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GIA and law officers join heads to solve jewellery crimes
GIA hosts crash course for the security services
By: Diamond World News Service
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May 13 2010 6:20PM
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Reference: 4944  

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Recently, special agents and detectives from international law enforcement agencies attended a unique two-week crash course in gemology specifically requested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), at the Gemological Institute of America’s (GIA) Carlsbad campus. The gathering included law officers from Brazil, Colombia, Belgium, India, Thailand, the UK and the UAE, along with detectives from the New York and Los Angeles police departments and FBI specials agents from New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Washington, D.C.

The objective of the crash course was to impart gemological information to the security forces and in turn strengthen the search for solving jewellery crimes.

Donna Baker, president and CEO of GIA, 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.”

The course included gemstone topics, including 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 said. 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.”

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