Twenty students at the University of Zambia (UNZA) will soon learn the basics of coloured stone identification and other jewellery-related topics, thanks to a $25,000-grant from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
GIA and UNZA have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will see the students participating in GIA’s five-day Accredited Jewelry Professional intensive (AJPi) program.
The grant provides an instructor, curriculum, and materials, along with a gift to the university of two specialized gemmological microscopes.
“It is a privilege to work alongside UNZA,” said Donna Baker, GIA president and chief executive officer (CEO). “As two organizations dedicated to excellence in education, we look forward to serving the local community by sharing our gemmological knowledge and resources. This program is part of GIA’s expanded effort to help bring the broader benefits of the gem trade to people in the places where gems are produced.”
Students enrolled in the AJPi program will also learn about:
• polished diamond quality;
• how to translate jewellery design, style, and manufacturing features into consumer language;
• how to explain treated, synthetic, and imitation stones with full disclosure; and
• jewellery-selling techniques.
“We are thankful to GIA for their support,” said professor Stephen Simukanga, vice-chancellor of UNZA. “GIA is a venerable leader in the global gem and jewellery industry, which makes this an invaluable learning opportunity for the local residents, and we encourage them to pursue it by applying.”