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Learn From the Masters at GIA

Boost your gemological skills at Conclave, the optimal opportunity to glean insights from GIA’s foremost experts! They’re presenting nine educational sessions this year.

GIA is Conclave’s Official Education Sponsor and Early Bird sponsor. Register by January 31 to save $200! Once the Early Bird rate ends, registration is $1,170. 

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Official Education and Early Bird Sponsor

Monday, April 15 / 9:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m. and Tuesday, April 16 / 3:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.

Presenter: Dr. Aaron Palke
Session format: Hands-on Gemology Workshop

An exploration into what advanced equipment GIA uses to test for various types of information. Focus on UV-Vis and IR spectroscopy, e.g., cobalt spinel, heat treatment in ruby, Paraíba tourmaline, dyed vs. natural color in some stones like jadeite, natural vs. synthetic for alexandrite, etc.

Monday, April 15 / 9:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m. and Tuesday, April 16 / 3:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.

Presenters: Al Gilbertson, CG, and Carson Lee
Session format: Hands-on Gemology Workshop

Overview of the jewelry forensics process and steps involved to formulate an accurate conclusion.

Topics include:

  • Metals, fineness, and hallmarking
  • Types of fabrication
  • Engineering of a piece, is it fit for purpose?
  • Setting quality

Monday, April 15 / 2:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m. and Tuesday, April 16 / 10:45 a.m.–12:45 p.m.

Presenter: Shane F. McClure
Session format: Hands-on Gemology Workshop

Understanding the need for human grading in treatment detection. During this seminar, we will review why stones are clarity enhanced, why certain stones like emerald are more often clarity enhanced, what materials are used for clarity enhancement and how is treatment applied, and how to identify clarity enhancement with a microscope (predominantly) but also assisted by advanced analysis.

Monday, April 15 / 2:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m. and Wednesday, April 17 / 10:45 a.m.–12:45 p.m.

Presenters: Dr. James Shigley and Brenda Harwick
Session format: Hands-on Gemology Workshop

The story of natural diamonds and what an incredible mineral diamond is. Provide jewelry professionals with impactful, memorable, and relatable information they can use to educate consumers on the value of mined diamonds. Differentiate natural from laboratory-grown, and address inaccurate natural diamond generalities, such as abundance, environmentally damaging mining practices, systemic corruption, human rights abuses, etc.

Topics include:

  • The value and rarity of natural diamonds
  • Incredible geologic age, formation, where we find them, how and when they arrived at the surface, recovery (significant mines and projected production years remaining), sourcing, identifiers, positive micro and macro social/environmental impact, and sustainability
  • Origin (what is currently scientifically possible) and GIA origin services

Monday, April 15 / 4:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. and Wednesday, April 17 / 10:45 a.m.–11:45 a.m.

Presenter: David Shikhel
Session format: Lecture

Join David Shikhel, Director of Data Science, GIA, for an insightful exploration of how artificial intelligence (AI) and data science are reshaping the landscape of diamond grading and assessment. With a commitment to innovation and a wealth of experience, David will share a concise yet powerful perspective on the future of data-driven practices in the jewelry industry.

Nathan Renfro

Tuesday, April 16 / 10:45 a.m.–12:45 p.m. and Wednesday, April 17 / 10:45 a.m.–12:45 p.m.

Presenter: Nathan Renfro
Session format: Hands-on Gemology Workshop

Explore the microworld of tourmaline with the microscope to reveal interesting inclusions that often go unnoticed. In this class, you will see a variety of the types of inclusions often found in gem-quality tourmaline, including interesting fluid inclusions and solid minerals.

Tuesday, April 16 / 10:45 a.m.–11:45 a.m. and Wednesday, April 17 / 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.

Presenters: Al Gilbertson, CG, and Brock Wilke, RJ
Session format: Lecture

The diamond-cutting industry has long pursued the “best cut” for optimal fire and brilliance. Marcel Tolkowsky’s advocated proportions became the gold standard for round-cut diamonds, driving continuous advancements in determining the best cut. A few years ago, GIA and the American Gem Society (AGS) began collaboration on a fancy-shape cut grading system to serve different tastes better and improve diamond appearance, leading to a paradigm shift in their approach.

This session peeks into three areas: Diamond cut design, the evolving understanding of light performance, and taste. How does the AGS Ideal® Report fit into this evolution? We will explore what is being done to bring taste and performance together and provide takeaways to discuss at the counter.

Tuesday, April 16 / 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.

Presenter: Jason Quick
Session format: Lecture

We are unlocking simple ways to convey the various factors influencing diamond appearance and taste, thus demystifying those elements for traders and consumers. Our discussion will examine the manufacturer’s dilemma of weight versus beauty and the steps GIA is taking to support cutters in making informed decisions. Additionally, we will explore emerging technologies for crafting high-precision, visually-performing diamonds, and the underlying methodologies to enhance cut design. Takeaways will be better storytelling at the counter and a deeper appreciation for the art and science of diamond design.

Tuesday, April 16 / 3:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.

Presenter: Johanna Levy
Session format: Lecture

Join Johanna Levy, VP of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Programs, GIA, for a discussion focused on what retailers can do here and now to start their ESG journey. This session aims to make sustainability accessible to retailers with clear and inexpensive actions they can follow.

Retailers would leave the talk with the following:

  • An understanding of what “sustainability” means in our industry
  • Some insights on how sustainability can drive business
  • A roadmap on how to understand and prioritize sustainability issues
  • Guidance on how to calculate and reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Supply chain engagement examples, covering human rights and environmental aspects