Beneath the Surface: The Colorful World of Mollusks and Pearls

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GIA’s next gemstone gathering is Jan. 30 in Bangkok

CARLSBAD, Calif. – Jan. 28, 2013 – Beneath the Earth’s oceans, rivers and lakes lies a vibrant world where beautiful mollusks produce one of nature’s unique gifts: pearls. Nicholas Sturman, GIA (Gemological Institute of America) supervisor of Pearl Identification, will discuss pearls and their hosts at the next GIA Gemstone Gathering in Bangkok on Jan. 30. 

Mollusks come in a range of colors, and amazingly varied shapes, patterns and sizes.  From the world’s largest shell (the Giant Clam) to the smallest (the Pisidium), there are many reasons to appreciate these diverse creatures. One of their best attributes, however, is that they are able to produce pearls. 

Sturman will discuss important and frequently encountered pearl-producing mollusks, as well as some of the rarer ones, and take a look at the varying structures exhibited. He will also cover topics related to their coloration, structure and optical characteristics.

With more than 23 years of experience in the detailed examination of pearls, Sturman brings a unique perspective to this Gemstone Gathering. Sturman obtained his Fellowship (FGA) and Diamond Membership (DGA) of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain and spent more than 16 years studying pearls in the Kingdom of Bahrain, where he served as the gemological advisor to the Bahrain Government’s Gem and Pearl Testing Laboratory. He has been with GIA since 2008.

GIA’s Gemstone Gathering, a free event, begins at 6 p.m. on Jan. 30 in the “Crowne Room 1-3” on the 21st floor of the Crowne Plaza Hotel (formerly known as the Pan Pacific), Lumpini Park in Bangkok.

About GIA

An independent nonprofit organization, GIA (Gemological Institute of America), established in 1931, is recognized as the world’s foremost authority in gemology. GIA invented the famous 4Cs of Color, Cut, Clarity and Carat Weight in the early 1950s and in 1953, created the International Diamond Grading System™ which, today, is recognized by virtually every professional jeweler in the world.
Through research, education, gemological laboratory services, and instrument development, the Institute is dedicated to ensuring the public trust in gems and jewelry by upholding the highest standards of integrity, academics, science, and professionalism. Visit