Sourcing

GIA Creates Gem Guide for Artisanal Miners

SourcingApr 06, 2017

GIA Creates Gem Guide for Artisanal Miners

The Gemological Institute of America has partnered with an NGO to train about 45 miners in the Tanga region of Tanzania using the guide.  

A team from the GIA and Washington, D.C.-based non-governmental organization Pact traveled to the Tanga region in Tanzania to train about 45 female miners with the booklet.

Carlsbad, Calif.--The Gemological Institute of America has developed a gem guide for small-scale miners and partnered with non-governmental organization Pact on a pilot program training women miners in Tanzania using the guide.

A team of GIA gemology, market, education and design staff chose the content and form of “Selecting Gem Rough: A Guide for Artisanal Miners,” and consulted colored gemstone experts who have extensive experience buying gems in rural areas as well.   

The guide was developed to offer basic gemological and market knowledge for artisanal miners in gem-producing regions, and was written in both English and Tanzanian Swahili. It includes almost every gem species mined in East Africa with illustrations of rough and polished gems and graphical instructions on how to prepare and examine rough under a number of lighting conditions.

“This project is at the very core of GIA’s mission,” President and CEO Susan Jacques said. “We are moving practical gemstone education as far up the supply chain as possible, to people who can benefit tremendously from greater understanding of the beautiful gems they bring to market.”


The GIA created this resource containing basic gemological and market knowledge in both English and Tanzanian Swahili.After producing the resource, a team of seven people from the GIA and Pact traveled to the Tanga region in Tanzania in January to conduct training with the booklet for about 45 female miners of the Tanzanian Association of Women Miners (TAWOMA).

The area was chosen because of its diversity of gemstones and because the leadership of TAWOMA expressed interest in the guide, the GIA said.

The $120,000 cost of the pilot program came from the GIA’s endowment fund.

The institute provided the booklet and training at no cost, and the GIA said it will stay free of charge as it expands training to other small-scale rural miners in East Africa later this year.

The GIA said it and Pact will evaluate the program as it progresses to determine a time frame for the pilot.

“There is often a knowledge differential between artisanal miners and those further along the supply chain,” said Cristina Villegas, technical program manager for Pact’s Mines to Markets program. “This new GIA resource will help miners in rural areas better understand the quality and value of their products, which will help reduce that differential and improve their economic development opportunities.”

Brecken Branstratoris the senior editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments in the colored stone sector.

The Latest

CollectionsJan 21, 2022
Piece of the Week: Emily P. Wheeler’s Heart Necklace

It’s a whimsical update to a classic riviere.

Recorded WebinarsJan 21, 2022
Watch: What the Industry Can Expect for Tucson 2022

National Jeweler chats with three colored stone dealers on recent buying activity and what that could mean for the upcoming gem shows.

FinancialsJan 20, 2022
Signet Raises Guidance After Strong Holiday Sales

The jewelry giant’s holiday season revenue was up 30 percent year-over-year.

Brought to you by
Melee the Show Launches Tucson Event, Returns to New York in 2022

The boutique tradeshow, happening first in Tucson then New York City, brings together upscale designers from around the world.

SourcingJan 20, 2022
Tara Pearls Is Ready to Unveil Its ‘Most Significant Acquisition’

With a retail price tag of $1 million, the special pearl will be unveiled at the upcoming Centurion show.

Weekly QuizJan 21, 2022
This Week’s Quiz
Test your knowledge of the latest jewelry news with this quick test.
Take the Quiz
MajorsJan 20, 2022
Robbins Brothers Eyeing Expansion, Adds New VP of Stores

CEO Marc Friedant discusses what’s next for the jewelry chain following management’s move to buy it back from a private equity firm.

FinancialsJan 20, 2022
Jewelry Sales Jump 38% in Q3 for Richemont

Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Buccellati were top performers for the luxury conglomerate over the key holiday season.

Brought to you by
Rare & Forever Can Help You Tell A New Story At The Counter And Close More Sales!

A.I. technology is revolutionizing the jewelry business through more accurate and consistent diamond grading.

Events & AwardsJan 20, 2022
WJA, PGI Name Responsible Business Education Grant Recipients

The new grant supports education via a sustainability course at New York University.

×