Alumni Association

GIA Alumni Association’s Year for Engagement, Growth and Education Opportunities


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The Los Angeles chapter’s third annual “Night Among Gems” event at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles welcomed industry dignitaries, the museum’s curatorial staff and the chapter board. Jewellery designer Paula Crevoshay shared insights on her jewellery and designs, which were featured by the museum in “Art of the Jewel: The Crevoshay Collection” exhibition. Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Chapter

I wish you good fortune as we embrace a new year of personal and professional goals, ambitions and objectives. The New Year often brings a vision of something new and motivation to make change. My message to you is go for it! Change is good and though often scary, it will ultimately add to your growth as an individual. Make a commitment to participate in and explore an interest you have – or connect with someone(s) you have always wanted to meet – you’ll be sure to learn something new.

I am happy to say that the GIA Alumni Association is doing exactly that. We have exciting changes in store and these developments will support you, our alumni, around the globe. We are expanding our team, delivering continuing and advanced education, and offering a 10 per cent registration discount to qualified alumni for GIA’s Advanced Synthetic Diamond seminars. There are also opportunities to meet fellow alumni, industry leaders and prominent companies. Make sure to visit a GIA Jewellery Careers Fair or one of the more than 200 alumni chapter events held each year.

A group of three women gather around a table to look at beaded jewellery.
Tucson chapter leaders Maureen (Moe) Byrne and Carla Boucher Leasure, left, talk to presenter Sindi Schloss, to find out more about the speaker’s recently released book "Collectable Beads" and to look at examples of necklaces for reference. Photo courtesy of the Tucson chapter

This is your year, take action, make a change and develop your knowledge and experience. The GIA Alumni Association is here to support you throughout your career and education path, but it is up to you to take the steps to get involved and benefit from what the organisation offers. For inspiration, here are some highlights of the opportunities - future and past – that GIA and the Alumni Association delivers.

Alumni News – Take Note

  • The GIA 2019 Continuing Education Programme is calling all GIA Gemologists and Graduate Gemologists to register today! The 2019 programme is available and all alumni who qualify are encouraged to participate. Stay up to date and relevant through this online resource, available 24/7, which delivers specialised modules of learning that include notable lessons on mining, lapidary arts, jewellery manufacturing and more. In addition, the programme offers an archive of more than 500 educational videos, access to all past years of the programme, and all of the current GIA e-Learning courses required to earn your gemmology diploma today. We are excited to share the updated Coloured Stones course, released in January 2019, which delivers the latest in gem news, localities, treatments and more. To register for the programme and find out how to earn a 2019 GIA Continuing Education qualification, visit the website.
  • A 10 per cent GIA Alumni Member Discount for GIA’s Advanced Synthetic Diamond Seminars. The 2019 dates are set – seize this opportunity to receive a 10 per cent GIA Alumni Member Discount. You’ll learn alongside GIA researchers and instructors who will present the new, intensive, hands-on, one- and two-day seminars on synthetic diamonds. Offered around the globe, these intensive sessions have limited capacities that maximise the participant experience and provide a unique opportunity to develop in-depth knowledge of advanced diamond identification techniques, including hands-on experience with recent-production synthetic diamonds and the latest detection technology. Visit the website for the 2019 schedule, and information on how to register and the GIA research representatives at each session.
  • Applications are being accepted for GIA Education Scholarships. We are please to be able to share that the GIA Endowment will fund two million dollars of education scholarships in 2019. Act now for the first of two opportunities to apply: applications are accepted 1 Feb to 31 March and 1 Aug to 30 Sept. For further details and how to apply, visit the scholarships website.
A group of people gather around a banner.
Members and guests of the Monterrey – Mexico chapter proudly display their chapter’s alumni banner and logo at a recent monthly event. Photo courtesy of the Monterrey Mexico chapter

Global Chapter News and Events

The Alumni office is also pleased to report on the chapter activities that have occurred since our November report. We hope they inspire you to attend future events.

