GIA Gem Conference Expands to Three Days

The Gemological Institute of America will host its second Gemological Research Conference, Aug. 21–23, 2009, at the Town & Country Resort and Convention Center in San Diego.

The first Gemological Research Conference, held over two days in August 2006, drew more than 700 attendees from 32 countries.

The conference has been expanded into a three-day event, and will feature world-renowned keynote speakers, cutting-edge oral and poster presentations, panel discussions, and a gem photography competition and workshop,” said Jim Shigley, one of the co-chairs of the event.

In addition, the Mineralogical Society of America will collaborate with GIA on organizing one of the conference sessions.

The dual-track program will cover numerous technical areas of contemporary importance. Track 1 will focus on topics such as gem treatments, synthetics and simulants, gem localities, the geology of gem deposits, diamond characterization, colored stone identification, inclusions, new technologies in gem characterization, and teaching gemology in a university setting. Track 2 will feature subjects such as pearls and organic gems, color description, jewelry manufacturing technology, market research and analysis, gem pricing, gems in archeometry, and jewelry history.

Rounding out the conference will be field trips to gem pegmatite mines in San Diego County and social events, including Gems & Gemology’s 75th anniversary party.

“One of the unique aspects of the GRC is its international, multi-disciplinary participation—not just gemologists, but also geologists, mineralogists, physicists, and materials scientist will collaborate with gemologists, said Brendan Laurs, G&G editor and co-chair of the event.

Travel grants again will be available for presenters who demonstrate appropriate need.

For more information on the 2009 Gemological Research Conference, visit or e-mail

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