Webinar Series

GIA Knowledge Sessions





The GIA Knowledge Sessions are a series of talks and seminars that engage participants in the most diverse and pressing issues in gemmology today, including gemstone origin, laboratory-grown stones and new discoveries in field gemmology. These webinars are brought to you by GIA staff members with Ph.D.s, field gemmologists, educators and research scientists whose experience and expertise offer a trove of gem knowledge.

The sessions are free and open to the public. Registration in advance is required to attend.

Upcoming Sessions

Webinars in English

23 July 2020 | The Art of Photographing Minerals, Gemstones and Jewellery
10.00 am PDT
Register Now
Robert Weldon, director of GIA’s library, has photographed some of the most extraordinary jewellery and gem specimens in the world. His work has graced the pages of “Splendour and Science of Pearls” and GIA’s scholarly journal, Gems & Gemology, to name just a few. Gems are known for the spectacular way they interact with light — glowing with colour, sparkling or displaying fascinating phenomena. How do you capture their essence with a single shot? Peer through Robert Weldon’s camera lens as he talks tools, lighting, props and everything gemmology.

30 July 2020 | Diamond Ages: Are Diamonds Forever?
10.00 am PDT
Speaker: Dr Karen Smit & guest Steve Shirey
Register Soon

6 Aug 2020 | Microworld of Gems
10.00 am PDT
Speaker: Nathan Renfro
Register Soon

Webinars in Mandarin

23 July 2020 | An Overview of Pearl Identification: Techniques and Challenges
9.00 pm HKT (6.00 am PDT)
Speaker: Dr Chunhui Zhou
Register Soon

6 August 2020 | Major Gem Producing Areas Around the Globe
9.00 pm HKT (6.00 am PDT)
Speaker: Dr Tao Hsu
Register Soon

Past Sessions

Webinars in English

16 July 2020 | The Science Behind Fancy Colour Diamonds
Watch Webinar
Coloured diamonds are priceless marvels of nature. From red and pink to green, blue, purple and brown, they exist in a rainbow of colours, caused by factors such as geological forces, exposure to radioactive fluids or minerals, or atoms from trace elements being trapped in a diamond’s crystal lattice. Dazzled by these mysterious treasures? Tune in as Dr Sally Eaton-Magaña — Senior Manager of Diamond Identification — explores the science of diamond colour and how fancy colour diamonds are created within the earth.

9 July 2020 | GIA Research Not Just for Scientists
Watch Webinar
Ever wonder who plans GIA courses and what goes into them? Gemmology is part science, part art, part business. That’s why our education is fuelled by GIA research — including our unique field gemmology explorations — as well as informed by the information and experience of people throughout the industry. Whether you are a GIA alum or are simply curious about GIA education, tune in to “GIA Research — Not Just for Scientists” presented by Dr Tao Hsu — Director of Global Professional Development — to get a behind-the-scenes look at how we design our world-respected curriculum.

2 July 2020 | Geology 101 for Gemmologists: The Natural Processes that Form Coloured Gemstones
Watch Webinar
What makes a gemstone rare and why are some gems rarer than others? The answer lies in gemstone geology. Some gems, such as emerald, require extraordinary geological circumstances to form. Not only do different rock types need to meet under the right conditions and crystallise, but certain rare elements often also need to be part of the mixture for the crystal to be the right colour. Wim Vertriest, supervisor of field gemmology, covers the chemistry of Earth’s crust and the geological criteria for forming rubies, sapphires and some of the world’s most valuable gems.

25 June 2020 | Diamond Colour Treatment and Its Identification
Watch Webinar
Natural fancy colour diamonds acquire their colour in a variety of ways, such as through trace elements, radiation and crystal lattice distortion. What about laboratory-grown fancy colour diamonds? Or natural diamonds that have undergone treatment to change or improve their colour? How are they created or treated and how do GIA scientists detect them? Tune in as Dr Wuyi Wang, vice president of research and development, offers insight into diamond coloration, treatment techniques and the identification challenges facing gemmologists today.

18 June 2020 | Tools of the Trade: The Advanced Analytical Equipment Used in GIA Laboratories
Watch Webinar
From loupes and microscopes to more advanced instrumentation, researchers use a host of tools to help them identify and analyse gems. Curious about how spectrometry helps scientists measure chemical impurities? Want to learn about laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry? Follow senior manager of research, Dr Aaron Palke, on a behind-the-scenes tour of the tools used in a modern gemmological laboratory, seeing with new eyes how scientists employ advanced analytical equipment to identify and characterise the gemstones that pass through GIA.

