2020 Continuing Education Modules

The 2020 Continuing Education Recognition Program modules are now available. Complete all eight modules by December 31, 2020 in order to receive your Continuing Education Recognition Program participation acknowledgment.

Assignment 1 Release Date: 2/3/2020

Geographic Origin Determination

The jewelry trade has long put a premium on gems from certain locations, such as blue sapphire from Kashmir or ruby from Myanmar (Burma). Yet other localities produce stones that rival those from these revered sources. Whether it is fair or not, gems from renowned sources command the highest prices. For that reason, determining the geographic origin of a stone can mean the difference of hundreds or even thousands of dollars in value. This month, Shane McClure, Global Director of Colored Stone Services at GIA, discusses the challenges laboratories face when determining the geographic origin of various colored stones.

This is the first assignment in the 2020 Continuing Education Recognition Program. You will have continuous access to the entire course -- including the assignments, the GIA eLearning courses, and the multimedia archive -- until the end of the calendar year. Be sure to complete all eight assignments by December 31, 2020 in order to receive your Continuing Education Recognition Program certificate.

For more information about Geographic Origin Determination, see theWinter 2019 issue of Gems & Gemology: Geographic Origin Special Issue.

Assignment 2 Release Date: 3/2/2020

GIA Field Gemology

An essential asset of GIA’s research department is its reference collection of gem samples from around the globe. Used by scientists to gain better a better understanding of geographic origins and treatments of gems, the collection has been built through the efforts of GIA’s field gemology department. The field gemology department was established in 2008 specifically to support GIA research. GIA field gemologists have conducted more than 95 field expeditions to six continents and collected over 22,000 samples. This month, GIA’s supervisor of field gemology, Wim Vertriest, discusses GIA’s classification system as well as the challenges of working in the field.

For more information about building a research collection, see theWinter 2019 issue of Gems & Gemology: Geographic Origin Special Issue.


Assignment 3 Release Date: 4/6/2020

Trapiche Gems

Trapiche gems, often considered beautiful oddities of Mother Nature, are truly treasures for the gem connoisseur. True trapiche consists of gem segments separated by arms formed by inclusions. Trapiche emeralds from the Muzo mine in Colombia were first described by Émile Bertrand in 1879 at a meeting for the Société Géologique de France. Since then, other gems that form as trapiche have been found. This month, Jeffrey Bergman of 8th Dimension Gems discusses his passion for these unique gems and their equally unique place in the market.

Interview: Susan Wheeler - Headshot of Susan Wheeler
Assignment 4 Release Date: 5/4/2020

Interview: Susan Wheeler

Responsible sourcing has become a hot topic across all aspects of life. More and more, consumers are searching out products that are manufactured in sustainable ways. They want to know if the workers who contribute to the making of those products are treated fairly and how the environment is impacted in the process. A growing number of jewelers are asking these same questions — and, furthermore, looking at ways to give back to the communities they depend on for their raw goods. At the forefront of this wave is Susan Wheeler, a jewelry designer and founder of the Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference. Join us as Ms. Wheeler discusses the challenges and rewards of ethical gem and metals sourcing.

Assignment 5 Release Date: 6/1/2020

Jewelry Manufacturing in Russia

With a rich history of jewelry making dating back hundreds of years, Russia can lay claim to some of the most beautiful and skillfully created examples of this art. When a team from GIA visited Russia to see the famous demantoid mines, they were also fortunate enough to be welcomed into a manufacturing company that specializes in high-end jewelry. Join us this month as the team discusses jewelry making in Russia with the owner of Chamovskikh Jewellery House, Mr. Alexander Chamovskikh.

Assignment 6 Release Date: 7/6/2020

Shells & Pearls

Humans have cherished pearls for millennia and fortunately for us, they are available in a dizzying array of colors, shapes, sizes, and price points. Natural or cultured, there are truly pearls that speak to every individual. This month, Nicholas Sturman, Senior Manager of Global Pearl Services at GIA discusses pearls and the mollusks that produce them. Join us as we explore these rare, organic treasures.

Assignment 7 Release Date: 8/3/2020

Advanced Analytical Equipment

Each passing day seems to bring new challenges to gemological researchers. Is a gem treated or synthetic? Which geographic source did it originate from? What trace elements cause its color? Researchers use a whole array of tools to help them identify and analyze gems. Curious about how spectrometry helps scientists measure chemical impurities? Want to learn about laser-ablation inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry? Dr. Aaron Palke, GIA’s senior manager of research, discussed the tools used in a modern gemological laboratory. Join him to see how scientists employ advanced analytical equipment to identify and characterize the gemstones that pass through GIA.

Assignment 8 Release Date: 9/7/2020

Nigerian Gems

Nigeria is a country of diverse cultures, with many native languages. It is one of Africa’s wealthiest nations and features landscapes of jaw-dropping beauty. It also has a rich supply of natural resources that include a wide array of glittering gems. Follow along as Mina Egwuatu describes the gems of her homeland and discusses the efforts she and her company are undertaking to grow the gem and jewelry industry of Nigeria.