GIA sponsors tourmaline symposium

Gem novices and experts alike can discover the world of tourmalines during a one-day symposium devoted to the gemstone on Saturday, April 10, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Gemological Institute of America’s world headquarters in Carlsbad, Calif.

Following last year’s sold-out quartz symposium honoring the late gemologist and author John Sinkankas, this year’s event, The John Sinkankas Tourmaline Symposium, is co-sponsored by GIA and the San Diego Gem and Mineral Society. The event will feature presentations from such noted gem experts as GIA’s Chief Research Gemologist John Koivula.

A wide range of topics and levels will be covered, and attendees are encouraged to bring related specimens to share for discussion and questions. A tourmaline exhibit will be on display, along with books on the topic. Coffee, donuts, drinks, catered luncheon, and a tourmaline publication are included with registration.

Theories on the formation of tourmaline, and worldwide localities, including San Diego County, will be covered. Other topics include tourmaline’s crystallography, inclusions, lapidary techniques, and color. Koivula, a noted expert in gem inclusions, and George Rossman, a member of GIA’s Board of Governors and a professor of mineralogy at the California Institute of Technology, will speak. Other scheduled speakers include Bill Larson, Si Frazier, Jesse Fisher, Dr. William (Skip) Simmons, and Meg Berry.

Tickets are $50, payable in advance to the SDG&M Society. To attend, contact Anne Schafer by e-mail:, or call 858-586-1637, to verify seat availability. Checks must be sent to Anne Schafer, 8473 Hydra Lane, San Diego, CA 92126-1854 by April 5, and there will be no registration on the day of the event.

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