11 June 2020 | Diamond Exploration & Mining
Watch Webinar
Each year, mining companies invest hundreds of millions of dollars globally in finding new diamond deposits. Few of these explorations actually succeed. How do geologists decide where to look, what tools do they use to home in on diamonds and how do they know if they’ve discovered a commercially viable diamond mine? And once mining begins, what does diamond mining look like? GIA Research Scientist Dr Evan Smith digs deeper into the process of unearthing these scintillating gems.

4 June 2020 | An Overview of Pearl Identification: Techniques and Challenges
Watch Webinar
The nacreous and non-nacreous layers that make up a pearl conceal many mysteries but also offer many clues to the gem’s origin — for those who can read them, that is. How do we know if a pearl is natural or cultured, saltwater or freshwater and which variety of mollusc created it? Furthermore, how do we detect treatments, especially to enhance the colour? GIA Manager of Pearl Identification Dr Chunhui Zhou dives into pearl identification methods. From simple observation to X-ray radiography and DNA barcoding, learn how and why GIA scientists analyse these unique and lustrous treasures.

28 May 2020 | Behind the Scenes: Untold Stories from GIA Field Gemmology Expeditions
Watch Webinar
GIA field gemmologists journey far and wide to document gem geology and mining techniques. Behind their endeavours are moving stories, humorous anecdotes and fascinating local lore. Senior Manager of Research Dr Aaron Palke, Supervisor of Field Gemmology Wim Vertriest and Director of the RTL Gemological Library Robert Weldon offer an exclusive look at GIA field gemmology expeditions through previously unpublished photographs. 

21 May 2020 | An Exclusive View of the Jade Auction
Watch Webinar
Jadeite is the only coloured gemstone whose auction price can rival that of ruby, emerald and sapphire. What is jadeite’s enduring appeal and what factors determine this gem’s value? Journey with Dr Tao Hsu, geologist and director of global professional development for GIA education, as she explores a jadeite auction at the exclusive Myanma Gems Emporium in Myanmar — the country that produces over 90% of the world’s jadeite. Pick up insider tips and knowledge along the way!

14 May 2020 | Laboratory-Grown Diamonds from China
Watch Webinar
China is the world’s largest producer of laboratory-grown diamonds for industrial use and is now a significant producer of gem-quality laboratory-grown diamonds. What impact do Chinese laboratory-grown diamonds have on diamond prices and the jewellery industry? Find out as Dr Wuyi Wang, GIA vice president of research and development, breaks down how and why laboratory-grown diamonds are produced in the world’s second-largest economy.

7 May 2020 | Rubies: Connecting Sources, Treatment and Science
Watch Webinar
Known as “the king of precious stones”, untreated rubies are some of the most valuable coloured gems in the world. Find out why as Wim Vertriest, supervisor of field gemmology at GIA Bangkok, explores the mining, treatment, lore and politics of these legendary gems.

30 April 2020 | Fascinating World of Pearls and Shells
Watch Webinar
We’re shelling out pearl knowledge with a webinar by Nick Sturman, senior manager of global pearl services at GIA. Do all bivalves, including oysters, clams and mussels, produce pearls? Which pearl types are the most popular and where are they found? Travel with us as we dive into the world of these rare organic treasures.

23 April 2020 | GIA’s Field Gemmology Programme: A Research Based Approach to Origin Determination
Watch Webinar
Senior manager of research, Aaron Palke, Ph.D., expounds on advanced research techniques to determine gemstone origin and how traceability may be the next challenge GIA undertakes.

16 April 2020 | Laboratory-Grown Diamonds: Updates and Identification
Watch Webinar
GIA senior research scientist, Dr Mike Breeding, wants to tell you the story of laboratory-grown diamonds. If all diamonds are made of carbon, what separates laboratory-grown from natural?

9 April 2020 | The Unique Story of Natural Diamond
Watch Webinar
Research scientist, Dr Evan Smith, explores the origin of natural diamonds and discusses their significance from the perspective of Earth science.

