GIA Enlightens the Minds of Namibians

Before we mention about what course GIA offers, let’s first remind you that in Namibia diamond mining production makes the largest contribution to country’s economy. In terms of numbers it brings about 25% of Namibia’s income. It holds the 8th place in the world as the producer of gem-quality diamonds. So all afore-mentioned was said to show you how important GIA’s educational classes were. Let’s focus on them in details:

Expanding on the Gemological Institute of America’s (GIA) beneficiation and education efforts in Africa, the Institute held its first-ever class in Namibia, the Rough Diamond Evaluation course, from June 30 through July 4. The class, offered in the Afrikaans language and taught by instructor Koos Rademeyer, was very successful, with all students passing the course.

“Bringing practical education about diamonds closer to producing regions helps those communities develop more economic value,” said Crystall Nel, GIA’s business development manager. “The course – our first of its kind in Namibia – is part of our effort to bring more of the value of the global gem and jewelry industry to producing communities.”

Since 2008, GIA has expanded its activities and presence in sub-Saharan Africa, opening two full-time laboratories and offering classes in Gaborone, Botswana and Johannesburg, South Africa; establishing partnerships with government agencies and universities throughout the continent; and maintaining a network of active alumni. Today, there are more than 900 alumni and two GIA alumni chapters in Africa.

The classroom in Okahandja, Namibia was held at the NamGem diamond cutting and polishing factory, and several notable industry members attended the Rough Diamond Evaluation graduation, including Kennedy Hamutenya, the diamond commissioner of Namibia; Christian Merkling, the director of Africa for Lazare Kaplan International; Vallerie Aron, the mayor of Okahandja; Isak Katali, the minister of Mines and Energy in Namibia and Yoav Lavee, the general manager of NamGem Diamond Manufacturing Company.
About GIA

An independent nonprofit organization, GIA (Gemological Institute of America), established in 1931, is recognized as the world’s foremost authority in gemology. GIA invented the famous 4Cs of color, cut, clarity and carat weight in the early 1950s and in 1953, created the International Diamond Grading System™ which, today, is recognized by virtually every professional jeweler in the world.

Through research, education, gemological laboratory services, and instrument development, the Institute is dedicated to ensuring the public trust in gems and jewelry by upholding the highest standards of integrity, academics, science, and professionalism. Visit

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