GIA to present seminars and student labs in Dallas

Learn about jewelry retailing and merchandising, and about the latest findings from the GIA Gem Laboratory during the Gemological Institute of America’s GemFest USA, Saturday, Sept. 20, in the North Hall of the Dallas (Texas) Market Center. GIA is also offering a free Student Lab on Sunday, Sept. 21.

The free event is sponsored by the Texas Lone Star GIA Alumni Chapter, which donated $10,000 to GIA’s Alumni Endowment Fund. The GemFest will be held in conjunction with the Dallas Midas Show. It will include two sessions before and after the show, featuring GIA representatives, as well as a reunion reception that will provide an opportunity to network with GIA Alumni and industry members.

The first session, scheduled 8–10 a.m., Dino DeGhionno, GIA’s manager of West Coast Identification Services, will present a “Gemological Update,” featuring the most recent news from the Institute’s Gem Laboratory. Ed Balian, dean of the GIA School of Business, will follow with the “Secrets of Retailing.” He will discuss the key elements for success in the retail jewelry business.

A question and answer seminar, moderated by Patrick Ball, director of the GIA Alumni Association, will conclude the first session.

In session two, David McKinney, GIA School of Business adjunct instructor, will present the “Secrets of Merchandising,” from 4:45 to 6:15 p.m. A reception will immediately follow from 6:15 to 7:45 p.m.

The GIA Student Lab will be held Sunday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 1 to 4 p.m. in the North Hall. It offers convenient access to the equipment and gemstones needed to complete the practical requirements of GIA’s Gem Identification course. Students working toward GIA’s world-renowned Graduate Gemologist (G.G.) diploma through the Distance Education programs can complete an exam such as the 20-stone challenge, practice grading and identifying, and ask questions with a GIA instructor on hand.

“GemFest USA is a forum for cutting-edge information, and attendees will get an exclusive insider’s view from some of GIA’s top business and gemology experts. Students who will be in the Dallas area should also take note of the free Student Lab session,” Ball said. “And, this event could not be held without the gracious generosity of the Texas Lone Star Alumni Chapter.”

All GIA Alumni who attend the event will receive six Carat Points.

Admission is free to the seminars and the Student Lab. Pre-registration is required for the Student Lab by calling 760-603-4001 or 1-800-421-7250, ext. 4001. Admission to GemFest will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. To pre-register for the event, visit the GIA Alumni Association Web site at, e-mail, or call 760-603-4255.

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