PERSONALITY PROFILE – “Fossicker” Julia Griffith launches gemstone education academy


By David Brough

PERRANPORTH, England, May 11, 2021 – Gemmologist Julia Griffith, who loves to hunt for minerals in the beaches and mine dumps of Cornwall in her spare time, is developing her own digital gemstone education business, The Gem Academy.

Julia, who achieved a distinguished academic record in her gemmological studies at Gem-A and the School of Jewellery, BCU, taught diamond and gemmological courses at Gem-A Headquarters in London for five years.

She moved to Cornwall in southwestern England last year, and currently resides near Perranporth, well-known for its long, windswept surfers’ beach, on the county’s north coast. She is still an examiner for Gem-A.

Perranporth and the surrounding areas are a fabulous haunt for enthusiastic “fossickers” (hunters of minerals and gemstones) like Julia and her partner, who uncover gems such as agates and amethyst, on rocky outcrops of the beaches, and minerals such as cassiterite and goethite amongst the tailings of long-forgotten tin and lead mines.Julia fossicking for goethite in Cornwall

Julia fossicking for goethite in Cornwall

A few years ago, Julia spent six months driving around the Australian interior, fossicking for sapphires, opals, and other minerals, and building a network of contacts in the gemstone community.Julia fossicking for quartz in Australia

Julia fossicking for quartz in Australia

Her knowledge of minerals and gemmology, and her passion for education, recently led her to establish her own business, The Gem Academy (

The Gem Academy offers a comprehensive online course about laboratory-grown diamonds, including how they are produced, their treatments and, importantly, how they can be identified. (

Julia is preparing further courses for The Gem Academy, which will specialise in niche topics within gemmology offering extra focus into areas that are often “pain-points” for gemmologists and jewellery professionals.

During lockdown, Julia hosted educational webinars for Gem-A, including one shown in this link about gemstones of Britain, which has had over 5,000 viewings so far:

Julia also has her own YouTube channel:

Her ambition is to construct a variety of regularly updated online courses that will complement those offered by the leading gemmological institutes.