toronto in 1957. Successful candidates qualified for Fellowship with the GAGB.

The Canadian Gemmological Association itself was incorporated in 1958 to further promote gemmological education, and to encourage interaction between gemmologists. The doors were thrown open to gemmologists and students of other accredited gem schools, including the GIA (Gemmological Institute of America) and the GAA (Gemmological Association of Australia). In the words of Dean Field, the association was "...setting out to enhance, through 'hands-on' instruction, study and discussion, the knowledge of gem dealers, jewellers, and other persons interested in gemstones and jewellery generally. Too, we invited educators in similar and related fields to join forces with us ..."

In the interests of establishing a Canadian identity in the field, the Canadian Professional Gemmology program was developed with the input of many experts in the field, and students first sat qualifying examinations for Fellowship with the CGA in 1984. Over the last half century, the Canadian program has won worldwide respect, and Fellowship with the Canadian Gemmological Association is understood to demonstrate a competency in the field equal to that offered by the best international organizations.


CGA Sites

1960s to
Meetings were held at the King Edward Hotel, Toronto
1977 - GAGB classes were first officially taught at Central Technical School
1981-1991 An office was rented at 12 Sheppard St in downtown Toronto
1991-1994 In November, the office moved to 21 Dundas Square
1994-2011 From the end of 1994 until March of 2011, 1767 Avenue Rd served as classroom and office
2012 - present In January of 2012, a new classroom and office opened at 55 Queen St E