Professional Jeweler Archive: DCA Makes Changes

October 2000


DCA Makes Changes

A new course and new brand identity

The Diamond Council of America has revamped its diamontology course to include all of the latest changes and issues confronting the industry, including conflict diamonds.

DCA also has created a new brand identity, saying its new look reflects the 21st century, and unveiled an interactive Web site.

Covering Diamond Facts

The new course, developed by Janice Mack Talcott and Kate Peterson of Performance Concepts, Olympia, WA, groups 21 lessons into three sections. The first deals with basic information on the 4Cs, diamond treatments, synthetics and other essential facts. The second covers production information, such as sources of diamonds, mining, cutting and marketing. The final section involves retailing skills.

“The course was last revised about 10 years ago, but so much has happened in that time it was totally outdated,” says Terry Chandler, DCA president. “It gave us motivation to catch up to the industry.” He says plans are afoot to put the course on the DCA Web site.

Chandler says the program includes new cuts, supply channels and “even incorporates all the latest changes by De Beers,” referring to recently announced modifications in the company’s relations with clients and its new public name, the Diamond Trading Co.

DCA’s colored gemstone course is being revamped also. The updated version is expected to be available early in 2001.

Concerned jewelers might confuse DCA’s course with those offered by the Gemological Institute of America, but Chandler calls DCA a community college that feeds the GIA college system.

“We get the green, raw student and offer a quality entry-level program,” he says. “When a person finishes it, he can speak intelligently at the counter and is prepared to go on to advanced courses from GIA, the American Gem Society or elsewhere. It’s the beginning, not the end.”

DCA’s previous course was approved by GIA as a prerequisite to the GIA diamond grading course, and Chandler expects this one to be approved also. The new course was shipped to students in mid-August.

Over the past three years, DCA averaged more than 1,500 students per year from among its 2,000 member stores.

A New Identity

The new DCA identity involves a redesigned logo and a new look and attitude. “DCA has not participated in the industry and taken as much of a leadership role as we should have,” Chandler says, so the organization now will take part in trade shows and become more of a presence. “Asked about DCA, people say they’ve heard of it but don’t know much about it. We want to change that,” he says. “Step one is getting our two courses into state of the art, and then we’ll look at the future to see where else we go.”

• Diamond Council of America, Kansas City, MO; (816) 444-3500, fax (816) 444-0330.

– by Jack Heeger

Copyright © 2001 by Bond Communications