2017 Continuing Education Assignments

The 2017 Continuing Education Recognition Program assignments are now available. In addition to a new assignment each month from February to September, you will have continuous access to the program -- including assignments, current GIA eLearning course materials, and the multimedia archive -- until the end of the calendar year.

Be sure to complete all eight assignments by December 31, 2017 in order to receive your Continuing Education Recognition Program credential.

Assignment 8 Release Date: 9/4/2017

A Gem Cutter’s Perspective
While many gems display beauty and charm in their natural states, most of us enjoy wearing gems after they’ve been cut and polished. Skillful cutting, polishing, and carving can bring out beauty from the most mundane mineral crystal and in the hands of a truly skilled cutter, it can even become a work of art. After more than 35 years of experience cutting and carving gems, Glenn Lehrer brings a unique perspective to the trade. He is the creator and patent-holder of the TorusRing Gemcut, and is internationally recognized as an innovator in gemstone cutting and carving. In this presentation, Mr. Lehrer discusses some of the challenges faced by gem cutters as they go about their day-to-day business.

Assignment 7 Release Date: 8/7/2017

Emeralds from Afghanistan
For many consumers, emerald is the ultimate green gem. For them, no other gem rivals the soothing, verdant color offered by the best of these treasures. After more than 40 years in the gem and jewelry trade, Arthur Groom has perfected the art of buying and selling emeralds. He recently sat down with GIA gemologists to discuss the challenges of his job. In this month’s Continuing Education presentation, Mr. Groom focuses on his dealings with Afghan emerald miners and explains what he looks for in a rough crystal. In the video, you’ll also see his most recent, amazing emerald purchases.

Assignment 6 Release Date: 7/3/2017

Natural Saltwater Pearls
Saltwater pearls come in a staggering array of shapes, colors, and sizes. As she did with the beautiful freshwater pearls from an earlier presentation, Gina Latendresse, President of the American Pearl Company, takes the time to discuss many different natural, nacreous, and non-nacreous pearls from around the world. She highlights features that make each pearl type unique and displays some of the shells they form in.

Assignment 5 Release Date: 6/5/2017

Mining TanzaniteOne
Fifty years ago, in the shadow of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, beautiful crystals with a rich blue-purple hue were found. Initially thought to be sapphire, the gems proved to be a new color of zoisite. The then-chairman of Tiffany & Co. christened the eye-popping gems with the name “tanzanite.” These amazing treasures have gone on to take their place among the world’s most popular colored stones. Recently, a team of GIA gemologists had the opportunity to visit TanzaniteOne’s mining facility. Join them and learn about the status of tanzanite mining today.

Assignment 4 Release Date: 5/1/2017

Diamond Manufacturing Today
In this month’s Continuing Education video, we resume our report on the GIA field gemologists’ tour of Indian diamond-cutting facilities. Once diamond rough is carefully examined and planning is complete, the diamond crystals move on to the actual cutting stages. Today, Indian diamond manufacturers have taken the lead in using some of the market’s most advanced technology, along with some traditional methods. Using knowledge developed through experience and advanced study, manufacturers have been able to reduce weight loss to a minimum, and many diamonds that would have broken apart during cutting can now be saved. This presentation shows how all this is accomplished.

Assignment 3 Release Date: 4/3/2017

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

Assignment 2 Release Date: 3/6/2017

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

Assignment 1 Release Date: 2/6/2017

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 more uncommon. In this interview, Gina Latendresse, President of the American Pearl Company, shares with us some unique and rare natural American freshwater pearls.

This is the first assignment in the 2017 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 31st, 2017 in order to receive your Continuing Education Recognition Program certificate.

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