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.
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.”
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
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
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.