GIA L.A. Leaves Downtown and Expands

Students in the greater Los Angeles area no longer have to travel to downtown L.A. or down the coast to Carlsbad (a 90-minute drive from L.A.), now that the Gemological Institute of America’s Los Angeles branch for gemology and jewelry design has relocated to a new 7,051-sq.-ft. facility at 600 Corporate Pointe in Culver City.

Starting July 16, GIA will offer jewelry design classes in the Los Angeles area for the first time since 1998. Intermediate CAD/CAM (computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing) classes are scheduled to debut at GIA Los Angeles July 12.

Extension classes in diamond grading (including an evening session slated for Aug. 16-31), gem identification, and colored stone grading also are scheduled for the new location. A graduate diamonds program and evening student labs have been added as well.

The new Culver City facility is located near the Fox Hills Mall on Slauson Avenue. It features three classrooms, a library, a student lounge, and a study area. According to director of GIA Los Angeles Veronica Clark-Hudson, it will be about six times larger than the current single-classroom facility in downtown L.A.

GIA has maintained a presence in the Los Angeles area since founder Robert M. Shipley established the institute there in 1931.

“This new, expanded location renews our commitment to serve our prospective student base and the jewelry industry in the Los Angeles metropolitan area,” says vice president of education Brook Ellis. “Los Angeles is our historic home, and we have many GIA supporters there.”

Ellis said the Corporate Pointe location provides an ambience similar to a college campus. The building is surrounded by lush landscaping where students can relax between classes, with restaurants, shopping, movie theaters, and a sports club nearby. Clark-Hudson notes that student housing will be more convenient and accessible as well.

For more information on GIA Los Angeles and its classes, call (213) 833-0115, e-mail:, or visit