Know Everything About Gemological Institute of America

The Gemological Institute of America, or GIA, is a non-profit institute dedicated to research and education in the field of gemology. The GIA is also well known for its gem identification and grading services, and developed the famous "four Cs" (Cut, Clarity, Color and Carat weight) methodology of grading diamonds. Although the GIA is best known for its activities in relation to diamonds, the institute is also involved with colored gemstones and pearls. The educational arm of the GIA confers the Graduate Gemologist diploma upon its graduates; the institute also offers other diploma programs. The GIA was founded in 1931 by Robert Shipley in Los Angeles, California. Today, the institute is headquartered in Carlsbad, California, north of San Diego.

Gemological laboratories such as GIA are actively engaged in research to advance the science of gemology. Historically, research has focused on developing methods and technologies to accurately identify and characterize gems. This research has produced significant advances in the ability to differentiate gems and identify simulants (particularly diamond simulants). The GIA was also responsible for the first modern diamond grading reports, where it introduced grading methodologies for diamond color and diamond clarity. Today, these scales and methods are the standard within the gem trade for characterization of diamonds.

Current research at gemological laboratories concerns the development of improved detection techniques for treated and synthetic diamonds, as well as for treated sapphires, rubies, and pearls.

The GIA offers several diplomas through vocational-type programs at its main campus in Carlsbad, as well as satellite campuses in Culver City and New York and eleven international locations around the world. The most prestigious of these diplomas is the Graduate Gemologist diploma (designated by the initials "G.G." after a person's name). Graduates of the program must have completed eight courses, including courses on diamond and colored stone identification and grading. The Graduate Gemologist diploma can be obtained through a six-month full time course of study at one of GIA's campuses, or on the virtual campus over the same or an extended time frame.