GIA Announces 2006 Gemological Symposium

Get out your 2006 calendar, turn to August, and save these dates: Aug. 27-29, 2006, for the Symposium, and Aug. 26-27, 2006, for a pre-Symposium Gemological Research Conference.

GIA is inviting “the global gemological community” to San Diego, just 20 minutes down the interstate from GIA’s Carlsbad headquarters, for the last week in August 2006. GIA’s 4th International Gemological Symposium, “Navigating the Challenges Ahead,” will be held at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in downtown San Diego. JCK was the very first corporate sponsor for the 2006 Symposium.

As in the past, Symposium will feature significant keynote speakers, presentations, and panels focusing on “pressing issues and cutting-edge technologies.” Symposium is also one of the best opportunities for networking with the world’s top gemologists and jewelry industry leaders.

According to GIA president Bill Boyajian, Symposium will “bring together the world’s best gemologists and researchers, along with top business leaders and innovators, to offer a glimpse into the future while addressing today’s critical issues in the global gem and jewelry industry.” The 2006 Symposium also coincides with GIA’s 75th anniversary.

The last Symposium, held in 1999, saw more than 1,400 participants from nearly 50 countries. One of the more memorable—and controversial—moments of the ’99 event was Maurice Tempelsman’s defense of Lazare Kaplan’s decision to market HPHT-enhanced colorless diamonds.

Alice Keller, editor-in-chief of Gems & Gemology and one of Symposium’s two co-chairs, notes that “since the last Symposium, the gem and jewelry industry has seen sweeping changes at every level: how rough diamonds are distributed, how consumers buy gems and jewelry, and the fallout from beryllium-diffused sapphires and commercially available gem-quality synthetic diamonds, to name just a few.”

Kathryn Kimmel, GIA’s vice president of marketing and public relations as well as co-chair of the event, notes that this Symposium will offer presentations in a variety of formats, with speakers from the industry and distinguished business leaders from outside the trade. There also will be roundtable panels and “provocative ‘Think Tanks,'” she adds, recalling the unforgettable “War Rooms” of the 1999 Symposium.

As in past Symposiums, poster sessions will highlight dozens of new ideas presented in state-of-the-art exhibits on a variety of gem- and jewelry-related topics.

To register for Symposium, e-mail To learn more about how to become a sponsor of Symposium 2006, contact director of institute relations Jane Lynch, or call (800) 421-7250, ext 4114; outside the United States, call (760) 603-4114.

GIA also will host a pre-Symposium Gemological Research Conference Aug. 26-27 at the Hyatt. Topics for that event will include the geology of gem deposits, new gem occurrences, gem characterization techniques, diamond and corundum treatments, laboratory-grown materials, and general gemology. Attendees can also participate in a one-day field trip to the famous Pala pegmatite district in San Diego County. For more information on this research conference, e-mail

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