Scarratt named director of new GIA research facility in Thailand

Kenneth Scarratt, one of the industry’s most distinguished gemologists and researchers, has been named director of a new research facility the Gemological Institute of America plans to open in Bangkok later this year.

Scarratt will be charged with establishing the research facility in Bangkok to focus on the identification of current and new treatments of colored stones, along with the characterization of gem materials from existing and new gem sources, GIA said in a statement. The GIA facility in Thailand will support the Institute’s research activities; it will not provide laboratory services or issue GIA laboratory reports of any kind.

“An essential element of GIA’s mission is to support the colored stone industry,” said Thomas C. Yonelunas, GIA Gem Laboratory CEO. “The emergence of new treatments and the resulting need for advanced identification technology have increased the demands on our researchers to identify those treatments and publish the critical results from their findings, so that GIA can further its work in ensuring the public trust in gems and jewelry. The facility that Ken Scarratt will direct in Bangkok will substantially help maintain the pace of our efforts in the face of new treatments and technology that could threaten public confidence if not detected and disclosed.”

Scarratt recently left his position as laboratory director of the American Gem Trade Association’s Gem Testing Center in New York, where he had been since 1998. In a career that spans more than 30 years, he has also served as director of Laboratory Services, Education, and Research for The Asian Institute of Gemological Services (Bangkok), and chief executive and laboratory director of The Gem Testing Laboratory of Great Britain.

He has authored or co-authored articles in many gemological journals worldwide, and has co-authored two books: The Crown Jewels, and The Pearl & the Dragon. Topics of his other publications include the causes of color in diamonds; diamond synthetics and treatments; synthetic and treated colored stones; rare gemstones; and gemstone origins. Scarratt is one of the world’s leading authorities on natural and cultured pearls, both saltwater and freshwater, as well as the rare Melo “pearl.” In addition, he has lectured on gemological topics in the U.S., Europe, and Asia.

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