PRESS RELEASE

GIA Fosters Gem Education in Southern Africa

Accredited Jewelry Professional intensive program offered at University of Zambia

CARLSBAD, Calif. – March 22, 2012 – GIA (Gemological Institute of America) and the University of Zambia (UNZA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to provide individuals the opportunity to enroll in GIA’s Accredited Jewelry Professional intensive (AJPi) program.
 
UNZA, the largest university in Zambia, will select 20 students to participate in the five-day AJPi class held on the UNZA campus. GIA’s grant, valued at $25,000, will provide the instructor, curriculum and materials. GIA is also bestowing two specialized gemological microscopes to the university.
 
The three-course AJPi program teaches polished diamond quality; how to translate jewelry design, style and manufacturing features into consumer language; the basics of colored stone identification; how to explain treated, synthetic and imitation stones with full disclosure; and jewelry selling techniques.
 
“It is a privilege to work alongside the UNZA,” said Donna Baker, president and CEO of GIA. “As two organizations dedicated to excellence in education, we look forward to serving the local community by sharing our gemological knowledge and resources. This program is part of GIA’s expanded effort to help bring the broader benefits of the gem trade to people in the places where gems are produced.”
 
GIA has an established a presence in Africa, operating an education campus and laboratory in Botswana and a laboratory in Johannesburg. In addition, GIA offers diamond, colored gemstone and jewelry arts education at other facilities in Africa. GIA is accredited by the Government of Botswana, and has provided classes in Gaborone to further the country’s goals of increasing local employment and added value services from its diamond production.
 
“We are thankful to GIA for their support, “said professor Stephen Simukanga, vice-chancellor of UNZA. “GIA is a venerable leader in the global gem and jewelry industry, which makes this an invaluable learning opportunity for the local residents; and we encourage them to pursue it by applying.”
 
For more information on applying to the AJPi program contact charl.roberts@gia.edu.

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