About GIA A Tradition Of Science and Education

Established in 1931, GIA is the world’s foremost authority on diamonds, coloured stones and pearls. A public benefit, non-profit institute, GIA is the leading source of knowledge, standards and education in gems and jewellery.

Welcome to GIA.

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EDUCATE

Students around the globe turn to GIA for the knowledge, skills and credentials that launch successful gem and jewellery careers.

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RESEARCH

The world leader in gemmological research, GIA’s breakthrough discoveries deepen our understanding of gemstones and the world.

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PROTECT

Through research, education, and unbiased gem grading and analysis, GIA strives to protect the gem and jewellery buying public by setting global quality standards.

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history of gia

Since the 1930s, GIA researchers have made many innovative contributions to the understanding of gems.

  • 1931

    Robert M. Shipley establishes GIA; opens first U.S.-based gemmology correspondence course.

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  • 1931

    Home-study courses introduced, leading to the professional designation: Certified Gemmologist.

  • 1934

    Shipley publishes first issue of Gems & Gemology. Gemmology becomes a recognised science.

  • 1934

    GIA patents a loupe with triple aplanatic lens: the modern professional jeweller’s loupe is born.

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  • 1937

    GIA patents the first gemmological microscope. Gemmologists are able to examine the interior of gems.

  • 1940

    Richard T. Liddicoat joins GIA. Known as the “father of modern gemmology” for contributions to gems, jewellery.

  • 1947

    G. Robert Crowningshield joins GIA. Named VP of GIA Gem Trade Laboratory in New York shortly after.

  • 1947

    The first edition of Liddicoat’s Handbook of Gem Identification published; 11 editions follow.

  • 1948

    The first Graduate in Gemmology diploma is issued.

  • 1949

    GIA NY laboratory offers pearl identification service.

  • 1953

    Liddicoat’s International Diamond Grading System, based on Shipley’s 4Cs, becomes universal standard.

  • 1953

    GIA issues first diamond grading reports; they become the international jewellery industry’s benchmark.

  • 1956

    Crowningshield accomplishes ground-breaking work in the detection of gem treatments through the use of the spectroscope.

  • 1960

    The GIA Diamond Dictionary - which quickly becomes the international industry reference – is published.

  • 1965

    GIA courses accredited by National Home Study Council (now the Distance Education Training Council).

  • 1971

    GIA courses translated and taught in Japan

  • 1973

    On-campus classes accredited by National Association of Trade and Technical Schools.

  • 1982

    Gems & Gemology is redesigned, printed in full colour and goes on to win 15 awards for excellence during the next 20 years

  • 1982

    GIA Celebrates its 50th Anniversary with the first International Gemological Symposium

  • 1982

    The GIA Alumni Association is established.

  • 1987

    Liddicoat Gemmological Library and Information Centre acquires world’s largest collection of gemmological books.

  • 1988

    GIA grades the famous 45.52-carat Hope Diamond.

  • 1989

    GIA opens school in Korea; others follow in Europe, Asia and India.

  • 1991

    GIA hosts first annual Careers Fair, the industry’s pre-eminent recruiting event.

  • 1996

    Gems & Gemology publishes groundbreaking article on identifying synthetic diamonds.

  • 1997

    GIA opens Robert Mouawad Campus as its global headquarters in Carlsbad, CA.

  • 1999

    Robert M. Shipley (1887-1978) named Person of the Century by JCK magazine.

  • 1999

    GIA, De Beers researchers identify criteria for High Pressure/High Temperature processed diamonds.

  • 2003

    GIA identifies beryllium-diffused sapphires and rubies and chemical vapour deposition (CVD) synthetic diamonds.

  • 2005

    GIA introduces a cut grade for round brilliant diamonds in the D-to-Z colour range.

  • 2007

    GIA introduces Synthetic Diamond Grading Report.

  • 2007

    GIA creates 4Cs and International Diamond Grading System™ materials for consumers.

  • 2008

    GIA opens laboratories in Mumbai, Johannesburg and Gaborone.

  • 2009

    GIA offers gemmology courses entirely online.

  • 2011

    GIA offers interactive 4Cs app for consumers.

  • Timeline event 2012 Hero

    2012

    GIA opens laboratories in Tokyo and Ramat Gan, Israel.

  • 2014

    Susan Jacques becomes GIA’s sixth President and CEO

  • 2014

    GIA Develops DiamondCheck to differentiate natural from treated and synthetic diamonds

  • 2014

    GIA Inaugurates New York Laboratory and Education Facility

CREATOR OF THE 4Cs

In the 1940s, GIA established the "4Cs" and the International Diamond Grading System™ – to this day, the worldwide standard for evaluating diamond quality.

Cut

The sparkle and brilliance of a diamond depends more on its cut than anything else.

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Clarity

The absence of inclusions and blemishes makes a diamond rare and affects value.

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COLOUR

Diamonds in the D-to-Z colour range are valued by how closely they approach colourlessness – the less colour, the higher their value.

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CARAT WEIGHT

Diamonds and gemstones are weighed in metric carats: one carat is equal to 0.2 grams, about the weight of a paperclip.

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Featured Events

Careers Fair
Jul
24

GIA Jewellery Careers Fair New York

New York, NY, USA
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LATEST GIA RESEARCH

Book Review: Jeweler: Masters, Mavericks, and Visionaries of Modern Design

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Book Review: Van Cleef & Arpels: The Art and Science of Gems

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