Get Started on 2017 Continuing Education Recognition Programme

Hands hold a split open shell that shows the natural pearl.
The first three assignments from the 2017 Continuing Education Recognition Programme cover American freshwater pearls, diamond jewellery manufacturing in India and how to get the most from diamond rough.

Natural American Freshwater Pearls. Diamond Jewellery Manufacturing in India. Diamond Cutting in India.

These are just some of the gem and jewellery topics you will learn more about as you complete this year’s Continuing Education Recognition Education Programme. Created for GIA graduates who hold a Graduate Gemologist or Gemologist diploma, the continuing education programme includes a variety of engaging slideshows and animations, interactive self-testing, instructional videos and expert interviews, featuring the most up-to-date discoveries and research from GIA field gemmologists who have travelled to the source. The programme is designed to help graduates stay up to date with the latest gem and jewellery news and information.

You will have continuous access to the entire course – including the assignments, GIA eLearning courses and previous years' continuing education assignments and the multimedia archive – until the end of the calendar year. Each graduate who completes the Continuing Education Recognition Programme will receive a certificate that displays their expertise and commitment to staying on top of gemmological developments.

“The word is out amongst our graduates and corporate education clientele about the value and importance of this programme,” says Kate Donovan, alumni relations manager. “Relevance is key in a competitive market, and this programme gives GIA graduates the opportunity to keep up the standard of education they worked so hard to achieve. Having access to the entire gemmological course data that new GIA students are currently using is invaluable.”

Make sure that you complete all eight assignments by 31 Dec to receive your Continuing Education Recognition Programme certificate.

Here’s a brief overview of the 2017 assignments to date:

Assignment 1: Natural American Freshwater Pearls

From the unassuming rivers and lakes of America come the most sublime treasures: natural American freshwater pearls. They have been prized for centuries, as evidenced by the numerous pearls found in Native American burial mounds. At one time, these treasures were more readily available, a byproduct of a once-thriving shell harvesting industry. Today there is less demand for mussel shells and many fewer shell divers. The result is that the recovery of natural pearls has become much rarer. In this interview, Gina Latendresse, president of the American Pearl Company, shares some unique and rare natural American freshwater pearls.

A hands holds a wax mould as a tool makes tiny piercings in it.
Assignment 2: Diamond Jewellery Manufacturing in India

Assignment 2: Diamond Jewellery Manufacturing in India

The creation and use of jewellery for adornment has a tradition dating back thousands of years in India. Additionally, Indian jewellery is used to signify status and is often seen as a source of financial security. Indian jewellers have proudly upheld and continue to pass down traditional jewellery making methods, but they have also evolved and today, take advantage of a wide range of modern jewellery manufacturing technologies. A team from GIA visited a number of modern jewellery manufacturing companies in India in 2016. This video highlights some of what they witnessed.

A machine holds a piece of diamond rough.
Assignment 3: Getting the Most from Diamond Rough

Assignment 3: Getting the Most from Diamond Rough

India’s love affair with diamonds goes back thousands of years. Historians believe India was trading diamonds as early as the fourth century BCE. Culled from its streams and rivers, diamonds found their way into the hands of Indian royalty and gem lovers throughout the Western world. It is fitting that some of today’s most advanced technology is being utilised in the diamond manufacturing companies of India. Advances in diamond scanning and planning have resulted in a marked increase in yield from rough. This assignment tours several diamond cutting factories to observe some of this technology in action.

Don’t miss this chance to gain more valuable and exciting knowledge from GIA’s top experts. Find out more about GIA’s Continuing Education Recognition Programme. You can also contact the GIA Alumni Association on +1 760 603 4145 or email

Amanda J. Luke is a senior communications manager at GIA. She is the editor of the GIA Insider and Alum Connect and was the editor of The Loupe magazine.