Learning About the Gemological Institute of America

November 3, 2015
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The Gemological Institute of America, or GIA, is an organization based out of Carlsbad, California, whose mission is to protect both buyers and sellers of gemstones by maintaining and upholding standards for evaluating gemstone quality. It accomplishes this through providing gem identification and diamond grading services. Additionally, it performs extensive research in the science of gemology. The institute also provides training in the fields of gemology and the jewelry arts. GIA was founded in 1931 and is one of several worldwide organizations which provide diamond grading services.
History of GIA and Diamond Grading
The International Diamond Grading System and the Four Cs were introduced by GIA in 1953. Before the creation of GIA and other similar institutions, the jewelry industry was rather unregulated. The expertise of a typical jeweler in the United States of America was astoundingly low.
Robert M. Shipley, a successful jeweler in his own right, saw this state of affairs and wanted to do something about it. He travelled to Europe and received an education from the Great Britain National Association of Goldsmiths. He returned to America and shared his education with a group of fellow jewelers. They would later go on to found the first GIA laboratory in Los Angeles, California.
Modern Education
Today, GIA offers the Graduate Gemologist diploma which provides a comprehensive education on diamonds and colored stones. GIA students can pursue specialized courses focusing on gems, diamonds, colored stones, and pearls. Graduates can being careers as buyers, appraisers, researchers, instructors, manufacturers, and dealers. Best of all, graduates from the GIA gemological program will be qualified to work anywhere in the world.