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 gemology today, including gemstone origin, laboratory-grown stones and new discoveries in field gemology. These webinars are brought to you by GIA Ph.D.s, field gemologists, 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

Aug 6, 2020 | The Microworld of Gemstones
10:00 a.m. PDT
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The microscope is one of the most powerful instruments for analyzing gems. The inclusions contained within a gem as well as the features found on the surface can reveal a story about that gem. Get an up-close look at the microworld of gems with GIA Manager of Identification (Colored Stones), Nathan Renfro, and learn both standard and advanced microscopic techniques as well as the principals of lighting and photomicrography. This microscopic exploration is the beginning to uncovering the secrets hidden within the gemological microcosm.

Aug 13, 2020 | Russia’s Treasure of Diamonds and Precious Stones​
10:00 a.m. PDT
Speaker: Rose Tozer
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Aug 20, 2020 | Glowing Diamonds: Fluorescence and Cathodoluminescence Imaging of Growth Structures and Defects​
10:00 a.m. PDT
Speaker: Dr. Ulrika D'Haenens-Johansson
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Webinars in Mandarin

August 6, 2020 | Major Gem Producing Areas Around the Globe​
9:00 p.m. HKT (6:00 a.m. PDT)
Speaker: Dr. Tao Hsu
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August 20, 2020 | A Closer Look at Sapphire: Treatment and Geographic Origin​
9:00 p.m. HKT (6:00 a.m. PDT)
Speaker: Holly "Xiaodan" Jia
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September 3, 2020 | Laboratory-Grown Diamond Identification​
9:00 p.m. HKT (6:00 a.m. PDT)
Speaker: Dr. Wuyi Wang
Register Soon

Past Sessions

Webinars in English

July 30, 2020 | Diamond Ages: Are Diamonds Forever?
​Watch Webinar
Older than the dinosaurs and almost as old as Earth itself, diamonds are windows into the mysteries of our planet’s continuing geologic evolution. How old are the oldest diamonds and are diamonds still forming now? How are diamonds dated and why doesn’t carbon dating work on them? Join GIA Research Scientist Dr. Karen Smit and Senior Staff Scientist Dr. Steven Shirey of the Carnegie Institution for Science’s Earth and Planets Lab as they explore diamond dating and what diamonds teach us about the Earth.

July 23, 2020 | The Art of Photographing Minerals, Gemstones and Jewelry
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Robert Weldon, director of GIA’s library, has photographed some of the most extraordinary jewelry 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 color, 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 gemology.

July 16, 2020 | The Science Behind Fancy Color Diamonds
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Colored diamonds are priceless marvels of nature. From red and pink to green, blue, purple and brown, they exist in a rainbow of colors, caused by factors such as geologic 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 — Sr. Manager of Diamond Identification — explores the science of diamond color and how fancy color diamonds are created within the earth.

July 9, 2020 | GIA Research Not Just for Scientists​
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Ever wonder who plans GIA courses and what goes into them? Gemology is part science, part art, part business. That’s why our education is fueled by GIA research — including our unique field gemology 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.

July 2, 2020 | Geology 101 for Gemologists: The Natural Processes that Form Colored 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 geologic circumstances to form. Not only do different rock types need to meet under the right conditions and crystallize, certain rare elements often also need to be part of the mixture for the crystal to be the right color. Wim Vertriest, supervisor of field gemology, covers the chemistry of Earth’s crust and the geologic criteria for forming rubies, sapphires and some of the world’s most valuable gems.

June 25, 2020 | Diamond Color Treatment and Its Identification
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Natural fancy color diamonds acquire their color in a variety of ways, such as through trace elements, radiation and crystal lattice distortion. What about laboratory-grown fancy color diamonds? Or natural diamonds that have undergone treatment to change or improve their color? 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 gemologists today.

June 18, 2020 | Tools of the Trade: The Advanced Analytical Equipment Used in GIA Laboratories
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From loupes and microscopes to more advanced instrumentation, researchers use a host 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? Follow senior manager of research, Dr. Aaron Palke, on a behind-the-scenes tour of the tools used in a modern gemological laboratory, seeing with new eyes how scientists employ advanced analytical equipment to identify and characterize the gemstones that pass through GIA.

June 11, 2020 | Diamond Exploration & Mining
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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.

June 4, 2020 | An Overview on Pearl Identification: Techniques and Challenges
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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 what mollusk created it? Furthermore, how do we detect treatments especially on pearls' colors? 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 analyze these unique and lustrous treasures.

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

May 21, 2020 | An Exclusive View of the Jade Auction
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Jadeite is the only colored 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!

May 14, 2020 | Laboratory-Grown Diamonds from China
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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 jewelry 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.

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

April 30, 2020 | Fascinating World of Pearls and Shells
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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.

April 23, 2020 | GIA’s Field Gemology Program: A Research Based Approach to Origin Determination
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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.

April 16, 2020 | Laboratory-Grown Diamonds: Updates and Identification
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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?

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

Webinars in Mandarin

July 23, 2020 | An Overview on Pearl Identification: Techniques and Challenges
Watch Webinar
The nacreous and non-nacreous layers that make up a pearl offer many clues to the gem’s origin. How do we know if a pearl is natural or cultured, saltwater or freshwater and what mollusk created it? Furthermore, how do we detect treatments? 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 analyze pearls.

July 9, 2020 | Advanced Analytical Techniques
Watch Webinar
Gemology has come a long way as a field since its start in the early 1900s. Initially, gemology’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 gemology. Tune in as GIA research associate, Ziyin Sun, explores the instruments and techniques used to address gemology’s most pressing questions.

June 23, 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.

June 11, 2020 | An Exclusive View of the World’s Biggest Jade Auction
Watch Webinar
Jadeite is the only colored 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!

May 28, 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 jewelry 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)

July 8, 2020 | 21rst Tokyo GemFest: Identification and Treatments of Colored Stones​
Watch Webinar
The treatments of colored stones during the gem and jewelry trade process are carried out to improve the appearance and color 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 colored stone treatments and identification methods will be introduced.

June 17, 2020 | 20th Tokyo GemFest: Geographic Origin Determination of Ruby
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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 geographic origin determination and will share the latest findings on rubies.

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

May 21, 2020 | 18th Tokyo GemFest: Laboratory-Grown Diamonds Basics and Updates​
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Recently, we are seeing an increase in laboratory-grown diamonds used in jewelry. 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.

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

GIA 115th Gemstone Gathering

June 24, 2020 | Precision Cut: How, Why and When?
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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 gemologist, and how to judge whether existing fashioned stones would benefit from re-cutting.

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