Gem-A (the Gemmological Association of Great Britain) hosted two significant events for its Members and Students over the first week of November, signalling a return to in-person events and the continuation of its annual Conference tradition.
The Gem-A Online Conference 2021 took place on Sunday, November 7, and included a line-up of 10 speakers covering historic diamonds, international royal collections, jewellery design, and the gemmological properties of beryl and tourmaline.
The Conference also focused on a range of ‘trending’ topics in the UK and international gemstone trade, including issues of responsible and sustainable sourcing, and the screening of laboratory-grown diamonds using portable instruments.
More than 300 members registered to attend the ticketed Online Conference and engagement was high across the talks. Members also actively participated in asking questions, which helped to foster a sense of community among those ‘logging in’.
This one-day event was followed by the Gem-A Graduation Ceremony and Presentation of Awards on the evening of Monday, November 8, hosted at Church House in London, which benefits from balcony views across Westminster Abbey. This was accompanied by a drinks reception for Graduates and guests in Hoare Memorial Hall, where Winston Churchill delivered historic announcements during his premiership.
Gem-A has long reserved the first weekend in November to host its most anticipated annual events, including the Gem-A Conference, field trips to the Natural History Museum and Tower of London, and its annual Graduation Ceremony. These in-person events have been well-attended by international delegates, speakers and students.
“COVID-19 restrictions did force our hand with our annual in-person events, but we are slowly reintroducing the Gem-A Conference and Graduation Ceremony in ways that are safe, effective and for the benefit of our members and students,” said Alan Hart FGA, Chief Executive Officer of Gem-A.
“This year’s Online Conference included a fantastic line-up of speakers, and our Graduation Ceremony was once again a fitting tribute to our Students, many of whom achieved their Gemmology Foundation, Gemmology Diploma and Diamond Diploma qualifications in 2020. It was important to all of us that we recognise the achievement of all of our students who have tackled our courses in unusual and challenging global circumstances.”
Gem-A will continue to focus on the online capabilities of its courses as well as the introduction of a new digital-only short course designed to boost the understanding of essential gemmology principles across the independent retail and jewellery sectors.