Wednesday, February 23, 2011

GIA invests millions in diamond education

The Gemological Institute of America in operation in Botswana from September 2009, employing more than 30 locals, has invested 5 million USD furthering diamond grading skills.

Administration Clients Relations Officer for GIA Botswana and South Africa, Elizabeth Bokaba told The Gazette that some of the skills and educational classes (courses) that locals would get from studying at their institution include among others, developing their skills to grade diamonds consistently and accurately using a modern gem microscope and jeweler’s loupe.

“Master GIA’s Diamond Grading System, discover time-saving shortcuts to determine a variety of grading factors, and learn how to read a GIA Laboratory Diamond Grading Report that is internationally recognized. All these skills are acquired through the GIA Diamond Grading course- which has been accredited by Botswana Training Authority,” revealed Bokaba.

She said GIA selected Botswana to set up a diamond educational institute because it is one of the leaders in the production of rough diamonds, and it is one of the fastest growing diamond centers in the world and would facilitate the transfer of knowledge to locals.

“And also after having assessed the needs of the market –to be able to trade locally. We are also the first occupants at the Diamond Technology Park. We have for the past few years worked with the Harry Oppenheimer Diamond Training school in South Africa to deliver diamond grading skills through our D.G.L lab class course. We have also been in partnership with DTCB whereby they would send (every year) 10 representatives from their company for GIA’s Diamond Grading Course. And the Botswana government is very transparent, (easy to work with),” she said.

Bokaba said GIA’s Diamond Grading Course is offered 4 times in a year adding that GIA has organized the Alumni Association’s Africa Chapter to enhance ongoing education, communication and networking opportunities for GIA graduates in Botswana and South Africa.

“Thomas M. Moses, Senior Vice President of GIA Laboratory and Research, will address the GIA Alumni Association’s Africa Chapter on February 21 in Botswana. The lecture, titled “Updates on Synthetic Diamonds and Treatments,” will take place in Gaborone,” she said.

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