Q:

What is the Gemological Institute of America?

A:

The Gemological Institute of America supports the gem and jewelry industry by setting practice standards for its professional members. GIA notes that it sponsors education and research programs that encourage the public's trust in their jewelry and gem purchases. GIA may best be known for its diamond-grading system.

Many consumers use diamond grades determined by GIA's Cut Grading system to compare the qualify of stones they're considering purchasing. Such characteristics as shape, color and clarity factor into a stone's grade.

To further educate the public, GIA maintains a comprehensive online encyclopedia consumers may search by color or nation of origin to learn a stone's characteristics. Buying guides linked to the encyclopedia offer information consumers need to make smart purchase decisions.

GIA offers industry professionals a wide variety of education and certification programs. The organization notes that its programs range from diamond and colored-stone buying and grading to stone identification, equipment and instrumentation, and markets and supply chains. Those who complete education requirements earn certifications such as GIA Graduate Gemologist and Accredited Jewelry Professional, or diplomas such as Jewelry Design & Technology.

GIA's "Gems & Gemology: The Quarterly Journal of the Gemological Institute of America," publishes gem-related research and other articles of interest to industry professionals. It covers the scientific and technological aspects of jewelry and gemology and delves into business topics.

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