Written by IP Insight

Assess Gems and Jewelry with Confidence through Continuing Education


Gems and jewelry are perhaps some of the most high-value objects that you see at your store every day. Knowing their value can ensure that you don’t over-pay for collateral and can also help you spark the interest of jewelry clients, giving them confidence in what they’re purchasing, thus increasing your bottom line. There are often stories of clients paying for “costume jewelry” at a pawnshop or vintage store only to realize that they walked away with jewelry worth thousands to millions of dollars. When you and your staff know how to identify jewelry inventory, you ensure that your business never misses out on opportunities like these. An institute trusted and recognized throughout the gem and jewelry industry for its research and education, GIA® (Gemological Institute of America), along with the GIA Alumni Association™, has developed a series of seminars to help support and protect jewelry professionals like you.  

Knowledge That Fits Your Schedule

The GIA Alumni Association™ offers both online and in-person Continuing Education seminars on diamonds, colored gemstones, pearls and jewelry that can fit easily into your busy schedule. Taught by GIA scientists and instructors, introductory seminars can be as short as two hours while advanced seminars last up to two days. Participants aren’t required to be GIA alumni. In fact, anyone can participate. Designed to suit the needs of diverse audiences, these seminars can benefit new sales associates with no knowledge of gems and jewelry to established professionals looking to hone their skills further. 

During the online seminars, instructors perform live demonstrations, supplemented by images and videos that let participants see exactly what GIA experts see as they examine gems and jewelry under a microscope. Participants are encouraged to ask questions throughout, and most seminars provide a digital reference guide that participants can keep. The information covered includes the latest industry knowledge collected through extensive research. 

Jewelry Forensics 

The Jewelry Forensics seminar contains vital jewelry assessment knowledge for a variety of professionals, including pawnbrokers, appraisers and vintage jewelry storeowners. This two-day session teaches participants to become jewelry detectives as they assess jewelry design and engineering to identify manufacturing methods, workmanship, value and durability based on GIA’s Quality Assurance Benchmarks. 

Participants will also receive a Jewelry Forensics guidebook including the GIA 12-step process of evaluation, glossary of jewelry terms and supplemental reference, and jewelry case study information. Those who buy or sell period jewelry may find this seminar especially beneficial, as it can help participants recognize whether a piece of jewelry is authentic or a reproduction based on its construction methods.  

Get Brilliant About Diamonds 

Diamonds are popular gems that you are likely to see across the counter every day. The GIA Alumni Association offers an Introduction to Diamonds seminar, an Advanced Laboratory-Grown Diamond seminar, as well as an Introduction to Diamond Treatments seminar that can show you how to determine the identity and quality of the diamonds you see. Laboratory-grown diamonds have risen in popularity in recent years. Virtually impossible to distinguish from natural diamonds with the unaided eye, they can be challenging to identify. These seminars cover everything from laboratory-grown diamond history to growth method and hands-on identification techniques that allow you to uncover the identity of the gemstones you see.   

In addition to teaching knowledge about diamonds, these seminars provide an overview of the instruments and services that GIA provides to help you know the identity and quality of your diamond inventory, so you are aware of the type of professional support and advanced instruments and tools that are available when you need them.   

Recognize Colored Gemstones and Country of Origin 

Whether you’re looking for an Introduction to a Colored Stones seminar or want to dive deep into the “big three” gemstones such as ruby, emerald and sapphire, our Continuing Education program has you covered with a seminar on each. Country of origin has been a hot topic in the trade and can dramatically affect the value of gemstones. The Advanced Colored Stone Country of Origin seminar covers origin determination techniques for a variety of gemstones, including ruby, emerald and sapphire, alexandrite, tourmaline and more.  

A beloved classic, pearls are currently experiencing a revival in trendiness and popularity. Learn how to use the GIA 7 Pearl Value Factors™ to assess the quality of the pearls you see. The value factors include color, matching, nacre, surface quality and more.  

All of these Continuing Education seminars are designed and taught by GIA experts and are the product of the Institute’s more than 90 years of gem research and education. They also reflect the hard work and knowledge of GIA’s field gemology team, which has gone on more than 95 field expeditions and collected more than 22,000 samples since its founding in 2008.  

Concentrated into two days or even two hours, these seminars can transform your business, augmenting your current jewelry knowledge and helping build your staff’s confidence when evaluating and discussing the quality and value of the gems and jewelry that they see every day.   

View all Continuing Education offerings

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