Advisory Group Named for GIA Gem Conference

An international group of individuals across academia, the research community, and the gem and jewelry trade have agreed to serve on the advisory committee for the Gemological Institute of America‘s second Gemological Research Conference, planned for Aug. 21-23, 2009.

GRC Advisory Committee members will help with planning the program, reviewing abstracts, and disseminating information about the conference. A number of committee members will also participate as presenters.

The committee includes representatives from most of the major gemological labs in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, as well as gem dealers who are active in gemological research.

Among the museums represented are the Smithsonian Institution, the American Museum of Natural History, the Natural History Museum of Milan, and the Netherlands National Museum of Natural History.

The committee also includes researchers from the De Beers DTC Research Centre, the Russian Academy of Sciences, and the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. Researchers from major universities in the United States, Canada, Thailand, United Kingdom, and France will participate as well.

“We are pleased and gratified to have secured the assistance of such a diverse and distinguished group,” said James Shigley, GIA’s distinguished research fellow and co-chair of the event. “The evolution of gemology and the challenges of new treatments and synthetics require a broad-based, multidisciplinary approach. The input and experience of our Advisory Committee members will ensure a rich and rewarding program for GRC 2009.”

The three-day event will take place at the Town & Country Resort and Convention Center in San Diego. The dual-track program will cover numerous technical areas of contemporary importance.

Track 1 deals with topics such as gem treatments, synthetics, and simulants, gem localities, the geology of gem-forming environments, diamond and colored stone identification, inclusions, and gem characterization technology.

Track 2 features subjects such as pearls and organic gems, color description/grading and appraising, jewelry manufacturing technology, market research and analysis, fair trade and environmental issues, jewelry history and gems in cultural heritage, and gem pricing.

Rounding out the conference will be field trips to gem pegmatite mines in San Diego County.

Abstracts will be accepted beginning Sept. 1. The final deadline for abstract submissions will be March 1, 2009.

As in 2006, travel grants will be available for presenters who demonstrate appropriate need.

For more information, visit www.grc2009.gia.edu; or e-mail grc2009@gia.edu.