Available to a limited number of Symposium participants, this day-long excursion explores some famous mining locales in the Pala District that are still active: the Stewart, Oceanview, and Pala Chief mines. Wear comfortable shoes, bring a flashlight, and prepare to go deep underground with local miners. Not for the faint-hearted! We provide round-trip transportation from GIA Headquarters, refreshments, and a boxed lunch. (Participants must be in good health and able to negotiate uneven terrain underground.) Early registration is recommended. Due to capacity limits, Companions are not eligible to attend this field trip.
Saturday, May 28: 8:30 am - 5:00 pm (full)
Explore the splendor and science of gems and minerals at the San Diego Natural History Museum's new exhibit, which features a stunning selection of spectacular natural mineral crystals, exquisite jewelry, and works of art. You'll learn about the history of gem and mineral finds in California. Delve into the science of gem crystal formation and composition. Witness the transformation of a raw mineral into a finely cut gemstone. All while viewing stunning objects on loan from private collectors and major institutions including the American Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonian, Harvard, and GIA. Round trip transportation from GIA Headquarters will be provided. Companions are welcome to attend this field trip.
Saturday, May 28: 8:30 am - 12:00 pm (full)
If it's been a while since your last gemology class, you'll be surprised just how much has changed. On Saturday afternoon preceding Symposium, GIA Education will offer workshops on topics such as diamond clarity grading, identifying treated diamonds, pearl grading, and establishing geologic locality of origin for ruby and sapphire. Workshops will include a lecture and hands-on experience with numerous gems.
Saturday, May 28:
12:30 - 2:30 pm ~ Advanced Diamond Grading (full)
3:00 - 5:00 pm ~ Pearl Grading (full)
Fee: $55 each or $100 for both
Details to come.
Saturday, May 28: 3:00 - 5:00 pm (full)
Fee: FREE to Symposium Registrants
Enjoy a private reception at La Costa Resort & Spa, as we launch Symposium 2011 and celebrate GIA's 80th anniversary! Symposium attendees, alumni and guests will gather in this fantastic setting to enjoy a relaxed cocktail reception featuring sumptuous light hors d'oeuvres and one complimentary beverage with a non-hosted bar available. This is the ideal oasis of fun and relaxation to commence what is assured to be an extraordinary weekend. Companions are welcome to attend.
Saturday, May 28: 6:30 - 8:30 pm
Masterminds and Thieves: Tales of Intrigue, Swindles, and Heists
Patrick Peys, Detective Belgian Federal Police, Federal Police Antwerp
In this completely fascinating and mesmerizing session, you’ll hear first-hand about the real life adventures of Antwerp’s famed Diamond Squad, the world’s only specialized diamond police. The beat is the legendary Antwerp Diamond District – where each year an estimated 80% of the world’s rough diamonds pass through a three square block area that is under constant police surveillance.
In 1997, Patrick Peys became a detective of the Belgian Federal Police in the Ecofin department focusing on economic and financial crimes. As lead detective in the Diamond Squad, Peys’ investigations include smuggling, swindles, fraud, money laundering – and one of the world’s biggest diamond heists, featured in the new best-selling book, Flawless: Inside the Largest Diamond Heist in History.
Sunday, May 29: 12:30 - 1:45 pm
Fee: FREE to Symposium Registrants
If you've ever wondered what goes on in one of the world's largest and most secure grading laboratories, here's your chance to find out. On this exclusive guided tour of GIA's Carlsbad Laboratory, you'll follow a diamond's journey through the grading process – from intake, to weights and measures, to color and clarity grading, and more. You'll get a glimpse of GIA's world-class impartial grading processes, including how we maintain client anonymity. You'll also visit GIA's state-of-the-art research facility and learn about the expertise and instrumentation GIA uses to further the understanding of diamonds and gemstones. Space is limited. Each guest must be at least 18 years old with a valid photo ID (driver's license, passport, etc.).
Tuesday, May 31: 9:00 am (full), 10:00 am (full), or 1:00 pm (full)
Fee: FREE to Symposium Registrants and Companions