EXCLUSIVE: Former Gem-A CEO James Riley returns to gem industry

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Former chief executive of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A), James Riley, has joined the World Gem Foundation as leader of its British Gem Academy.

Formed in 2015, the World Gem Foundation is a non-profit organisation with the mandate to provide quality and affordable gemmological training to students, jewellers and professional gemmologists.

Currently consisting of four national gem academies in the United Kingdom, Holland, Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Iceland) and Spain, it plans to establish five more academies around the world in the next twelve months.

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The individual gem academies are all licensed by the World Gem Foundation to offer the courses, with Riley guiding the British Gem Academy. Other course leaders are Dutch gemmologist Leone Langeslag at the Dutch Gem Academy, Swedish gemmologists Conny Forsberg and Jan Asplund with the Scandinavian Gem Academy and Geoffrey Dominy, author of the Handbook of Gemmology and founder of the World Gem Foundation with the Spanish Gem Academy.

The array of courses range from basic gemmology, looking at instruments used to identify gemstones and the scientific principles they are based upon, to advanced gemmology, covering lab-created gemstones, systematic identification of gemstones based on colour and transparency, and more.

Available in print, as free standing e-courses or online, the course aims to allow prospective students to study at their own pace to work towards a career in gemmology.

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