GIA to Hold Research Conference in 2006

November 30, 2004

GIA to Hold Research Conference in 2006

The Gemological Institute of America is inviting gemologists, international experts, scientists from a variety of disciplines, students, and the general public to participate in or attend its first-ever Gemological Research Conference, Aug. 26-27, 2006, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego, CA. The conference, held just prior to GIA's Fourth International Gemological Symposium, will provide a forum for scientists and other specialists to exchange information and gain a better understanding of modern gemological research.

The event will explore innovations in the science of gemology and its most recent technical developments. "Gemology is expanding today in many exciting directions that encompass not only mineralogy and geology, but also a variety of other fields such as physics, chemistry, and materials science," said GIA Research Director Dr. James Shigley, cochair of the conference along with Gems & Gemology Editor Brendan Laurs. "We are organizing the first technical conference on gemology in the U.S. that offers an open forum for presenting cutting-edge research," added Laurs.

In addition to invited lectures, the conference will consist of oral and poster presentations submitted by participants, with opportunities for discussion. Six general conference themes will be covered in the oral presentations: geology of gem deposits, new gem occurrences, gem characterization techniques, diamond and corundum treatments, laboratory growth of gem materials and general gemology.

The poster session will take place Aug. 27, from noon to 2 p.m. This setting will permit one-on-one contact as presenters explain their research using charts, maps, laptop computers and other media. Presenters also will have an opportunity to show their research samples, rock specimens, faceted stones or other items during the poster sessions. Microscopes will be provided.

A limited number of participants will have an opportunity to visit spectacular gem deposits during a pre-conference field trip to the Pala pegmatite district on Aug. 25. In addition, all research conference participants will be invited to attend the International Gemological Symposium opening session and keynote speech Aug. 27, as well as the Diamond Gala party at GIA's world headquarters that evening.

GIA is seeking scientists worldwide to present their ideas and research results. Abstracts (up to 400 words) of oral and poster presentations will be evaluated through early 2006. Anyone can submit an abstract, which will be reviewed by a committee for appropriateness and scientific merit. Abstracts that are selected for oral and poster presentations will be published in a proceedings volume. A limited number of partial sponsorships will be available to conference presenters who demonstrate financial need. More information will be available about these funding opportunities in the future.

Visit the Gems & Gemology booth in Tucson for more information and to complete a preregistration form. Additional details can also be found at; click on the Gems & Gemology link. For questions or to submit an abstract, e-mail Those interested in presenting at the poster session should contact GIA Library Director Dona Dirlam by e-mail at or call (760) 603-4154.

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