You asked for about becoming a gemologist.
Probably the most well known and advantageous school in the industry to
become an accredited gemologist is through the Gemological Institute of
America. You can reach them at http://www.gia.org
on the net, or 1 
421-7250 by phone. By taking a series of courses: Diamonds, Colored Stones,
Colored Stone Grading and Gem Identification you can earn the title
"Gemologist." You can either go to California and study at the school "in
residence" or take these series of courses by correspondence. The first
option takes 6 months and is the most expensive [unless you live in Santa
Monica, CA]. The second option is the method I chose. It took me about 3
years to get through the course material and take the examinations. If you
are extremely disciplined, you could get through sooner.
GIA says all you must have to complete their correspondence courses is a
and tweezers. However, if you are not working in the industry, I believe it
will be very
difficult for you to complete the work and retain what you are learning. The
lessons are not difficult and, with a few exceptions, are presented in a
clear manner. The most difficult part of successfully completing the courses
will be regimenting your time to finish the twenty some lessons in each
course. I would encourage you to metholdically absorb the material. You
will get out of each lesson what you put into it.
As I recall the lessons are from $500 - 700 per course. GIA offers a
payment plan to help if you need it. Also if you are working for a retail
store that belongs to Jewelers of America, you can apply for a Mike Roman
scholarship. These scholarships are based on first come, first served
applications. They will pay for the entire course with the exception of
about $75 initially. Contact your state Association for and an
Gemology is a facinating profession. I have personally found that in an
industry that is pretty much ruled by men...the role of gemologist is a
profitable niche for women.