Our Story

GIA was founded by Robert M. Shipley, a successful jeweler, entrepreneur and educator, who realized a need for gem knowledge within the industry. Many jewelers knew little about the goods they sold, and the public was disillusioned by misinformation within the jewelry trade.

Shipley rose to the occasion by creating a gem correspondence course for jewelers and establishing a guild of knowledgeable and ethically-minded jewelry professionals. The course and guild evolved into GIA, with the institute publishing books and setting up its first lab in 1931. Today, GIA is a leader in gem education, research, grading and instrumentation and operates globally, with facilities in eleven countries and across four continents.


Students around the globe turn to GIA for the knowledge, skills, and credentials that launch successful gem and jewelry careers.


The world leader in gemological research, GIA’s breakthrough discoveries deepen our understanding of gemstones and the world.


Through independent, unbiased gem grading and analysis, GIA strives to protect the gem and jewelry buying public by setting global quality standards.


Since the first GIA instrument was registered in the early 1930's, GIA has provided trust, knowledge, and innovative technology to the industry.