Press Release

GIA Researchers Convene for Annual Meeting

Annual research event held at Institute’s California headquarters

CARLSBAD, Calif. – Nov. 17 2014 – More than 40 of GIA’s researchers from around the world met Nov. 12-13 for the Institute’s annual research meeting in Carlsbad, California. The scientists reviewed their current gemological research projects including the study of diamond formation, synthesis and treatments; developments in the investigation of trace elements in colored gems; pearl characterization; field gemology; advances in instrumentation and other related topics.
Tom Moses, GIA’s executive vice president for laboratory and research, recalled the origins of GIA’s research program. “Although research had been a cornerstone of GIA’s activities for decades, it was GIA’s second president Richard T. Liddicoat who established a formal research department in 1977. In 1982, there were just four researchers. Today, the effort founded on Mr. Liddicoat’s vision has attained global reach. Each year, new and talented GIA scientists, technicians and gemologists advance our fundamental understanding of the properties of gems.”
Susan Jacques, GIA’s president and CEO, added, “Research is the pillar that supports all of what GIA does to fulfill its mission of ensuring public trust in gems and jewelry. The brilliant work of this research team directly supports GIA’s continued ability to identify and grade gems; to develop advanced gemological instrumentation; and to offer relevant education that prepares the next generation of gemologists and gem and jewelry professionals.”
“This meeting is an opportunity for the Institute’s research team and scientific advisors including GIA governors Dr. Rod Ewing from Stanford University and Dr. John Valley of the University of Wisconsin – Madison to discuss areas of important research,” said Dr. Wuyi Wang, GIA director of research. “Our global team can share their work with their colleagues, including GIA’s postdoctoral research associates.”
In February 2014, GIA launched the Richard T. Liddicoat Postdoctoral Research program, providing research associates the opportunity to examine fundamental issues related to diamonds, colored stones, pearls and instrument development. There are currently two Liddicoat associates, one each in Carlsbad and New York.
GIA’s scientific advisors include:
* Dr. James Butler, previous head of the gas/surface dynamics section of the Naval Research Laboratory
* Martin Cooper, formerly with De Beers research
* Dr. John Emmett, recognized expert in corundum treatments formerly with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
* Dr. George R. Rossman, Eleanor and John R. McMillan Professor of Mineralogy at Caltech
* Dr. Christopher M. Welbourn, formerly with De Beers research
GIA governors Dr. Rodney Ewing, Frank Stanton Professor in Nuclear Security at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University and Dr. John Valley, Charles R. Van Hise professor in the Department of Geoscience at the University of Wisconsin – Madison also participated in the meeting.
Much of the research conducted under the Institute’s auspices is published in scientific journals and Gems & Gemology, GIA’s quarterly academic journal. GIA research staff also regularly present at relevant scientific conferences around the world.

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