  • Seasonal gatherings and chapter socials brought Botswana, Cincinnati, Golden Gate-California, Monterrey–Mexico, Ontario, South Florida and Washington, DC chapter alumni, students and industry friends together.
  • Chapter outings included members in Hong Kong hiking to Victoria Peak and alumni and guests attending a coordinated visit to the 51st Gem, Mineral and Jewelry Show in Columbia, South Carolina.
  • Previews and private viewings were experienced by members of North Texas, who shared an advance, behind-the-scenes peek at an upcoming auction at Heritage Auction House in Dallas. Golden Gate–California members were led on an exclusive tour of “The Jewels of the Maharajas, East Meets West” held at the Legion of Honor Museum in San Francisco.
  • “Colored Gems of East Africa” was presented by Dr Yusuki Katsurada of the GIA Laboratory in Taiwan.
  • A gem talk and forum was organised and led by chapter leaders in Malaysia to promote membership, dialogue and engagement.
  • A conference and cocktails with Gilbert Albert featured an exclusive lecture with the famed jeweller and a preview of the December sale at the Piguet Auction House in Geneva, hosted by Switzerland.
  • “Cultivating an Entrepreneurial Mindset with Valeria Guerra” focused on building business sense in Monterrey-Mexico.
  • L’ÉCOLE School of Jewellery Arts, supported by Van Cleef & Arpels, hosted an exclusive event for alumni members at its annual forum in Manhattan.
  • “Two Different Views – 80 years of Jewellery History” featured notables Elyse Zorn Karlin and Gail Brett Levine, who shared their extensive knowledge and experience with attendees in Manhattan.
  • “Diamond Industry - 30 Year Recap” was presented by industry veteran Susan Grant in Washington, DC
  • “Capitalising on Colour” featured presentations by coloured gemstone heavyweights Adam Graham, who spoke about the importance of colour in the marketplace, in St Louis; guest lecturer Roland Schluessel focused on the industry hot topic of emeralds from Ethiopia, at Golden Gate – California.
  • Antique jewellery, history and identification, were the topics at two Manhattan chapter events, where members were taught “How to Spot a Georgian Fake” with a presentation by Nicholle Mogavero, and heard about “Treasures from an Important Estate” with Seth Holehouse.
  • Element Six, the DeBeers synthetic diamond division, presented on the technological applications of synthetic diamonds to Golden Gate-California.
  • The third annual “Night Among Gems” at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, welcomed jewellery designer Paula Crevoshay, who shared insights about her jewellery and designs and was featured in “Art of the Jewel: The Crevoshay Collection” exhibition, hosted by Los Angeles.
  • “History & Mystery of Mogok (Myanmar/Burma)” engaged all with a presentation about this important gem resource, in Houston; and a Gema Cinema night at the pictures featured the documentary film “Mogok; Valley of Rubies,” in Monterrey–Mexico
  • The past, present and future of Canadian Diamonds in the marketplace was discussed by Jon Phillips (a long-standing alumni supporter and member of the original GIA Alumni Advisory Council) in Seattle.
  • Pearl Goddess, Betty Sue King shared information on today’s global pearl marketplace in San Diego.
  • “21st Century Jade: Why It's Prized and How It's Tested and Valued” was shared by author Renee Newman with Gulf Coast-Florida.
  • “The History of Collectable Beads” was shared by Sindi Schloss (president of the Metro-Phoenix chapter) in Tucson.
  • “A Practical Workshop on Natural and Synthetic Diamonds” was held by the “hands-on chapter”, Golden Gate – California.
  • Museum adventures captured the curiosity of members and guests at the Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum Tour visit organised by Mile High-Colorado and more than 80 works of gemstone carving art by three generations of the House of Dreher thrilled alumni attendees and guests at the Houston Museum of Natural Science in Houston.
  • A global meet-up and GIA Alumni table was organised in Munich at the Inhorgenta Munich Fair Gala Awards by the Germany chapter; alumni and industry friends from across Europe attended.
  • Jewellery design and CAD/CAM presentations included demonstrations by the Stuller Group in Georgia and by Mary Ehlers in Washington, DC.
A group of people sit around a table and smile for the camera.
Houston chapter leadership gathered in December to plan its 2019 events. Photo courtesy of the Houston chapter

Mark your calendars! We hope to see you at:

  • GIA Careers Fairs in London and Carlsbad! Calling all alumni - mark your calendars to participate in and/or attend one of the GIA Jewellery Careers Fairs planned for 2019.

I would like to personally extend my heartfelt appreciation to all the global volunteers who serve on GIA Alumni Association chapter boards, as well as the speakers and supporters of our chapter events. It is because of each of you and your chapters' extraordinary efforts and accomplishments that we achieved a stand-out year in 2018.

We look forward to keeping the momentum going to serve the GIA Alumni Association community in the year ahead.

Kate Donovan, manager of alumni relations, is a GIA Graduate Gemologist with more than 20 years of retail jewellery experience. Alumni can contact her here.