GIA selects keynote speakers for 2006 Gemological Research Conference

Twelve authorities in gemology and related disciplines will headline the Gemological Institute of America’s first Gemological Research Conference, being held in San Diego, Calif., Aug. 26–27, 2006, just prior to the International Gemological Symposium, Aug. 27–29.

The keynote presentations will provide reviews and highlight the latest innovations and developments in gemology as they relate to the themes of the six conference sessions. Eight additional speakers for each session will be selected from submitted abstracts.

“The conference will include 60 oral presentations that will explore the most recent technical developments in gemology,” director of GIA Research and co-chair James E. Shigley said. Additional gemological research will be presented in a Poster Session.

Keynote speakers, and the subjects of their presentations, are listed below for each session theme.

Geology of Gem Deposits
* Jeff Harris, University of Glasgow, UK – Diamond occurrence and evolution
* David London, University of Oklahoma, Norman – Geochemical cycles of gem-forming elements: What it takes to make tourmaline, beryl, topaz, spodumene, and other pegmatitic gems

Gem Characterization Techniques
* George Rossman, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif. – Characterization of nanofeatures in gem materials
* Emmanuel Fritsch, IMN, University of Nantes, France – A forecast of important techniques in gemology over the next 10 years

New Gem Localities
* Lawrence Snee, U.S. Geological Survey, Denver, Colo. – Mapping of gem localities in Afghanistan and Pakistan
* Federico Pezzotta, Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Milan, Italy – An update on gem localities in Madagascar

Gem Synthesis
* James Butler, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C. – Growth of CVD synthetic diamond
* Ichiro Sunagawa, Tokyo, Japan – Growth, morphology, and perfection of single crystals: Basic concepts in discriminating natural from synthetic gemstones

General Gemology
* Shane McClure, GIA Gem Laboratory, Carlsbad, Calif. – Genetic source type classification of gem corundum
* Menahem Sevdermish, Advanced Quality A.C.C. Ltd., Ramat Gan, Israel – Color communication: The analysis of color in gem materials

Diamond and Corundum Treatments
* Ken Scarratt, GIA Research, Bangkok, Thailand – Corundum treatments
* Mark Newton, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK – Diamond treatments

Researchers who wish to present information at the conference (whether orally or in the Poster Session) should send an abstract for consideration by March 1, 2006. Abstracts for oral presentations should be submitted to the organizing committee at Abstracts for poster presentations should be submitted to Dona Dirlam at Abstracts of oral and poster presentations given at the conference will be published in a Proceedings volume.

A limited number of conference attendees also will be able to join a one-day pre-conference field trip to the world-famous Pala pegmatite district in San Diego County (separate registration is required). Preliminary arrangements have been made for underground tours of three mines in the Pala district.

To register for the GIA Gemological Research Conference and the fourth International Gemological Symposium, visit For further information on participating or presenting at the GIA Gemological Research Conference, contact the organizing committee at or visit or

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