GIA to Sponsor GemFest USA

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) will present GemFest USA on Sept. 20, in the North Hall of the Dallas Market Center in Dallas, Texas. Attendees will learn about the latest findings from the GIA Gem Laboratory and get tips on jewelry retailing and merchandising. A free student lab will be offered on Sept. 21. Admission is free for both events; pre-registration is required for the student lab. Students may register by calling (800) 421-7250, ext. 4001, or (760) 603-4001.

GemFest USA is sponsored by the Texas Lone Star GIA Alumni Chapter, which donated $10,000 to GIA’s Alumni Endowment Fund. It will be held in conjunction with the Dallas M.I.D.A.S. show, with two sessions featuring GIA representatives before and after the show as well as a reunion reception.

The first session (8-10 a.m.) will feature Dino DeGhionno, GIA’s manager of West Coast Identification Services for the GIA Gem Lab, and Dr. Ed Balian, dean of the GIA School of Business. DeGhionno will present a “Gemological Update,” and Balian will follow with “Secrets of Retailing,” discussing key elements for success in the retail jewelry business. A question-and-answer seminar moderated by Patrick Ball, director of the GIA Alumni Association, will conclude the session.

In session two, David McKinney, Ph.D., adjunct instructor for the GIA School of Business, will present “Secrets of Merchandising” from 4:45-6:15 p.m. A reception will be held immediately following the session, from 6:15-7:45 p.m.

The GIA Student Lab will be held from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. and from 1-4 p.m. in the North Hall. Students working toward a Graduate Gemologist (G.G.) diploma through the distance education program can complete an exam such as the 20-stone challenge, practice grading and identifying, and pose questions to a GIA instructor.

GIA alumni who attend the event will receive six Carat Points.

For information or to pre- register, visit, e-mail:, or call (760) 603-4255.

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