AGA outreach funded by membership

About the AGA Gemological Scholarship Program

AGA awards educational scholarships in the field of gemology to need and merit-based recipients around the globe. If you are pursuing a career in gemology and need assistance with your education then we encourage you to apply.

The window to apply for the AGA Gemological Scholarship Program this year has officially closed as of May 15, 2024. The application window will open again on January 1, 2025.

AGA Scholarship Application

Meet our recipients

AGA Gemological Scholarship Recipients

AGA is dedicated to promoting and supporting gemological education. We proudly present AGA Gemological Scholarship recipients carefully selected from applications submitted to the AGA Educational Scholarship and Research Grant Committee (ESRGC) by candidates from around the world.

2024 Recipient

Sara Kurth

Sara Kurth headshot.

Sara Kurth has been awarded the 2024 AGA Gemological Scholarship. The scholarship will allow her to complete GIA studies so she can use her knowledge to teach the public about gems and gemology as a museum educator.

Ms. Kurth’s unwavering dedication to educating the public about rocks, minerals, and now, gems, is truly inspiring. Her academic journey began at Beloit College, where she pursued Geology with a minor in Museum Studies. With her children growing, she is eager to return to school and enhance her geological knowledge by earning a GIA GG. This will enable her to delve deeper into gemology and share her expertise with children and museum visitors, from the formation of rocks and minerals to the creation of exquisite gems.
The competition for this globally recognized scholarship was fierce. Sara was a finalist from applications received from around the world. During her interview, Sara said, “I joke that my goal in life is to make everyone a geologist, and if I can’t do that, then at least they should leave a presentation of mine with a better understanding of the world we live in. The best way I have found to do that is through museum education.”
AGA proudly supports Sara Kurth’s mission to help others understand our world through gemology.
Congratulations Sara!

2019 Recipient

Xabrina-Michel’li Thompson

Xabrina-Michel’li Thompson headshot.

The AGA Gemological Scholarship has been awarded to Xabrina-Michel’li Thompson in support of her mission to complete the GIA Graduate Gemologist program so she can use her knowledge to help others reach their dreams in South Africa and beyond.

In her application, Xabrina stated, “I am convinced that gemology is a powerful instrument of individual growth and social emancipation; if given the opportunity to complete my GG I will transfer skills in the jewelry industry and establish a Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA) Chapter in South Africa to help others achieve their dreams and raise awareness of the opportunities which are available in the gemological field, by going to schools and tertiary education facilities, giving presentations about GIA courses and the benefits which WJA offers people like me. Having been through the mill myself I will be well positioned to empathize with, and mentor others, giving them the skills to reach their dreams.”

Xabrina was among the finalists who were chosen out of numerous applicants. During her interview she demonstrated a determination to promote and support the understanding of Gemology in South Africa.

Congratulations Xabrina!

2018 Recipient

Khawaja Muhammad Abbas Siddiqui 

Khawaja Muhammad Abbas Siddiqui headshot.

AGA is delighted to award Khawaja Muhammad Abbas Siddiqui with the 2018 AGA Gemological Scholarship. The scholarship will provide support for his completion of the GIA Graduate Gemologist program, which Khawaja will use to broaden gemological training programs in Pakistan.

During his interview & subsequent contributions to his field, Khawaja demonstrated a determination to promote the understanding of Gemology in Pakistan. His services with Pakistan Gems and Jewellery Development Company (PGJDC) at Gems And Jewellery Training And Manufacturing Centre (GJTMC) include teaching the Gemological courses. He is also performing practically testing of gemstones samples for various clients and issuing Gemstone Identification Reports.

Congratulations Khawaja Muhammad Abbas Siddiqui!

2017 & 2016 Recipient

Girma Woldetinsae

Girma Woldetinsae headshot.

Girma Woldetinsae has been awarded the AGA Gemological Scholarship for 2016 and 2017. The scholarship for the GIA Graduate Gemologist program will go a long way to further Girma’s mission to grow gemological training in Ethiopia.

During his interview & subsequent contributions to his field, he demonstrated a determination to promote the understanding of Gemology in Ethiopia.

Congratulations Girma Woldetinsae!

Frequently asked Questions

Everything you need to know about the AGA Gemological Scholarship Program. If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

A list of approved providers is included on the membership application form. If the program you are enrolled in is not included on the list, please encourage your education provider to contact us regarding steps for review and approval.

You do not have to be an AGA member to apply for an AGA Gemological Scholarship. The Scholarship is open to anyone except ESRGC (Educational Scholarship and Research Grant Committee) or AGA board members and their family members. Applicants must be interested in actively working in the field of gemology. No experience is necessary, but a willingness to further their education in this field is a must.

At a minimum, the candidate should have a high school diploma or equivalent and be accepted by an AGA recognized gemological training program.

AGA recognized gemological training institutes may require individuals to demonstrate English proficiency if the course is only in English. If the program is offered in a language other than English, the participating institute will approve the applicant’s level of education or language skills.

Courses, classes, or workshops must be successfully completed by the end of the year following the date the scholarship is awarded.

AGA Gemological Scholarships are funded by membership dues, sponsorships, and generous donations.

AGA Scholarships cover tuition and lab fees with the money paid directly to the teaching institution when the selected candidate confirms the educational opportunity in which they will participate.

AGA Gemological Scholarships do not cover travel, hotel, wire transfer fees, or other expenses associated with the gemological course or workshop for which the Scholarship was awarded.

Applications for AGA Gemological Scholarships are accepted from January 01 through April 15.

The applicant should demonstrate a desire and willingness to work in the gem/jewelry business through their application and interview. The applicant should demonstrate reliability and a professional attitude during the application process and in the final interview.

AGA Gemological Scholarships apply to gemological programs and workshops worldwide.