Monday, January 6, 2014

GIA Mourns the Loss of Bert Krashes

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) announced the passing of Bert Krashes, its former vice president and a member of the board. Krashes joined GIA in 1949 and eventually became the vice president and director of the gem trade laboratory in New York in 1977. He was recognized as one of the Institute’s pioneers, he helped establish its East Coast school, laboratory, gem identification and grading services, and the “traveling classrooms” that took GIA's education to jewelers across the U.S. Krashes passed away from natural causes this past weekend. gia
“Bert will be missed for his significant contributions to GIA and to the gem and jewelry industry,” said Susan Jacques, GIA’s president and CEO. “His generosity and dedication helped countless students, staff and industry members, and for that we are exceptionally grateful.”
After receiving a Purple Heart for his service during World War II, Krashes (pictured) became one of GIA’s first students in New York. Richard T. Liddicoat was so impressed with his “excellent work and keen questions,” that he offered Krashes a full-time position as an instructor and gemologist, according to GIA. Krasheswent on to become one of GIA’s most popular instructors and he helped to lead the New York laboratory to international prominence.
Tom Moses, GIA’s executive vice president and chief laboratory and research officer, said, “Bert had an engaging style that raised his esteem with all of his co-workers and the many students he touched. His dedication and high standards were key for GIA diamond grading reports to gain international respect and growth.”
Krashes retired from the board of GIA in 1998, upon which time he was given a lapel pin featuring a diamond inscribed with the number 19491998, representing his 49 years of service to GIA.

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