GRC Announces Speakers, Calls for Abstracts

The Gemological Institute of America has announced the speakers for the second Gemological Research Conference, which will take place Aug. 21–23, 2009, in San Diego. The speaker list includes George Rossman (pictured) who will present the opening keynote.

GRC also issued an invitation to participants to submit oral and poster presentations for the conference. Abstracts of these presentations (400 words plus one figure or table) will be accepted until March 1, 2009. All abstracts will be reviewed by members of the GRC Advisory Committee, and abstracts of all presentations given at the conference will be published in a proceedings volume.

“We held the first GRC two years ago to meet the need for a research conference that addresses the technical issues facing the gemological community,” said Brendan Laurs, co-chair of the GRC and editor of GIA’s Gems & Gemology. “The 2009 GRC will bring together gemologists and other scientists from around the world to tackle developments in synthetics, treatments, and locality determination, as well as address economic and other challenges in the gem and jewelry industry.”

Co-chaired by Dr. Jim Shigley, GIA’s distinguished research fellow, the 2009 GRC will cover two comprehensive tracks: (1) gemology and (2) jewelry, business, and pearls. In addition to the submitted presentations, the event will feature keynote addresses from the 16 internationally recognized speakers listed below.

Opening Keynote
Dr. George Rossman, professor of mineralogy at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), will look at the latest developments in analytical instrumentation.

Track 1: Gemology
Colored Stone Identification: Dr. Michael Krzemnicki, deputy director and education director of the SSEF Swiss Gemmological Institute in Basel, will address geographic origin determination.

Diamond Identification: Dr. Alexander Zaitsev, professor of physics at The City University of New York, will examine the optical spectroscopy of diamond and its gemological applications.

Gem Characterization Technology and Instrumentation: Dr. Alan Koenig, research geologist at the U.S. Geological Survey in Denver, will explore new developments in LA-ICP-MS analysis.

Gem Treatment and Synthesis: Dr. Robert Linares, co-founder and chairman of Apollo Diamond Inc. (Medfield, Massachusetts), will discuss the growth and characterization of CVD synthetic diamonds.

Gemstone Inclusions: John Koivula, chief gemologist at the GIA Laboratory in Carlsbad, will address the importance of inclusions in understanding the origin of gems.

General Gemology: Shane McClure, director of identification services at the GIA Laboratory in Carlsbad, will explore the major contemporary challenges in gem testing.

Geology of Gem-Forming Environments: Dr. Thomas Stachel, earth sciences professor at the University of Alberta, will examine the geology of Canadian diamond deposits.

New Gem Localities: Dr. Dietmar Schwarz and Vincent Pardieu of the Gübelin Gem Lab (Lucerne, Switzerland) will deliver a joint presentation on new localities.

Track 2: Jewelry/Business/Pearls
Color Description/Grading/Appraising of Gems: Gail Brett Levine, executive director of the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers, will discuss the technical and legal aspects of appraisals.
Fair Trade and Environmental Issues in Gemology: Dr. Saleem Ali, professor of environmental studies at the University of Vermont, will examine Fair Trade gems.
Gem Market Research, Economics, and Legal Issues: Dr. David Hargreaves, a consultant and mining engineer in Surrey, United Kingdom, will address diamond economics.

Jewelry History, Gems in Cultural Heritage, and Museum Studies: GIA London instructor Dr. Cigdem Lule-Whipp will focus on gems in objects of cultural heritage.

Jewelry Manufacturing Technology: Jeff High, president and owner of Gemvision Inc. (Davenport, Iowa), will explore CAD/CAM technology.

Pearls and Organic Gems: Kenneth Scarratt, director of GIA Research, Thailand, will discuss the identification of pearl treatments.

Individuals who wish to register or obtain further information can visit or e-mail

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