Success in the gem and jewelry industry requires keeping abreast of gem discoveries, new treatments and their detection, and evolving technologies. The 2018 GIA Symposium Research Track will present the latest findings by Institute researchers and scientists respected across the industry and from around the world. Poster sessions will feature a wide range of exhibits impacting gemology.


Colored Stones and Pearls

Synthetic and treated colored stones and pearls are widely available. Although standard gem-testing equipment can be used to help identify these materials, the use of advanced scientific instrumentation is increasingly necessary. Country-of-origin determination for various species of colored stones requires documentation of visual, spectroscopic and compositional features, which are then compared to similar gem materials from a known geographic source. Presentations may include, but are not limited to, identifying natural, treated and synthetic colored stones, the characterization of colored stones from specific localities, and natural and cultured pearls.

Diamond Geology

Recent diamond geology research has radically changed our understanding of how, when, and where diamonds formed in the earth. Whereas traditional research focused on lithospheric sources, scientists have started to recognize the abundance of large, high-quality diamonds originating in deeper parts of the earth. These advances could lead to new exploration models and ultimately reshape the diamond market.

Diamond Identification

Diamond is one of the most important and valuable gem minerals, and is widely subjected to treatment using different processes to improve the color and clarity of gems. The increasing presence of diamond treatments in the market is a significant issue for identification. Presentations may include, but are not limited to, identifying natural, treated and synthetic diamonds.

Gem Characterization

The study of gems should be conducted with advanced scientific instrumentation, a database of gemological information, a data-collection protocol and analytical standards of instrument calibration. Correct gem identification should be based on a variety of features of the gemstone being examined. Presentations will cover these methods and instrumentation.

General Gemology and Jewelry

This session brings together speakers from a variety of backgrounds who will offer their expert perspectives on the global gem and jewelry landscape and look ahead to the future of our dynamic industry.

Gem Localities and Gem Formation

The conditions of formation play a significant role in creating the characteristic features of gem materials. Documenting the geology of gem deposits helps to identify natural, treated and synthetic gems. Market preferences play a role, as seen in the demand for stones from specific geographic localities and the growing interest in gems that do not require any treatment to enhance their appearance. The general public is increasingly concerned that human rights and the environment are protected at gem mining operations, thereby increasing interest in gems that are produced by methods that minimize damage to the environment or that support the development of local communities. Presentations will cover these industry concerns and developments.

New Technologies and Techniques

Instrumentation has been developed for gem identification (especially diamonds), evaluating gemstone appearance, gemstone manufacturing, identity marking and quality grading. In addition, gem treatments continue to advance and proliferate making it difficult to separate, even with the advanced analytical techniques currently available in major gem-testing laboratories and other facilities. The impact of the development of instrumentation on the gem and jewelry industry continues to evolve gem identification practices. A look at these technologies and techniques will be covered.

All themes are subject to change and are dependent on submitted and selected abstracts. Themes and sessions to be finalized in mid-2018.

Symposium Feature Article

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Futurescape Forum Highlights

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