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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

At GIA “Splendour and Science of Pearls” New Book Debuts

GIA Debuts “Splendour and Science of Pearls”
Book events held in Mumbai and Dubai, April 15 and 23

CARLSBAD, Calif. – May 13, 2013 – Pearls, symbols of wealth and status for thousands of years and among the best-loved gems of all time, are the focus of a new book published by GIA (Gemological Institute of America): “Splendour and Science of Pearls.” Decades of research, compelling photography and historical anecdotes have culminated in the lavishly illustrated, 149-page book that recently debuted in Mumbai at the Institute’s regional headquarters for India and the Middle East, and at GIA’s facility in Dubai.

On April 15, Dona Dirlam, director of GIA’s Richard T. Liddicoat Gemological Library and Information Center, and Robert Weldon, GIA’s manager of Photography and Visual Communications, formally presented the book to 70 GIA alumni and students in Mumbai. Dirlam and Weldon – who are among several co-authors and are the book’s principal editors – presented the book to Nirupa Bhatt, managing director of GIA in India and the Middle East, and Tom Moses, GIA senior vice president of laboratory and research.

Dirlam and Weldon then presented the pearl book to 40 GIA alumni and students, as well as GIA Board of Governors member Amit Dhamani, CEO and managing director of Dhamani Jewels Group, at the Institute’s facility in Dubai on April 23.

“India and the Middle East have a longstanding appreciation for pearls and other gems, and both are important markets for the gem and jewelry industry. We’re pleased to debut the pearl book in these historically prominent pearling regions,” Dirlam said. “For more than 60 years, GIA has worked to develop a comprehensive system for evaluating pearls, and to educate the public on this beautiful gem. This book is truly a testament to these dedicated efforts.”

“Splendour and Science of Pearls” book cover, featuring a pearl necklace, graduated both by size and color, containing 8.5 to 11 mm akoya, white South Sea, and black Tahitian cultured pearls. The matching earrings by Anil Maloo of Baggins, Inc., incorporate similarly graduated cultured pearls, and diamonds weighing a total of 2.5 carats. The earrings won first place in two categories of the AGTA Spectrum Awards (2013). Photo by Robert Weldon/GIA.

In the book’s foreword, GIA President Donna Baker underscores how the Institute’s long involvement with pearl research and education is integral to GIA’s mission to serve the public trust. “Splendour and Science of Pearls” covers pearl history, natural and cultured pearl sources, pearls in fashion, GIA’s 7 Pearl Value Factors™ (size, shape, color, luster, surface quality, nacre quality and matching) for evaluating pearl quality, and the future of pearls.

Produced in a limited quantity, the book will first be presented by GIA to stakeholders in the pearl business. Plans are underway to offer the book for sale through the GIA online store and many of the articles and photographs will be available on GIA’s website over the next several months. To learn more about GIA’s research on pearls or its pearl grading services, visit

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