Why This Seminar?

The Continuing Education Recognition Program has a new name - GEM ACCESS. This unique, self-paced program continues to offer qualifying alumni access to exclusive content from GIA researchers on the latest knowledge, research and trends, plus the most recent course materials we are teaching current students.

How Does it Work?

  • All modules are delivered online through Blackboard

  • Complete all module activities by December 31 and score 75% or better on each one

Program Highlights

  • Eight interactive modules (one per month, February through September) via GIA’s online platform, featuring video, stunning photography, and online lectures from experts in gemology.

  • Access to the latest GIA eLearning courses materials including Diamond Essentials, Colored Stone Essentials, Diamonds & Diamond Grading, Colored Stones, and Gem Identification.

  • Explore a rich multimedia library of hundreds of exclusive videos including 15 years of past program topics.

Topic of Interest
Additional Offerings
Ways to Learn
Live Online | Self-Paced - 8 Modules Yearly
$250 USD
Level of Experience
Any alumni who hold a GIA Graduate Gemologist® or Gemologist Diploma
How to Register
Click on the Register Now button and create an account on the GIA Alumni Collective Community

2022 Assignment Modules

Assignment 1: Does Climate Change Matter to the Jewelry Industry?

Worsening weather conditions, longer wildfire seasons, rising sea levels, the bleaching of coral reefs. Certainly, climate change and its impacts concern us all, but how does it relate to the jewelry industry and what can the industry do about it? Join Patricia Syvrud, MBA, GIA GG, and Program Manager for the University of Delaware's Gerard J. Mangone Climate Change Science and Policy Hub for a discussion on how climate change affects the jewelry industry and what young consumers expect from the businesses they frequent.

photo of Patricia Syvrud
Patricia Syrvud, GIA GG

Assignment 2: Interesting Discoveries from the GIA Laboratory

As the foremost authority in gemology, GIA laboratories encounter a multitude of gems, ranging from very common to unusual and unique. Over the years, GIA scientists have gained insight into formation, treatments, and phenomenal gems by carefully studying these submissions, some of which have revealed exciting surprises. Join Dr. Sally Magaña, senior manager of diamond identification, and Nicole Ahline, senior staff gemologist, as they take a look at some of the rarest, most captivating specimens seen by the laboratories to date.

faceted octahedron gem

Assignment 3: Feldman Custom Knives

Throughout history, humans have used rare metals, gems, and minerals to elevate the most utilitarian objects into works of art. At the 2022 Tucson Gem and Mineral show, a group from GIA had the pleasure of speaking with Mr. Loren Feldman. Mr. Feldman crafts knives that are highly valued by collectors because of his incorporation of unique and rare materials. Join us for a look at these beautiful objets d’art as well as an examination of some of the distinctive minerals he uses to fabricate them.

a crafted knife

Assignment 4: A Glimmer of Hope

The World's Most Famous Blue Diamond

The Hope Diamond has fascinated and inspired humans across the globe. With a storied history originating in India in the seventeenth century, the incomparable 45.52 ct Fancy Deep grayish blue diamond now resides in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Join Dr. Sally Magaña as she relates her personal history with the Hope Diamond and describes the optical and physical properties that make it the world’s most famous blue diamond. Image Courtesy of Smithsonian Institution.

the hope diamond unmounted

Assignment 5: X-Rays & Their Use in Gemology

In 1895, professor Wilhelm Röentgen discovered X-rays accidentally while testing whether cathode rays could pass through glass. Since that time, numerous uses for X-rays have been devised. Most of us are familiar with their applications in medicine, but X-rays can also aid gemologists in separating natural from cultured pearls, and assist in the origin determination of some gems. They can be used on opaque as well as transparent gems and are crucial to some aspects of gem identification. Join us to learn more about the uses for X-rays in a gemological laboratory with Nick Sturman, consultant to GIA.


Assignment 6: Latoya Boyd

Jeweler, designer, social media influencer, Graduate Gemologist, dancer, and proud Army veteran are just a few words that can be used to describe Latoya Boyd. Through unconventional methods, Ms. Boyd is forging a career and developing a successful business in jewelry. While her nontraditional path may not be the one chosen by others in the trade, she’s proving that it’s possible to find an audience in new ways. Join us as she discusses her experiences and how she leverages social media to grow her brand.

Latoya Boyd

Assignment 7: The Microworld of Gemstones

Inclusions in gems can hold a wealth of information. In the hands of a skilled gemologist, the microscope is a powerful instrument for getting an up-close look at these inclusions and their host. But the microscope serves another purpose for those with an artistic eye as photomicrographs can become beautiful works of art. Explore the microworld of gems with GIA manager of colored stone identification, Nathan Renfro, and learn about microscopic techniques as well as the principles of lighting and photomicrography.

The Microworld of Gems

Assignment 8: Unusual Phenomenal Colored Stones

Colored stones displaying phenomena, such as color change, asterism, and chatoyancy, are fascinating gemstones. Throughout history, phenomenal gems have been revered; Arabic legend claimed opals fell from the heavens in flashes of lightning, and Hindu mythology saw moonstones as solidified moonbeams. Join GIA researchers Aaron Palke and Ziyin Sun for a discussion on the unique properties of these special gems and what causes these mesmerizing effects.

Unusual Phenomenal Colored Stones

Past Assignments


  • Natural Blue Diamonds

  • Montana Sapphires

  • Rubies

  • Engagement Rings

  • Somewhere in the Rainbow Collection

  • Melee Diamonds

  • Superstitions Surrounding Gems and Jewelry

  • Minerals Discovered and Named at GIA


  • Geographic Origin Determination

  • GIA Field Gemology

  • Trapiche Gems

  • Interview with Susan Wheeler

  • Jewelry Manufacturing in Russia

  • Shells & Pearls

  • Advanced Analytical Equipment

  • Nigerian Gems


  • Stuart Robertson: Observations on the Colored Stone Market

  • Ruby Mining in Myanmar

  • New from Tucson 2019

  • Perspectives on Responsible Sourcing and Fair Trade

  • Myanmar Gems Emporium

  • Superdeep Diamonds

  • Peridot from Myanmar

  • Russian Demantoid


  • Greenland Ruby Mining

  • Dreher Animal Carvings

  • Edward Boehm: Tucson 2018

  • News From Tucson 2018

  • Ethiopian Emerald

  • Ethiopian Sapphires

  • Ethiopian Opal

  • Debbie Hiss: Selling Lab Grown Diamonds


  • Natural American Freshwater Pearls

  • Diamond Jewelry Manufacturing in India

  • Getting the Most from Diamond Rough

  • Diamond Manufacturing Today

  • Mining Tanzanite

  • Natural Saltwater Pearls

  • Emeralds from Afghanistan

  • A Gem Cutter’s Perspective