The Gemological Institute of America will teach four one-week courses in diamond grading this summer and fall at The Diamond Institute in Florida, N.Y.

“We’re offering a complete, intensive program,” says Sofus Michelson, founder of The Diamond Institute, which offers an 80-hour program in diamond cutting and polishing. “Students will take the one-week GIA class using hand loupes only — no microscopes — and learn to grade diamonds to the degree required of all cutters before they begin cutting stones.”

The course will be offered Aug. 26-30, Oct. 7-11 and Oct. 14-18. The school is located about 50 miles north of New York City.

The Diamond Institute Inc., P.O. Box 223, 59 N. Main St., Florida, NY 10921; (800) 648-4367 or (914) 651-1100, fax (914) 651-1102.


The UCLA Extension Department of the Arts has scheduled several jewelry design and production classes this fall.

“Handmade Jewelry I” will meet 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesdays from Sept. 25 to Dec. 11. Jewelry designer Ralph Goldstein will teach techniques needed to make fine silver or gold jewelry without special casting procedures. Hands-on projects will teach drilling, sawing metal shapes, filing, grinding, soldering and finishing. Goldstein also will teach “Handmade Jewelry II” on the same days from 7 to 10 p.m.

“Jewelry and Accessories: Design and Production I” will meet from 7 to 10 p.m. Tuesdays from Sept. 24 to Nov. 26. Carol Arutian, a jewelry designer and artist, will teach how to create original designs for fashion accessories, including jewelry.

All classes will be held at the Extension Art Studio, 1450 Second St., Santa Monica, CA. UCLA Extension, 10995 Le Conte Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90024-2883; (310) 206-1423.


The Gemological Institute of America announced a number of contributions toward education and training programs.

Premier Gem, New York, N.Y., pledged to donate $50,000 to GIA’s Vision 2000 campaign. Money raised through Vision 2000 will be used to promote education, research, training, technological advancement, an information center and other projects.

Swarogem, a division of D. Swarovski & Co. of Austria, donated 42,000 pieces of cubic zirconia to GIA’s Treasured Gifts Council. The stones will be used for GIA’s jewelry manufacturing arts programs.

Ramsey Gem Imports, Woodinville, Wash., donated a diverse selection of colored stones (including andalusites, alexandrites and demantoid garnets) to the Treasured Gifts Council for classroom use.

The House of Graff of London made a substantial donation (the amount was not disclosed) to establish the Laurence Graff School of Diamond Education. (Laurence Graff is chairman and managing director of the firm.) The school’s goal will be to provide students with the marketing and technical expertise required for a growing market while preserving integrity and consumer confidence in the natural diamond arena. Graff’s name will be inscribed in the GIA Hall of Honor, and Graff will be inducted as a sovereign into the GIA League of Honor.

GIA received $100,000 from Rosy Blue, an international diamond manufacturing and import/export company, to support diamond research and education.

The Sylvanus G. Felix Foundation of Oklahoma City, Okla., also made a donation. Its cash gift of $30,000 will fund gem research and a full scholarship in the institute’s Graduate Jeweler Gemologist program. The gift was made in the memory of Norman Gordon of Samuel Gordon Jewelers & Diamond Merchants Inc.

The first Felix Foundation Scholarship was awarded to Jillian Wendle, selected because of the Foundation’s interest in encouraging women who have significant athletic ability to pursue academic or vocational training. Wendle, a fifth-place finisher in the Iron Man Triathlon, graduated from the GG program three days after running the Boston Marathon. She now is studying in the Graduate Jeweler program.


The Gemological Institute of America honored individual and corporate supporters of its Annual Campaign for Education and Research with induction into its new Regents Society. Each inductee has contributed $1,000 or more to the fundraising campaign.

The awards were presented to the donors at GIA’s first Regents’ Award Reception during The JCK Show in Las Vegas. In addition, their names will be put on the Donors Wall at GIA’s new headquarters in Carlsbad, Cal. Those honored were: Melinda Adducci of Michigan Gemological Services, Plymouth, Mich.; Ara Arslanian of Cora Diamond, New York; Diatraco Corp., New York; Lee Berg of Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry, Baton Rouge, La.; Gary Gordon of Samuel Gordon Jewelers & Diamond Merchants, Oklahoma City, Okla.; Manny Gordon Trading, New York; Karen C. Taylor of Country, Etc., Deland, Fla., and Sharon Wakefield, Northwest Gemological Laboratory, Boise, Ida., who is chair of the Annual Campaign for Education and Research.

In brief remarks, GIA President Bill Boyijian cited the “amazing impact” GIA is making around the world and noted that “all the famous jewelers of this country and [around] the world are sending their kids to GIA.”

Referring to the new Carlsbad site, he said the decision to build “a university-like campus [which will] serve the entire industry [is] the boldest move in GIA’s history.” It will be “a world headquarters worthy of the institute and the industry,” he stated.

The first GIA employees are moving to the new campus this summer, with the rest to follow over the next year.