Crash courses in gemology are being provided by the GIA for law enforcement officers from around the world. A two week course was recently given to law enforcement officers from Brazil, Colombia, Belgium, India, Thailand, the UK and the UAE as well as from various cities in the US such as New York, Los Angeles, Miami and washington. The purpose of the course was to familiarise officers with handling and being able to assess gemstones and aid in the solving of jewellery crimes.
The President and CEO of the GIA, Donna Baker, said “It is imperative that we continue to work with these detectives and special agents on the front lines of fast-moving gem crimes.” She added, “The thieves communicate and coordinate across international boundaries – we need to do the same if we want to stop them. Giving law enforcement officials access to our resources and gemological information will help them close the net on those who steal from and take advantage of the public. This is a mission we are proud to share with law officers around the world.”
in the course were various topics, such as how to use gemological tools (loupes, tweezers, microscopes); the Four Cs of diamonds and what to look for in clarity, cut and color; synthetics, imitations and color treatments; the diamond industry and the Kimberley Process; field identification of colored stones; and how to read GIA grading reports.
“Law enforcement agencies and GIA have a long history of working together to solve gem-related crimes.” said Tom Moses, senior vice president of GIA Laboratory and Research. “Our grading reports and inscriptions are the most effective ways to protect gemstones and information on thousands of them are stored in GIA’s database for future reference,” he went on.
The database, started in the 1980s, has proved to be extremely useful for investigators, according to Daniel McCaffrey of the FBI’s New York field office. “It’s so significant to have this relationship with GIA and to have a starting point,” he said. “Literally hundreds and hundreds of stones have been recovered because of it.”
This close liaison between the diamond industry and law enforcement is likely to continue with more officers being trained in gemology and understanding more about diamonds.