Live Online Seminar

Photomicrography Seminar

Photomicrograph of black manganese oxide “plumes” in an Australian opal
The black manganese oxide “plumes” in this Australian opal serve as a good example of art and science merging in gemology. Photomicrograph by Nathan Renfro, field of view 5.85 mm.

Microscopy is one of the most valuable tools available to a gemologist to aid in documenting micro-features that can be critical to many sectors of the gem industry, including identification and appraisals. With advancements in digital technology and smartphone cameras, it has never been easier for the gemologist to take high quality photomicrographs to document gemstones.

This two-hour seminar offers some basic techniques and tips on lighting control and application of digital photomicrography to get the most out of documenting microscopic features in gems.

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The number of attendees will be limited to ensure the best experience for attendees.

Topics include:


  • Review of lighting conditions and choosing the best lighting for the stone you are shooting.

  • Lighting control to maximize detail for a given image.

  • Equipment required for photomicrography of any budget.
Four photomicrographs of gem surfaces
These differential interference contrast images show a variety of interesting surface structures, including (clockwise from top left): the etched surface of a diamond crystal from Wyoming (field of view 0.25 mm); the etched prism face of an emerald from North Carolina (field of view 0.62 mm); the surface of an Australian opal with pyrite inclusions that break the surface, leaving drag lines from the polishing process trailing behind (field of view 1.24 mm); and plasma etching on two pavilion facets of a “fire polish”diamond (field of view 0.62 mm).


Each online seminar is two hours from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. (Pacific Time). New dates may be added throughout the year.

This live seminar will be delivered through an online learning platform.


$195 USD (GIA Alumni receive a 10% discount)


Please complete the online registration form. You will be provided information about how to access the platform after your registration is confirmed.

Continuing education offerings by the GIA Alumni Association™ are considered avocational or recreational in nature and are not intended to prepare individuals for entry-level employment. They are non-credit bearing and do not lead to a GIA academic credential. They are not eligible for state or federal student financial aid programs and do not fall under the approval of the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) or the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC).