GIA classes return to the Virgin Islands

For the third straight year, the Gemological Institute of America will bring gemology classes to the Virgin Islands from Monday through Sept. 8. The University of the Virgin Islands will host GIA Lab classes geared toward practical learning.

This year, for the first time, a GIA expert instructor will teach Gem Identification and Colored Stone Grading in St. Thomas.

In Gem Identification (Aug. 28–Sept. 8), students practice the same testing procedures and identification skills used by GIA’s gemological experts. Colored Stone Grading (Sept. 5–7) attendees develop their skills in grading the color, clarity, and cut of a range of colored stones through hands-on practice with actual gemstones. For those working toward their. Both lab classes will fulfill Graduate Gemologist diploma requirements.
GIA will again offer the Accredited Jewelry Professional Intensive diploma program (Aug. 28–Sept. 8). Designed for sales professionals, the A.J.P. Intensive program focuses on essential product knowledge and proven sales techniques.

In addition, a Diamond Cut Grading System seminar will be offered on Sept. 8.

Students who complete the classes will receive a GIA letter of completion for Gem Identification and Colored Stone Grading and the A.J.P. diploma. In addition, the University of the Virgin Islands will grant a certificate.

The University of the Virgin Islands can provide information and special student rates for local housing accommodations. To obtain more information on accommodations and to register for either of the GIA classes offered in St. Thomas, call 340-693-1100, e-mail, or visit

Graduates of the A.J.P. Intensive program are eligible to join the GIA Alumni Association’s Caribbean Islands Chapter and connect with other top gem and jewelry professionals worldwide. For more information, contact chapter president Ivanne Farr at 340-775-081 or by e-mail at