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On February 15, 1931, a former retail jeweler named Robert M. Shipley and his wife, Beatrice, cashed in their savings to establish the Gemological Institute of America.

When most jewelers knew little about the gems they traded, Robert Shipley decided to professionalize the industry through education, research, and gemological instrumentation. The Institute, initially based out of their home, offered mimeographed mail-order courses and provided gem-testing services using borrowed microscopes and other equipment.

From these modest beginnings GIA has become an institution with more than 200,000 graduates from 13 schools in 10 countries, a prestigious laboratory grading the world’s most important diamonds, the leading gemological research center, and the author the 4Cs and the International Diamond Grading System – the worldwide standard for evaluating diamond quality.


Hong Kong Education
T 852 3166 7001
F 852 2334 0567

Hong Kong Laboratory
T 852 3166 7000
F 852 3521 1697

World Headquarters
T 1 760 603 4000
F 1 760 603 4080

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