Webinars in Mandarin

9 July 2020 | Advanced Analytical Techniques
Watch Webinar
Gemmology has come a long way as a field since it began in the early 1900s. Initially, gemmology’s question was: “what is this stone?” Then: “is this stone laboratory-grown or natural?” and then “has this stone been treated?” Now, the all-consuming question is: “which country is this stone from?” As the industry evolves and our knowledge expands, so does our desire to learn more. That’s why advanced analytical techniques have become indispensable to modern gemmology. Tune in as GIA research associate, Ziyin Sun, explores the instruments and techniques used to address gemmology’s most pressing questions.

23 June 2020 | The Fascinating World of Pearls and Shells
Watch Webinar
We’re shelling out pearl knowledge with a webinar by GIA Manager of Pearl Identification Dr Chunhui Zhou. Do all bivalves, including oysters, clams and mussels, produce pearls? What are conch and melo pearls? Which pearl types are the most popular and where are they found? From the seas of Australia, Tahiti and Thailand to the waters of China, travel with us as we dive into the world of these rare organic treasures.

11 June 2020 | An Exclusive View of the World’s Biggest Jade Auction
Watch Webinar
Jadeite is the only coloured gemstone whose auction price can rival that of ruby, emerald and sapphire. What is jadeite’s enduring appeal and what factors determine this gem’s value? Journey with Dr Tao Hsu, geologist and director of global professional development for GIA education, as she explores a jadeite auction at the exclusive Myanma Gems Emporium in Myanmar — the country that produces over 90% of the world’s jadeite. Pick up insider tips and knowledge along the way!

28 May 2020 | Laboratory-Grown Diamonds from China
Watch Webinar
China is the world’s largest producer of laboratory-grown diamonds for industrial use and is now a significant producer of gem-quality laboratory-grown diamonds. What role does China play in the laboratory-grown diamond market and what impact does it have on the natural diamond market and the jewellery industry? Find out as Dr Wuyi Wang, GIA vice president of research and development, breaks down how and why laboratory-grown diamonds are produced in the world’s second-largest economy.

Other GIA Virtual Events


Past GIA Tokyo GemFests (Japanese)

8 July 2020 | 21st Tokyo GemFest: Identification and Treatments of Coloured Stones
Watch Webinar
The treatments of coloured stones during the gem and jewellery trade process are carried out to improve the appearance and colour of gemstones. Such treatments include heat treatments of ruby and sapphire, clarity enhancements of emerald, and a combination of bleaching and dying of jade. During this presentation, the types of coloured stone treatments and identification methods will be introduced.

17 June 2020 | 20th Tokyo GemFest: Geographical Origin Determination of Ruby
Watch Webinar
Ruby is produced in a variety of localities, ranging from Southeast and Central Asia (including Myanmar), to East Africa. This seminar will introduce GIA's efforts in geographical origin determination and will share the latest findings on rubies.

29 May 2020 | 19th Tokyo GemFest: Geographical Origin Determination of Paraíba Tourmaline
Watch Webinar
Blue to green copper-bearing tourmaline, known as Paraíba Tourmaline, has been quite popular in the coloured gemstone market for the past three decades. This seminar will review its gemmological characteristics and discuss GIA’s geographical origin determination.

21 May 2020 | 18th Tokyo GemFest: Laboratory-Grown Diamonds Basics and Updates
Watch Webinar
Recently, we have seen an increase in the use of laboratory-grown diamonds in jewellery. In this seminar, we explain the synthesis methods and the characteristics of laboratory-grown diamonds that are useful for identification. We also introduce some of the latest laboratory-grown diamonds examined at GIA.

8 May 2020 | 17th Tokyo GemFest: Gemmological Characteristics and Origin Identification of Alexandrite
Watch Webinar
Alexandrite is a famous gemstone that shows a beautiful colour change effect. In this seminar, we introduce the basic gemmological characteristics of alexandrite and GIA’s Identification and Origin Report service which started in early 2019.

GIA 115th Gemstone Gathering

24 June 2020 | Precision Cut: How, Why and When?
Watch Webinar
The expression “precision cut” has become very popular over time. Victor Tuzlukov will explain his point of view on the term "precision cut" and share his inspirations that led him to become a professional cutter. He will also lead a discussion on the advantages and disadvantages of the precision cut, how such lapidary work affects the gemmologist, and how to judge whether existing fashioned stones would benefit from re-cutting.

Sign up to receive invitations